Portfolio Backlog Refinement

is part ofPortfolio Cycle
is organized byPortfolio Owner
Attendees:Cluster System Engineer Group, Organization Scrum Master
Optional Attendees:Cluster Product Owner Group, Stakeholder
Refined Artefacts:Portfolio Backlog
Estimated Artefacts:Portfolio Backlog Item
Created result (artefact):Acceptance Criteria, Effort Estimation

Refinement of the Portfolio Backlog is the process of creating new backlog items, adding details to backlog items, making estimates, splitting backlog items, or changing the order of items in the Portfolio Backlog. Refinement is a continuous process in which the Portfolio Owner and the Cluster System Engineer Group (CSEG) jointly detail the Portfolio Backlog items. The items are examined and revised as the Portfolio Backlog is refined. However, the Portfolio Owner can update or have the items in the Portfolio Backlog updated at any time.

The Portfolio Backlog refinement is mainly used to prepare the next Portfolio Planning. The Portfolio Owner presents new backlog items to the Cluster System Engineer Group (CSEG) presents and has them estimated by CSEG. This is a prerequisite for the “pull” of the CSEG and is often referred to as definition-of-ready. In the case of unclear but highly prioritized backlog items, the CSEG clarifies the System Requirements , possible System Concepts and capabilities. This can be worked out as a group or a corresponding backlog item can be created as an order for one of the Clusters.

Estimation of the effort required to implement backlog items

Estimates by the entire Cluster System Engineer Group are important for two reasons:

  1. By jointly estimating, the CSEG analyzes the respective backlog item from different perspectives and enriches it with information such as acceptance criteria and boundary conditions. The first ideas for implementation are also generated.
  2. The result of the estimation is a number with which individual backlog elements can be evaluated, for example for prioritization. In addition, it is now easy to calculate how many backlog elements can be dragged into a cycle, namely by comparing the backlog elements completed in the last cycles (organization velocity).

The team uses the Planning-Poker® methodology to estimate the effort .

Estimation of the business value required to implement backlog items

The estimation of Portfolio Backlog Items should be done by the Cluster Product Owner Group together with the Portfolio Owner. They know best about the value that can be created by realizing it. Doing this in a relative way, i.e. in comparison to other Portfolio Backlog Items, value estimation can also be done using Planning-Poker®.

Prioritization can be guided and visualized by the “Upswing Gravity Field”, where the Upswing represents the business value and the Gravity the effort.

Further suitable links:

Events Roles Groups Artifacts
Team Backlog Refinement .

Cluster Backlog Refinement


Portfolio Planning

Organization Sync

Portfolio Review

Organization retrospective

Portfolio Owner

Portfolio Architect

Organization Scrum Master

Cluster Product Owner Group

Cluster System Engineer Group

Cluster Scrum Master Group

Organization Management Circle

Portfolio Backlog

Systems & Applications

System Platforms & Variants

Organization DoD

Organization Improvement Backlog