Scrum - Product Backlog Refinement

How often does a Product Backlog  Refinement occur?  Every Sprint?  Every three monts, etc.

There does not appear to be a specific recommendation in the Sprint definitions, what happens in reality?

Anthony LuciaAsked:
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Ray PaseurCommented:
In our shop it is refined at the end of every sprint.
Anthony LuciaAuthor Commented:
How many hours do you spend on it generally  

(Since the Review takes 2 hr for a 2 wk sprint, and the retrospective takes another 2,, I am guessing that this will completely kill the Friday at the end of a sprint, and you would give refinement about 2 hours.  Is this correct?)
Jessica RigaProducerCommented:
I like to refine backlog items midweek every week for an hour. As you mentioned the end of a sprint can get pretty hairy with other ceremonies and wrapping up current sprint commitments.

You mentioned a 2hr retrospective - while I think the retrospective is the most important ceremony of scrum that sounds a bit excessive for a 2 week sprint. The recommendation is a half hour for every week of sprinting, so an hour retrospective would be appropriate for a 2 week sprint.
Ray PaseurCommented:
In practice our planning sessions often run longer than 2 hours (Monday at the beginning of the sprint) and our retrospectives usually take two hours, even though this is longer than the norm.  We rotate the responsibility for the retro and use different retro processes according to the preference of the teammate that runs the retro.  We usually have a plenary presentation, in addition to the formal retro.  One I did recently was to present test-driven development to the group.  The tech team knew all about it, but the designers and content managers found it to be completely new and interesting.  So when we get a change to bring those sort of ideas into better focus across the entire team, it seems like a good thing.

We've found that if we start our retro at 10:00, it's appropriately self-limited by everyone wanting to go to lunch and that makes for some more team-building chances :-)

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