What Is Product Backlog? Product Backlog Examples

📘 Read our guide to incorporating user story points to start using this technique. Let’s examine what each of the four key attributes of a good product backlog entails. These questions are vital to ask before the next sprint, because it gives the product owner an opportunity to answer them.

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Then they can be saved as a PDF or printed out and shared with stakeholders to keep them updated on progress. Every project view feeds automatically into the live dashboard, which doesn’t require any time-consuming setup as you’ll find in other software. The real-time dashboard captures data and automatically calculates the information to display it in easy-to-read graphs and charts. The product owner can view six project metrics whenever they want to monitor the sprint and remove any roadblocks they find.

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Unlike other parts of the agile methodology , backlog refinement doesn’t have an across-the-board ideal cadence. Rather, the scrum team can set up the backlog grooming meeting whenever they feel it’s the most effective, efficient, and inclusive for attendees. However, there are a few popular cadences that typically work well. Your team can maximize its efforts by prioritizing the backlog items that will provide the most value to customers at any given time.

deep backlog

Then beneath the highest-level backlog are multiple area backlogs, which each describe a specific feature area and are managed by a designated product owner. Add new user stories that correspond to needs recently identified. Finally, identify roadblocks relating to the backlog items.

Benefits and outcomes of backlog grooming

The emergent nature of the product backlog is not only expected but is a sign of a healthy and functioning product backlog. Being adept at prioritizing tasks and maintaining a clean backlog allows you to start thinking about user stories and formulating the next sprints. Once the current sprint is complete, planning the next ones will come easier if the backlog stays groomed. “We’ve had some teams try to do more of a classic two weeks scrum model — with daily stand-ups, backlog grooming meetings, etc.

We aim to make our app as user-friendly and accessible as possible to shorten and improve the onboarding time of new employees. Moreover, we are preparing a multi-language app interface containing a set of available translations and more. Users will customize the language used in the app or even create new translations, depending on their internal operational needs.

No matter the name, it can either be a recurring meeting or ongoing activity that helps development teams prioritize the right stories and avoid chaos and confusion. Real-time data helps you make more insightful decisions when in a backlog refinement meeting, which leads to more successful sprints. When it comes to grooming sessions, efficiency is everything. You must keep things flowing and ensure that discussions stick to the plan. To keep things moving, some teams elect to apply time limitations to each user narrative.

Who owns the backlog?

Below is a step-by-step guide to creating a product backlog. In the software world, the team can choose to go with the speedy code to free up more time for feature development. It is done to meet the deadlines but it can cause more harm than good if not managed properly.

  • Product Backlog helps you understand the main goal, and achieve it by breaking it down into smaller, more manageable chunks.
  • When we approach refinement as a collective responsibility, there is an intrinsic shared understanding of the required work.
  • We’ll cover all of these attributes in detail, including how you can ensure your product backlog is in good health.
  • In these meetings, product managers and product owners can easily explain the strategic purposes behind prioritized items in their backlog to help improve the alignment across groups.
  • Create detailed content that everyone can absorb, as inclusive information keeps everyone informed and able to contribute.
  • Moreover, we are preparing a multi-language app interface containing a set of available translations and more.

The not-so-important ideas need to be pushed back to either delete them completely or put them on the lowest priority. Estimated- is important for understanding the cost implications on story points and ideas. Users will soon be able to align the objectives with scheduled works to drive execution. Furthermore, key results of the objectives could be tracked and measured. The former allows breaking the biggest, most ambitious goals into smaller, more manageable, and transparent elements.

It forces teams to deliver their product more rapidly and ensures the organization is moving forward on schedule. A well-groomed backlog reduces the time spent on planning sprints and increases the productivity of everyone involved in building the product. The most significant way to motivate your team ahead of sprint planning is by grooming the backlog beforehand. This helps teams push forward continuously and increases the team’s overall efficiency. Product backlogs are there to help us handle our tasks more efficiently, helping us establish what we should be working on right now.

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It’s a poor use of time to add details to lower priority items since you never know how the backlog is going to evolve. You could waste a lot of time detailing low-priority items when they might be removed or revised later on in the process. Backlog items represent what it will take to develop a new product or improve an existing one with new features.

However, it is not recommended to devote too much time to these sessions. The consensus is that a backlog grooming session should last 45 minutes to an hour. The product backlog is a list of tasks/assignments that must be completed for a specific project. The tasks within the backlog are often prioritized and the teams pick them up in the order that ensures the fastest and swiftest workflow. The team must aim to resolve any foreseeable obstacles as soon as possible before a sprint starts.

deep backlog

A backlog grooming session is generally led by the product owner. The best way to be efficient about grooming agile sessions is to keep things moving and ensure conversations don’t become sidetracked. Most teams decide that a project manager, Scrum master, or facilitator helps keep people on track during meetings.

Achieving a DEEP Product Backlog

Have a conversation with more senior team members to detail backlog items or give estimates. Their input helps depth the understanding of your project’s direction and can support certain decisions you may contemplate. While a plan with stated goals is critical to intelligent backlog grooming, that doesn’t mean it has to stay the same.

Discuss the feedback from external and internal stakeholders and determine if it’s important enough to change or add items to the backlog. Then, using this vertical slice as a reference, determine rough estimates for other vertical slices that have not been estimated. Finer grain estimates can be created with additional refinement – and this deep backlog may be justified when approaching key milestones when peoples need for certainty increases. Emergent—The product backlog reflects real-time business needs and priorities. It should be a swift river where new ideas become finished work, not a stagnant marsh. Include fresh discoveries in the backlog or the product could become obsolete.

Although product backlog management is the responsibility of the Product Owner, the whole team can participate in refinement. This collaborative process removes the typical anti-pattern of passing stories to the development team with no context. When we approach refinement as a collective responsibility, there is an intrinsic shared understanding of the required work. We can pack stories with so much information that no one has the time or desire to read them or supply so few details they’d fit on a fortune cookie strip. DEEP stands for detailed, emergent, estimated and prioritized. You want more detail for the user stories in your backlog.

A Deep Dive into Agile Product Backlog Grooming

That can mean removing outdated user stories and tasks, adding new user stories that come from newly discovered insights or breaking larger user stories into smaller ones. You might reorder the user stories on your backlog, or better describe them to avoid issues later. Assignments and estimates might change and you can identify and remove roadblocks if possible. Product backlog refinement is the process by which the scrum team keeps its backlog in good order. Near the end of a sprint, the scrum team will meet and look over their backlog to make sure it’s ready for the upcoming sprint. Appropriately Detailed — Cross-functional teams must understand user stories and other things in the backlog that will be completed shortly.

Use the DEEP framework

This keeps you working on your sprint and adjusting it according to the most current data, which boosts productivity. Kanban boards are the preferred tool when managing a backlog, but that can be done on a task list, too. People work differently and our tool is designed to https://globalcloudteam.com/ accommodate various work styles with multiple project views. Other departments might use the Gantt chart, sheet or calendar to track the project. No matter which view they’re using, the data they’re seeing is current and in real time to keep everyone on the same page.

When working in an agile environment, teams take sprints, a short period of time in which you complete tasks. Scrum teams choose this work by looking over their backlog. Task automation and approvals can help your team stay focused in the sprint meetings.

Attendees of Backlog Grooming

Have your team label the Backlog items according to the work required. There will be different opinions about prioritizing and organizing the team during development. However, there is a joint commitment among the people involved to create the best product.

User Stories are not equal – each item can have a different size, importance, and level of description’s detail. The closer the developers are to work on those items, the smaller the user stories should be. As the team discusses a backlog item, it’s crucial to identify any roadblocks that might impede progress. Depending on the type of issue, it may be advantageous to dedicate an entire, separate session to a roadblock or set of roadblocks. Now that we understand what backlog grooming is, let’s review where it fits into the scrum process. Move low-priority items to a separate list, making the Backlog list shorter and easier to understand.

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