FOREST the Product Backlog


I like to run backlog refinement in a very structured form, making sure to have a flow of user stories that are getting ready for the sprints ahead. So I have created a small mnemonic for a proces, that I run through one user story at a time. It may take a couple of iterations:

  • Formulate as a user story, defining who, what and why.
  • Order according to priority. And pick from the top when refining.
  • Refine, adding acceptance criteria, notes and sketches (input to tasks).
  • Estimate relatively in story points using the Fibonacci scale.
  • Split according to SPIDR (Spike, Paths, Interfaces, Data/algorithms, Business Rules) if the estimate is too big, according to experience.
  • Try according to INVEST (Independent, Negotiable, Valuable, Estimable, Small, Testable)