Backlog in Scrum
TOPICS COVERED IN THIS GUIDE:
Introduction to Backlog in Scrum
The backlog is a list of everything from features, enhancements, bugs, and user requirements needed to build a complete product.
The product backlog is the single source of truth that a team needs to work on and teams don’t work on anything that isn’t on the product backlog. On the other hand, adding a work item to a backlog doesn’t necessarily guarantee that it will be worked upon and get shipped.
It is usually never complete and is always evolving as your team gathers new information about your user’s needs and your product’s market.
Adding a work item into your backlog should be fast, easy, and simple to do, so team members can add any bug reported or user requirement quickly and get back to work.
Similarly, it should be easy to remove an item that does not result in direct progress to achieving a desired outcome or enable progress toward the outcome.
With work items continously getting added and removed from the backlog, the Product Owner prioritizes the backlog to ensure the development team works only on the most important task at any given point of time.
Once prioritized, the development team then works on them either using an iterative approach (by running Sprints) or a continous approach (tracking on a Kanban).
Keeping Your Backlog Organized
As your backlog grows big, it is important to keep it organized and groomed.
Product owners should review the backlog before the next sprint planning meeting and ensure that the priorities set are right, the prioritized items have all the right information, and the feedback from the previous Sprint has been incorporated.
When the backlog gets unmanageable, product owners get together to group all items in the backlog based on the company’s near-term goals and long-term goals.
Once categorized based on near-term and long-term goals, the product owners should then ensure all items in the near-term goals are fully fleshed out, described, and estimated. That way, prioritizing work items grouped under short-term goals is easier.