Product grooming


The higher the quality of the work items in the product backlog, the higher the quality of the outputs of the sprint(s).

Product grooming involves the product owner, team, and the scrum master meeting regularly to improve the product backlog ready for the sprint planning meeting. This may lead to:

  • removing user stories that are no longer relevant
  • creating new user stories to meet newly identified needs
  • adding new user stories to address issues identified during testing
  • adjusting the relative priority of user stories
  • assigning estimates to user stories
  • correcting estimates
  • splitting high priority user stories to refine them, ready for the sprint.


The aim of this stage is to:

  • prepare the work items for the sprints, so they are relevant, and appropriately detailed and estimated for their priority
  • ensure the team understands the goal and requirements of the user stories.



Actions which may be carried out during this stage include:

  1. Undertake product grooming to focus the team on the top priority user stories.
  2. Complete story grooming (including identification of acceptance criteria), to ensure the user stories are complete and detailed enough to use for estimation and creation.
  3. Complete sprint planning so the team and product owner understands what work will be undertaken in the sprint.
  4. Plan the release so preparation can start while the release is being assembled (see Release planning).


The outputs from this stage include a:

  • groomed product backlog or work items suitable for development
  • list of candidate product increments for inclusion in a product release.

Tools and templates

Tools that may be helpful during this stage include:

  • product backlog
  • product grooming
  • story grooming
  • completing sprint planning
  • release planning
  • definition of ready
  • feedback loop.

These tools and related templates are available on the Accelerate downloads page.


Page last updated: 13/04/2016