Product Owner and Refinement Techniques 

Training / Workshop 


Mark Bregenzer
Refinement Experte

Motivation, why this training?

For more than 15 years, I have been guiding organizations through their agile transformation. Regardless of the agile methodology chosen, I observe a recurring problematic pattern. Agile is introduced for implementation, but the requirements analysis almost always remains unchanged. In waterfall, we think things through first and make holistic concepts. That sounds reasonable. It's just that in complex environments today, we can no longer capture and consider everything in advance. Agile working models want to solve this problem by working out features/functions evolutionarily over short cycles and empirical process control. It is of little help to transfer the previously created concepts into user stories. The fundamental problem of uncertainty in requirements analysis remains.

Simply letting the teams implement the next best idea often leads to a certain lack of orientation in the product and leads to uncoordinated feature/function deliveries. Especially when delivery dates are agreed upon with stakeholders, the classic analysis is maintained to estimate the effort and set up a plan. This is then how a project can be managed. However, this leads to a sequential approach and undermines any agile approach right from the start..

There are some techniques, such as Impact Mapping, User Story Mapping, or Cell-based Splitting, which, when used correctly, help Product Owners and teams to resolve exactly this antipattern of requirements analysis. In combination with appropriate Product Backlog visualization and analysis techniques, it is possible to get a grip on the problem of predictability without jeopardizing the agile approach.

Therefore, I have developed a training in which these techniques are presented and tested in the context of the participants.


This Product Owner and Refinement Technique Training is for people in Product Owner (PO) role and all people who what to get insights about the work of a PO around the Product Backlog.

In this training, you will learn:

  • how to deal with complexity
  • how to create and structure your Product Backlog
  • how to maintain (continuous refinement) your Product Backlog
  • how to use different refinement techniques for huge topics and on item level
  • how to integrate discovery & delivery by dual-track development
  • how to deal with multiple concurrent stakeholders
  • how to run refinement sessions, for single teams and multi-team environments
  • how to use the Product Backlog to measure progress and provide forecasts that don’t destroy your agile approach.

This training can be conducted as a one-day or two-day workshop.

In the one-day version, we focus on the methodologies with simple examples from the context of the participants to explore the refinement techniques and get an idea of how these will work in their environment.

In the two-day version, we will focus on practicing the refinement techniques in depth and working on real features/items of the participants. Furthermore, the refinement exercises will be performed as a multi-team refinement session. The participants will explore and experience the different formats from the “how to run refinement sessions”.

If you or your teams are already familiar with the refinement techniques, you can book the workshop format of day two separately, e.g., for facilitating and coaching initial Backlog Refinement of a newly formed product group.


Who, what, why?

Product Owner & Artifacts

- Dealing with complex and giant requirements
- Four dimensions of splitting Backlog Items
- Backlog structure
- Creating a flow
- Dealing with multiple stakeholders

The Start

The initial creation of a Product Backlog

- Who is involved?
- Impact mapping
- User Story Mapping incl. MVP & release strategy
- Cell-based Splitting



- Who is involved?
- Impact mapping
- User Story Mapping, incl. MVP & release strategy
- Cell-based Splitting

The practice

How to run Refinement sessions
(introduction into theory, one-day workshop)

- Open Space
- World Café
- Fishbowl-style collaboration pattern


Working with the Product Backlog

- (Re-)prioritization based on the value
- Reporting based on the Product Backlog

Any Questions?

Key data


The participants should know the basics of Scrum/Kanban and corresponding roles. Know what e.g. a Product Backlog is.
English or German
One to two days
max. 15 for the one-day and two-day versions
As initial Product Backlog Refinement Workshop max. 80 participants


On request depending on the number of participants, duration, and if necessary or desired, a second facilitator