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Product Backlog Grooming: Should the entire team attend ?

The Product Backlog grooming session is a session where the team along with the Scrum Master and the Product Owner get together in an attempt to go through the User Stories where there is not enough clarity, or where there are liable to many questions or complexity, and ensuring that some level of agreement and detail has been reached for the specific User Stories which require this kind of effort. Having a Product Backlog Grooming session ensures that the Sprint Planning session that will be held later will be more smooth, since the entire focus during the Sprint Planning session will be on breaking down the User stories into tasks and estimating them rather than getting into queries where in some cases the Product Owner may find it difficult to answer the queries (it is very much possible that the team, having had a lot of experience with the product may have more detailed knowledge of specific workflows and product features than the Product Owner).
Now, onto the specific question. The first paragraph talked about the Grooming session and the team attending. Just like in the Daily Scrum meeting, it is not recommended that people get into details, partly to prevent people from not having to sit there and listen to extended meetings where there is nothing concerning them, the similar case would be there in the Product Backlog Grooming meeting. When the specific User Stories that need to be discussed do not involve some team members, it is not certainly not required that they attend. After all, these Backlog Grooming sessions are held during the duration of the Sprint cycle, and if the team member is working on something critical, it can be pretty horrendous to take them away from their critical work and make them attend a meeting where none of their planned User Stories are being discussed.
A query that can come up is that specific people can bid for any tasks during the Sprint Planning meeting, and hence it is not decided till the Sprint Planning meeting about which team member is working on which task. At the same time, during the Sprint Backlog grooming meeting, there will be people who are already doing some investigation on some specific tasks, and this is already known, so if the meeting is being held on a regular basis and it is already known that certain team members are already doing the discussions and investigation of these User Stories, it only makes sense to request these team members to attend. The other team members can attend, but is it at their discretion, not mandatory for them to attend.
However, if the team has decided to go Grooming, then for the team members who are needed for the review and the discussion to happen, it is important that they attend and contribute to the Grooming session. People will always be busy, and if it is argued that they are busy with current work, then a call needs to be made about whether they can attend or not. Since the Grooming session ensures that User Stories are in a good shape for the Sprint Planning session, you can’t really put off the Product Backlog Grooming session.

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