Hi all, I am an experienced SM but I thought I would crowdsource a solution to this from peers. The project is an enterprise scale migration to the cloud with over 500 customers representing 300+ applications.
The backlog is run by a single Product Owner (also a Cloud Technical Architect) who is supported by a BA.
- Three teams
- One backlog
- Each team has their own stand-ups, sprint planning and retrospectives
- We have a shared Review with customers
When dealing with a single backlog which feeds multiple autonomous feature teams, what is the best way to approach Backlog Refinement or "Play Ready workshops" or [insert generic name for looking ahead activity]?
At present the BA invites all developers from all teams into a single Refinement session to start discussing stories in detail. The devs have, rightly, balked and 19 of the 21 devs just opened their laptops and started coding again.
They have requested an approach where the BA spends time understanding the story in detail through 1-2-1 sessions with devs and only bring those stories to the Refinement session to see if they are ready for Sprint Planning the next week. The BA has balked at this approach since it would be 3 Refinement sessions, also predicting which team takes which stories from the backlog etc.
The Product Owner is swamped conducting technical assessments/communications for the app migrations and has devolved story preparation to the BA's.
They are at an impasse and morale has dropped off a cliff. As the most experienced SM, the other SM's have handed this hospital pass to me to solve.
Out of scope
We have solved a lot of issues in this delivery including operational handover, definition of done etc so I don't want to rehash those.