What is a Product Backlog?

what is backlog

Perhaps the best way to think of a product backlog is as a “living” document which reflects the progress of the project. It is an ever-evolving list of action items, some of which may be removed further down the line, replaced with more pertinent activities. Sure, the product roadmap is the reference point for the overall vision of a development project. But zoom in a little closer, and you’ll see that the roadmap itself is made up of many smaller tasks. A well-managed backlog sketches out the strategic product plan and eliminates the uncertainty with mapped-out tasks, plans, and goals for the product’s future. A sprint backlog[6] consists of selected elements from the product backlog which are planned to be developed within that particular sprint.

what is backlog

Product backlog vs. sprint backlog

To ensure that you’re sticking to the sprint schedule, you’ll want to track the progress of those sprints. You can use a project management tool such as kanban boards, Gantt charts or a task list that shows the percentage complete. While the entire cross-functional agile team works together on the backlog, the product owner owns it. In most cases, the product owner (or product manager) holds responsibility for organizing and maintaining the product backlog. However, it is general advice to allow various members of the cross-functional team to contribute items to the backlog.

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  1. PMs then translate what they learn into a product roadmap, which is a high-level strategic plan.
  2. Learn how and why is it important to run a backlog refinement session with Atlassian’s backlog refinement guide.
  3. In addition to the product owner, the meetings are attended by product managers, the scrum master, and at least one representative from the development team.
  4. Effective product owners seek input and feedback from customers, designers, and the development team to optimize everyone’s workload and the product delivery.
  5. All of these challenges can be overcome with a clear, strategic, and collaborative product backlog management process.

The product owner shares the product backlog with the entire team, opening it up for discussion before every sprint. The team prioritizes together, having conversations around what’s important. These discussions create better collaboration among team members, supporting innovation. As one of the foundational scrum artifacts, the agile backlog offers structure and actionability to product development.

What is a product backlog in agile?

what is backlog

The team may establish a definition of ready to indicate their agreement on the information they’d like to have available in order to start working on a product backlog item. Product backlog items that are not slated for work may be fairly broad and have little detail. Backlog grooming is a collaborative effort that includes the entire project team. However, running a backlog refinement meeting can fall to a product owner, product manager, project manager, and/or Scrum master. If the backlog is not up to date, the project team may find it challenging to prioritize work.

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Developers use the tasks in the product backlog to get to their desired outcomes as quickly as possible. When done well, the roadmap lays out the relative prioritization and timing of key strategic themes. The roadmap’s high-level view does not list specific and detailed items of an individual backlog item.

what is backlog

The justices are weighing whether to uphold a federal law that seeks to protect domestic violence victims by keeping guns away from the people alleged to have abused them. An appeals court struck down a law that prohibits people under domestic violence restraining orders from possessing firearms. Learn how and why is it important to run a backlog refinement session with Atlassian’s backlog refinement guide. Regardless of the method, reprioritization is an ongoing and regular grooming activity. Sprint reviews are a good opportunity to reprioritize during an active sprint.

Story Maps and information radiators can provide a clear picture of your backlog for the team and stakeholders. Yes, you want team members to add their ideas in the form of user stories — this is key to collaborative working and innovative thinking. Not only is it easier to assign tasks when everything is clearly itemized, but backlogs are also digital conversation-starters, encouraging cross-team discussion of the entire project roadmap. Product managers naturally take a macro view of the entire development process, and can easily align the how and why of each key milestone — but the same may not be true for development teams.

At best, they might work on out-of-date tasks or requests, wasting time and resources. At worst, the list could grow so long that it becomes nearly impossible to prioritize tasks. A well-groomed product backlog is essential for any team practicing an Agile methodology. Like every process in agile, rinse and repeat your product backlog management. Creating and managing the product backlog is one of the product owner’s most critical responsibilities. Getting it right will set the foundation for successful agile product development.

It becomes the central tool for communication and keeps everyone aligned on goals and expectations. A feature, also known as a user story, is a function of the product that the product user finds valuable. Features can be complex—often referred to as epics—or they the difference between fixed cost and variable cost can be simple. Creating a story map can help your team determine what the user needs most. Read on to find out what a product backlog includes and how to create one for your team. Backlog refinement focuses on adjusting, estimating, and ranking the issues.

In this journey, the product backlog converts the vision and roadmap into actionable tasks. It shows the development team how their daily work contributes to the business and serves as the superset https://www.accountingcoaching.online/relevant-cost-of-labor/ of features for sprint backlogs. The entire development team is responsible for the sprint backlog. This shared ownership requires the input of the product owner, project manager, and sprint team.

Your team chooses which product backlog items to work on in a sprint and puts them on the sprint backlog. The team uses the product backlog and their current workload to determine which tasks are feasible to complete within the sprint’s timeframe. If it’s too large, it’s broken https://www.adprun.net/ into smaller tasks and executed across multiple sprints. Teams find that backlog refinement is most successful when done collaboratively in a recurring  meeting. Backlog refinement needs to happen before each sprint planning meeting which is usually every two weeks.