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Cross-Team Refinement

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Definition of Cross-Team Refinement

Cross-Team Refinement is a collaborative discussion among different Scrum Teams to refine and discuss Product Backlog items.

It is an event defined by the Nexus framework, not by the Scrum framework. You use the Nexus framework when developing one product with multiple Scrum Teams. Hence the term Cross-Team (between teams).

The word refinement refers to the process of further clarifying, refining and detailing Product Backlog items before including them in a Sprint Backlog.

Therefore, Cross-Team Refinement aids in synchronizing and aligning work across different teams. During the event, the appropriate members of the Scrum Teams come together to review Backlog items that impact multiple teams. They discuss details, clarify requirements and identify dependencies or bottlenecks between teams.

Cross‐Team Refinement of the Product Backlog thus has a dual purpose:

  • It helps to predict which team will deliver which Product Backlog items
  • It identifies dependencies between teams

Cross‐Team Refinement is ongoing. That means the frequency, duration and attendance of team members at the event vary to optimize the above objectives.

It reduces silos between teams. It also promotes communication and collaboration. Finally, it increases transparency about the collective work, an essential component of Scrum.

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