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The benefit of conducting the pre-grooming session explained below.

  • Responsible entity:- Product Owner

  • The expectation from Responsible Entity-

      1. Clear definition of Scope / Business Value.

      2. UI Mockups.

  • Frequency: 30 mins session for a 2 week sprint is sufficient.

  • Mandatory :

      1. Product owners (story writer), Client Proxy / Business analyst / Subject Matter Expert / Architect / – a person who is directly responsible for providing your team with business requirements,

      2. Manager/ scrum master- a person who is responsible for planning and asking proper questions

      3. Lead developers/team lead – a technical person who will be responsible for implementation.

    • As needed: QA leads, developers as SMEs

    • Optional : head of development, head of product

Reasons below for having a Pre Grooming session-

Typically planning happens a day before or when we are about to start a sprint.

Understanding every story the first time, grooming, tasking and estimating takes too much time.

Due to time constraints, it is not very effective and done half-heartedly. Moreover, not all the questions can be answered upfront.

This is one of the main causes of sprint failures in most projects as you are not sure of what you are committing.

One of the good ideas is to keep looking at upcoming stories and clarify all the doubts with PO or other stakeholders in advance.

Pre-Grooming (PO-meeting) allows key people to review and prepare upcoming items, determine the quality of requirements, get more business context on features, and request for clarification.

Pre-Grooming requires fewer people to participate and focuses on preparing stories for the rest of the team. While Grooming invites the whole team to review the stories and raise business questions and technical concerns.

How to conduct pre-grooming.

During the meeting, the key focus should be on creating clarity.

At the very least there should be enough clarity to understand what questions require answers before involving the whole team. It is completely unacceptable to plan Team Grooming if <70% of the stories are not clear – it means someone is not doing their job.

Participants Involve only people who are directly responsible for making sure business requirements get properly consumed by engineering. The minimal set of participants is two – Product Manager, Technical Lead. The manager is completely optional in case one of the participants takes on the managerial role or it is effectively shared. Other participants should have occasional involvement unless they are on a supporting role i.e. capturing meeting notes.

Effectiveness calculation is fairly simple – fewer people should produce more clarity in shorter periods of time. Do not worry if all the items cannot be groomed. It is ok as long as the time was effectively spent on most critical items in the backlog, there will be time to work on other items offline.

Example -

Backlogs before pro-grooming:

Allocation vs Capacity for the next sprint(Before pre-grooming):


  • Story/task title

  • Description

  • Acceptance criteria

  • Estimation

  • Assignee

  • Sub-task creation

After pre-grooming:

Allocation vs Capacity for the next sprint(After pre-grooming) :