Product Backlog

Product Backlog in Agile Projects

The Product Backlog consists of an ordered list of features, bugs, and other Product Requirements. Maintaining the Product Backlog is the responsibility of the Scrum Team and the Product Owner is responsible for prioritizing it. Requirement Prioritisation is based on risk, Business Value, dependencies, and any scheduled Requirement dates while changing task prioritization requires the consent of the Product Owner.

59 Seconds Agile - Product Backlog in Agile Projects
59 Seconds Agile – Product Backlog in Agile Projects

Product Backlog Priorities

.Since Agile looks to prioritize the highest business value items, the higher the priority of a Requirement, the greater the level of detail required.  The Product Owner should then focus on ensuring that the next items to be developed are the highest business value items and these items should also be feasible.  Requirements are identified, decomposed, and refined throughout the Project.

Product Backlog Planning

Planning Agile Projects begins with forming the Product Roadmap from the Product Vision Statement.   The Product Roadmap should, therefore, support the Product Vision and should also include requirements for the Product Backlog. Breaking down the Product Roadmap into a Release Plan can then occur, where the release plan is a high-level timetable for releasing a set of product requirements. The Release Plan should especially include the highest priority requirements for the product release. Additionally, these requirements are broken down further into smaller tasks to be completed within a Sprint.  During the Sprint Planning meeting discussing and estimating the sprint tasks occurs.


Firstly estimating the effort involved in developing the product backlog requirements is a continuous and time-consuming process.  This process could be conducted incrementally by spreading the effort over daily 30 minute sessions for example, or a larger weekly session each Friday for example.  

Furthermore estimating occurs in three stages:

* Product Backlog

* Release Planning

* Sprint Planning

The Product Owner is responsible for defining the highest priority items and the development team members are responsible for estimating the duration and effort for each of the tasks.  The development team is responsible for estimating these tasks during the Sprint Planning Meeting. The estimating of the tasks by the Development Team is stated in Story Points (often using the Fibonacci Sequence).   These tasks will then become the User Stories to be completed during the Sprint.

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