Tips to efficiently manage product backlog

What is Product backlog?

It is simply a list of all items that needs to be done within the project.

Importance of Product backlog?

Product backlog is like strategic planning; it acts as the foundation for a project. Be it a small team or big team product backlog provides a sense of direction and outlines measurable goals. it’s a tool that is useful for guiding day-to-day decisions and for evaluating progress and changing approaches when moving forward.

Product Backlog Is the most important part of the agile product development. It is the root artifact for the team, product owner and Testing Team.

It is usually seen that whenever someone starts transition to Agile, it works well for few days or weeks and then the inertia is lost and hence the team is lost.

Reason being after few sprints, the team have to deal with the following issues: –

  • New User stories logged.
  • Increasing product backlog items.
  • Increasing number of sprints.
  • Unplanned Technical debts
  • Increasing the number of bugs in the system and thus confusing the team.

Why it happens?

It is because we are not giving time to backlog management.

Backlog management is also called Grooming of backlog which basically includes: –

  • Categorization-What needs to be accomplished i.e. source of features and work to draw from.
  • Prioritization– Sorted by Importance of a item i.e. and plan for completion within the time period and value it add to the product

How to manage Product backlog?

There are few ways, we can manage well our product backlog

  1. Use a tool-Using a tool for managing your agile product team’s data is very crucial because you need a system to enable you to view your items and stories with their status at any point of time.
  2. Get into habit of updating description in detail as and when requirement is more clear
  3. Update the status of items regularly.
  4. Follow a workflow within the team. For example: – User story-> Breakdown into items -> Brainstorm and add description to each item -> Assign to development team -> assign to testing team-> assign to product owner -< close /reopen item workflow
  5. Product Owner should be in the habit to review the backlog on regular basis. At least he should review the new items on daily basis
  6. Have weekly or monthly review of old backlog and see if each backlog item still valuable or performance additive?
  7. Enable greater collaboration over the tool.


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