Speed Grooming Requirements with SAFe

André Dhondt, Rally Software Development

Want your sprint/iteration planning to take less than fifteen minutes (excluding tasking)? The key is in the story writing we do during backlog grooming. Although the Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe) has little to say about story writing, this "speed grooming" practice makes iteration planning a breeze, and better software comes out of the process. André Dhondt shares stories of real-world agile teams using this technique and how they've moved to a customer-empathy mindset. How does it work? You need to develop great stories—customer-focused, just barely enough detail, in thin vertical slices, and collectively designed. André reviews story writing and describes how to do the three phases of grooming in under one team-hour a week (typically, two 25-minute meetings) by defining the phases—Exploring, Sizing, and Splitting, plus one off-line activity Naming the Universe. Learn to avoid the overhead of long pre-backlog sessions, reduce Product Owner prep time, and prevent hidden dependencies from bumping a story out to the next iteration.


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