Product Backlog

product backlog
product backlog

The product backlog is one of the main artefacts in scrum. It represents all the list of the things what we want to do to increment the product.

The main rules of the product backlog

Here are the main rules to know about the backlog :

  • the product owner is the (only) responsible of it
  • it’s ordered
  • each thing is qualified by a value 
  • the single source of requirements for any changes on the product
  • it’s never completed (evolution over time)

Variable scope

The notion of “variability” is very important for a product backlog. Scrum is an agile framework and we have to accept that the scope of the product can change everytime.

agile iron triangle

In agile as this picture above show, the scope is variable. It’s one of the key of agility.  The backlog have to adapt every time to the context : new needs, new constraints, new change from feedback…

Multiple teams

When some teams works on the same product, they have to work on the same backlog. We have just one backlog for one product.

The team can use a product backlog attribute to define the item groups. 

Product backlog items

All things in the backlog is called items. The items can represent :

  • features
  • functions
  • requirements
  • enhancements
  • fixes

They must have a description, one value, one estimate, an order and the test descriptions to ensure what define that these items will be “done”. These items are deemed “ready” (it’s possible that it’s not the case) and can be “done” in one sprint.

With the product backlog refinement concept, we increase the transparency on the backlog.

How to manage our backlog?

We can find a lot of article about this topic ; however, scrum doesn’t describe how to manage the backlog. The use of user-story is not a mandatory and you have the right to user another methods.

Here are interesting articles to help you to find the good way to manage your backlog:

Product Backlog Refinement
Product backlog, from theme to user-stories!
3 amigos in agile
Value Driven-Development (VDD) to deliver
Make a planning release in agile
Nonfunctional Requirements (NFR) in Scrum?
Let’s work on our features with MMF
Planning Poker: estimate your user stories
3C model for the social aspect of user-stories
How to create your user stories?

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