More Effective Agile, Part 6: Refine the Product Backlog, Create and Use a Definition of Ready, Minimize the Defect Detection Gap


Sixth in our series in which Steve McConnell describes the 28 key principles in his new book, More Effective Agile (Construx Press, 2019). The principles described this time:

“Refine the Product Backlog.” Backlog refinement ensures the team is working on the highest priority items, is not filling in gaps in requirements on its own, and is not starved for work. (See page 187 in the book.)

“Create and Use a Definition of Ready.” Part of backlog refinement is ensuring that requirements are truly ready before the team begins implementing them. (See page 188.)

“Minimize the Defect Detection Gap.” The cost to fix a defect tends to grow the longer it stays in process. A benefit of Agile’s focus on continuous quality work is detecting more defects closer to the source. (See page 155.)