Management Bug: Lack of Product Backlog Refinement

A MngtBug is a problem, cause, or impact in a human manager’s decision which produces an incorrect or unexpected result.
Every week we share a little bit of our knowledge base on social media and our newsletter. Since we believe the Management Bugs are common and typical, every description is created and adapted from articles, blog posts, and definitions from other sources and authors.

This week’s MngtBug is…

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Have you ever seen this MngtBug? How did you solve it?
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Details

This week’s “Lack of Product Backlog Refinement” is a very specific problem.

By definition, the product backlog is an ordered list of everything that is known to be needed in the product. It is the only source of requirements for any changes to be made to the product.

Product Backlog Refinement is the act of adding detail, estimates, and order to items in the Product Backlog. This process intends to review revise all the items.
(Extracted and adapted https://scrumguides.org/scrum-guide.html#artifacts-productbacklog)

Backlog refinement intends to ensure that the backlog remains populated with items that are relevant, detailed, and estimated to a degree appropriate with their priority, and in keeping with a current understanding of the project or product and its objectives.
(Extracted and adapted https://www.agilealliance.org/glossary/backlog-grooming/#q=~(infinite~false~filters~(postType~(~'page~'post~'aa_book~'aa_event_session~'aa_glossary~'aa_organizations~'aa_research_paper~'aa_video)~tags~(~'backlog*20refinement))~searchTerm~'~sort~false~sortDirection~'asc~page~1))

When a company doesn’t use this process the product backlog isn’t properly prioritized.
(Extracted and adapted https://dzone.com/articles/product-backlog-refinement-make-the-most-of-it)
Companies will lose some benefits like:
- Increase transparency
- Clarify value
- Break things into consumable pieces
- Reduce dependencies
- Forecasting
- Incorporate learning
(Extracted and adapted https://dzone.com/articles/the-art-of-product-backlog-refinement)

Product Backlog Refinement is a vital technique to successfully deliver a valuable product to customers and users.
(Extracted and adapted https://dzone.com/articles/product-backlog-refinement-make-the-most-of-it)

Known Associates

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This MngtBug has been mentioned with several MngtFixes such as…
“Product Backlog/Roadmap Definition”,
“Scrum Training”,
“Customer Requirements Definition”,
“Minimum Viable Product (MVP) launch”
and of course “Product Backlog Refinement”!

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Written by

Eduardo Espinheira is a Consultant, Facilitator, Manager, Public Speaker, Creator of the Management Bugs&Fixes and the Machiavellian PM Stories

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