The Product Backlog

What is a product backlog?

  • A list of all the work yet to be done.
  • A ranked list of briefly-described feature requests. Ideally, these should be broken down into user stories.

Why is the product backlog important?

  • It is constructed and designed so a delivery team can provide estimates for each feature.
  • It helps guide roadmap planning. Having a list of features whose rank can be changed allows us to welcome new ideas and changes in direction.
  • It helps teams focus on delivering the highest value first; teams rank and re-rank for value.

Characteristics of the product backlog

  • One backlog per product, seeded by large to very large features
    Note: Backlogs can be worked on by a single team or by multiple teams.
  • Feature ranking is based on business value, technical value, risk management, and strategic fit
  • Highest ranked backlog items are decomposed during release planning into stories that can be completed inside an iteration


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