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How to Run Backlog Refinement (Grooming) in Jira Cloud

Spreadsheet Issue Field Editor is an alternative to the list view in Jira Work Management that provides you with extensive capabilities for inline editing of Jira Cloud issues and collaborating on them with your team. Take advantage of spreadsheet issue editing for Jira issues and become a top performer in your company.

Jira Cloud is becoming the choice number one for development teams where they can track their tasks and development activities. Project scope is tracked as backlog with epic, user stories, and tasks. Since the start of the project, the backlog tends to constantly grow and though requires continuous review.

Backlog refinement (grooming) is like the hoeing of weeds in your garden. This is an unpleasant but useful procedure that you need to perform regularly to keep your project backlog healthy and up-to-date.

For doing this, Scrum teams run a backlog grooming ceremony, or it can also be referred to as backlog refinement (grooming). It is recommended to spend up to 15 percent of your sprint time on this in most cases.

In this post, we will show you how you can do this in Jira Cloud and significantly decrease the amount of time required so that you can save your team time on other activities.

Backlog refinement (grooming) in Jira Cloud

Backlog refinement (grooming) in Jira Cloud can become a very tedious and time-consuming task. You can do this in the Backlog section of your Jira project or in the Issues section, whichever you prefer.

The main problem here is that you need to go through each task in your backlog and, together with the team, do the following:

  • review its description and update it
  • set the priority
  • assign to a sprint or version
  • add reviewers
  • add labels
  • select components
  • and do whatever you also need.

Even if you pin the required fields to the top of the issue layout, this will not accelerate the entire process as you will have to go through each task one by one.

So how can we speed up refinement (grooming) in Jira Cloud?

Backlog refinement (grooming) with Spreadsheet Issue Field Editor

Well, this is quite easy to simplify this process and make it more collaborative. Install Spreadsheet Issue Field Editor and open the project which backlog you plan to groom.

Here you can see all the issues from the backlog, which you can edit inline. While going with your team through your backlog, you can update summaries of tasks and their description on the fly.

This way, you can add the missing acceptance criteria, change the description of user stories or bugs, and add the edge cases which your team may identify during the backlog refinement (grooming).
If some column is missing in the spreadsheet layout, you can quickly add it there and proceed to its editing.

While grooming the backlog, you may change the priority of tasks and update story point estimates after discussing each task in detail. Just to accelerate the whole process, you can make each of your teammates responsible for their own field so that you can collaborate in real-time and fill out fields much faster.

Using the Spreadsheet Issue Field Editor, you can quickly go through your project backlog and refine it with ease. Additionally, you can save it as a separate view which your teammates can access at the same time.

Keep following and we will share other power-ups on how to boost project management activities in Jira Cloud and, of course, don’t forget to subscribe to our updates.

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Irina Sanikovich

Irina Sanikovich

Responsible for content and events at https://stiltsoft.com/ A banal line, but I love reading, learning, and traveling.