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5 tools for more efficient product backlog grooming
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5 tools for more efficient product backlog grooming

Discover 5 of the best backlog grooming tools for Agile product development.

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It’s hard to keep on top of everything during backlog grooming, especially if you’re still doing it manually. If so, you’ll be glad to know the right tools can help you get organized—and collaborate with your team. 

However, there’s a lot more to backlog grooming and management than choosing the right backlog grooming tool. As well as organizing user stories, you want to look for something that facilitates every aspect of collaboration and communication around this process. 

To do that, you’ll need a lean, integrated tech stack that lets your team collaborate and prioritize more efficiently. 

In this post, we’ll take a look at five backlog grooming tools that allow you to do just that. We’ll also show you how you can use them all in Switchboard, so you don’t have to choose between them. 

Get organized, stay organized. 
Switchboard rooms save all your backlog apps and spreadsheets in one central place—so you can always find what you’re looking for. 
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How do product backlog grooming tools benefit your team? 

Sure, you can manage your product backlog in a spreadsheet, but backlog grooming is a complex process and dedicated tools offer so much more. Here are a few ways they benefit your team: 

  • Make for more efficient, standardized backlog grooming processes 
  • Create a more collaborative environment where nothing slips through the cracks 
  • Offer more than one way of visualizing user stories and work done, or to be done
  • Allow you to define and set detailed requirements and acceptance criteria 
  • Support planning poker or other consensus-based estimation techniques
  • Take the grunt work and guesswork out of estimating effort, calculating team velocity, forecasting, and setting expectations with smart analytics and automations 
  • Get better visibility, accountability, and ownership across all your tasks and sprints  

5 tools for more efficient product backlog grooming

1. Jira

Issues in a Jira backlog list.
Jira lets you easily add, rate, and organize backlog items. 

Popular project management tool Jira supports agile processes like backlog grooming by allowing you to document, organize, and estimate backlog items before adding them to a sprint. This lets you continuously adapt and refine your backlog based on stakeholder input and changing requirements, so you always have it groomed and ready for sprint planning. 

Key features 

  • Hierarchical user stories or issues to represent specific tasks, features, or improvements
  • Assign priorities and rankings to indicate importance or urgency 
  • Estimates of effort or complexity 
  • Dependencies between user stories or issues
  • Assign stories to sprints
  • Statuses to track progress and facilitate teamwork 
  • Description and acceptance criteria
  • Labels, categories, and tags to add additional metadata to aid in filtering, categorization, or organization
  • Printable planning poker cards 


  • Free: For up to 10 users with limited features. 
  • Standard: $850/year for unlimited users. 
  • Premium: $1,600/year for unlimited users. 
  • Enterprise: Custom priced. 

Who’s it best for 

Agile product development teams that want a single tool for backlog grooming, sprint planning, and project management. 

Check out this post to understand the differences between backlog grooming and sprint planning. 

2. Yodiz

Backlog items in Yodiz
Yodiz is custom-designed for Agile teams. 

Yodiz is a project management platform designed for Agile software development that supports Scrum and ScrumBan methodologies. It offers a full view of your team’s capabilities and workload so you can plan and track sprints accurately and stay on track for upcoming releases. 

Key features 

  • Product backlog with smart analytics to get visibility on complexity, size, and trends
  • Epics to define your customer journeys and prioritize features for development 
  • Boards for sprint tracking and daily Scrums 
  • Customizable workflows
  • Burndown tracking, story allocation, and other key analytics to improve visibility
  • Collaboration and engagement features like notifications, comments, and tagging 
  • Automated delivery tracking and dashboards 
  • Smart analytics for in-depth insights and forecasting
  • Release management features to see how sprints connect to releases 
  • Boards and swimlanes so you can plan and view multiple projects
  • Roadmaps and Gantt charts
  • 20+ Integrations
  • Unlimited Projects
  • Mobile app


  • Starter: Free for up to 3 users. 
  • Issue Tracker: $3/user per month. 
  • Agile Tool: $5/user per month. 
  • Self-hosted: Custom priced.  

Best for 

3. Pivotal Tracker

Pivotal Tracker workspace with backlog items
With three types of backlog, Pivotal Tracker makes it easy to run backlog grooming meetings. 

Pivotal Tracker is made specifically for backlog grooming, with features that facilitate Agile processes. For example, the ability to create user stories, assign tasks, view work status, and measure team velocity. It also has three types of backlog so you can see exactly what’s most urgent and what isn’t. 

Key features 

  • Three backlogs–Current, Backlog, and Icebox–so you can prioritize and differentiate tasks based on urgency or importance
  • Different view modes and options to create and display stories 
  • Story points to estimate effort 
  • Automated calculations of team velocity 
  • Shared workspaces and file sharing 
  • Individual task lists 
  • Search functionality across multiple projects  
  • Story blockers to automatically surface roadblocks 
  • Analytics to get an overview of team and project health
  • @mentions, notifications, and follows to boost visibility and collaboration  
  • Integrations and REST API to customize your backlog grooming process to your team’s needs 


  • Free: For up to 5 collaborators with limited features. 
  • Enterprise: Custom priced. 

Best for 

Agile teams that need a tool specifically built for backlog refinement with no added bells and whistles.  

4. Monday Dev

Monday Dev GitHub integration
Monday Dev is built for software teams. 

From popular project management app Monday comes Monday Dev. It’s tailored to development teams with features that let you build Agile ceremonies into your workflows. As well as keeping all your tasks, communication, and documentation in the same place, it offers customizable templates for roadmaps, bug tracking, feature requests, sprint management, and more. You can also share information with people outside your team, which makes it easier to gather stakeholder feedback before backlog grooming. 

Key features 

  • Burndown charts to track sprint progress and detect bottlenecks
  • Git Integration for automatic updates from your Git repository 
  • Workspace with shared documents for collaboration and knowledge management 
  • Automation of repetitive or manual tasks 
  • Task visualization with Kanbans, Gantt charts, customizable dashboards, etc. 
  • Integrations with popular tools 


  • Basic dev: €9/user per month for up to 40 users. 
  • Standard dev: €12/user per month for up to 40 users. 
  • Pro dev: €20/user per month for up to 40 users. 
  • Enterprise dev: Custom priced 

Best for 

Scrum teams that are familiar with the Monday platform and want to take it further with features tailored to product development. 

5. Trello

Trello cards lists.
Trello’s cards make it easy to organize your backlog. 

Trello is a project management tool that lets you visually organize and prioritize backlog items in the form of cards. This lets you surface and organize the most relevant user stories, chunk them into manageable tasks with owners, and pull them into your sprint board. Create columns for incoming feedback, like bugs, new features, or ideas, and add a brief description and details to the card. Then, during backlog grooming, you can visually organize issues by pulling the most important ones to the top of the list. 

Key features 

  • Unlimited customizable boards and workspace commands 
  • Unlimited cards and lists to visually represent tasks and ideas 
  • Checklists to break down stories into manageable subtasks  
  • Workflows for different purposes 
  • Task assignee and due dates 
  • Calendar, timeline, table, dashboard, and map views (Premium and above) 
  • Unlimited file storage (250 MB per file on paid plans) 
  • Custom backgrounds and stickers 
  • Unlimited activity log 
  • Workspace templates 
  • Invite guests to multiple boards (on Enterprise) 
  • Unlimited integrations per board 
  • iOS and Android mobile app 


  • Free: Limited features for individuals or teams 
  • Standard: $5/month per user
  • Premium: $10/month per user 
  • Enterprise: $17.50/month per user, starting at 50 users. Discounts available for teams of 300+ users. 

Best for 

Trello is ideal for development teams of any size that want a project management tool to visualize, organize, and track stories as they move through the sprint as tasks.    

How Switchboard unites your backlog grooming tools with other apps and files

Switchboard is an online collaboration platform that helps you groom your backlog faster with fewer meetings. You can gather stakeholder feedback in real time or async and save it in your dedicated, interactive backlog grooming room. The expansive canvas in each room lets you visually organize and share your backlog grooming tool, along with other applications, files, and documents. You can work in the room by yourself or teams can flip on video to meet in the place where their backlog is ready to go. Best of all, Switchboard saves all your work so you can gather input or make changes to your backlog and know it’ll be right there waiting for you when you log in again. 

Switchboard is the best platform for sharing and discussing work. Whether you're talking to stakeholders, playing planning poker with your team, or tracking sprint progress, Switchboard brings people, applications, and conversations together in one place. The result? You can have fewer, more productive meetings, save time, and do your best work.

When you use Switchboard as the base of your tech stack, you don’t have to choose between these backlog grooming tools. You can use it as an asynchronous collaboration tool as well as in meetings to organize your team and projects in one place. 

Want to use your backlog grooming tool and a project management platform in a meeting? No problem—they all work in Switchboard with no integrations. Just set up your backlog grooming room, pull up all the apps and files in your digital workflow with a simple copy-paste and get grooming.

Switchboard backlog grooming room with apps open
Switchboard lets you keep everything and everyone organized by project or sprint. 

How to choose the right backlog grooming tool for your team

To choose the right backlog grooming tool for your team, consider the following aspects:

  • Fits your processes and supports various organizational methods, like themes, epics, and user stories so you can structure your backlog your way
  • Real-time and asynchronous collaboration features so you can move work forward efficiently and nothing slips through the cracks
  • Offers a variety of ways to visualize items, sprints, etc. 
  • Search and filtering options so you can easily find and share what you need 
  • Integrations with other tools so you can import or export key data without the manual work 
  • User-friendly and intuitive for smooth onboarding and adoption 
  • Scalable as your projects and teams grow 
  • Fits your budget
  • Offers support during onboarding and beyond so you can quickly realize value 

Backlog grooming tools: Supercharge your processes

Keeping your backlog in order is no easy task, especially if you’re still doing it manually in a spreadsheet and juggling calendars to schedule calls with stakeholders. In this post, we’ve outlined five backlog grooming tools that’ll make your life easier. Trello, Jira, Monday Dev, Yodiz, and PivotalTracker. All of them offer not only backlog management but also collaboration and project management features so you can stay organized before, during, and after backlog refinement. 

You can also use Switchboard as a home base for all your teams, your backlog grooming tool, and your projects. You can set up dedicated rooms to connect with stakeholders, discuss with your team, and work on the backlog grooming tool of your choice side by side—without sharing screens or links. 

Get organized, stay organized. 
Switchboard rooms save all your backlog apps and spreadsheets in one central place—so you can always find what you’re looking for. 
Sign up free

Frequently asked questions about backlog grooming tools 

What are product backlog grooming techniques? 

Some product backlog grooming techniques include:

  • Running regular collaborative sessions with team members and relevant stakeholders to review priorities and the backlog
  • Writing and including new user stories, improving or adding detail to old user stories, and breaking down large user stories into smaller tasks so they’re clear and actionable. The DEEP format can be helpful here. The acronym stands for Detailed, Estimated, Emergent, and Prioritized.
  • Estimating effort involved in backlog items using story points, hours, or even T-shirt sizes (small, medium, large, x-large) to understand the cost and prioritize them 
  • Removing unnecessary backlog inclusions, such as old user stories, bugs, and technical work, to maintain a clean and focused backlog

How do you run an effective backlog grooming? 

You run an effective backlog grooming by preparing the backlog in advance of the meeting. To do this, meet with stakeholders to understand company and customer goals and priorities. Then, order the backlog accordingly and add any detail necessary for the team to understand user stories. Then, during the backlog grooming session, they can estimate the effort involved in each one so you can select items for inclusion in the upcoming sprint.  

What tool can be used for backlog management? 

Tools that can be used for backlog management include Monday Dev, Trello, Jira, Yodiz, and PivotalTracker, among others. You can also use Switchboard for real-time and asynchronous collaboration by creating dedicated rooms to meet and work on any of these tools side by side. 

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Get organized, stay organized.

Switchboard rooms save all your backlog apps and spreadsheets in one central place—so you can always find what you’re looking for.