Backlog grooming is the process of adding new user stories to the backlog, re-prioritizing existing stories as needed, creating estimates, and deconstructing larger stories into smaller stories or tasks. Rather than grooming the backlog sporadically throughout an iteration, the team may hold a backlog grooming session once per iteration. Scrum Alliance founder Ken Schwaber recommends that teams allocate 5% of their time to revisiting and tending to the backlog.

Backlog grooming is the term favored by the Scrum Alliance, although Scrum co-founder Jeff McKenna and Australian CST Kane Mar prefer to call this ceremony Story Time, and still others call this Backlog Refinement.

The Backlog Grooming session is one of the five Scrum ceremonies. The other Scrum ceremonies are Sprint Planning, Daily Scrum, Sprint Review, and Sprint Retrospective.


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Agile Requirements: User Stories, Backlogs, & Beyond – Ellen Gottesdiener at Agile 2015 [Agile Amped Podcast]