What Is a Sprint Backlog? Definition and Complete Guide

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what is backlog

While others remain in the queue until more immediate priorities arise. With a backlog, product managers know their team always has a set of next-up tasks, which will keep the product’s development moving forward. With a range of estimation tools, online sticky notes, and Jira integrations, are sales an asset or liability if so why Miro makes managing the backlog refinement process easier than ever. Teams can collaborate in real-time regardless of their location, making refinement sessions more efficient and engaging. An effective product backlog is crucial to the success of any Agile project.

This is usually done using a unit of measurement agreed upon by the team, such as story points or hours. The Product Owner explains the item’s requirements and importance, and the Development Team asks questions or seeks clarifications. All stakeholders have a clear view of what is to be done, reducing ambiguity and confusion.

Now, if I was getting married, there’s a list of things that are important to me as a married couple. Certainly want to have some invitations, maybe a church, definitely some wedding rings, and obviously the bride and groom are really important. Explore Scrum Alliance certifications to find the path that’s right for you. No matter your profession or your goals, there’s a course that will equip you with the skills and resources to practice agility in a real-world context. The log is then stored in a shared space for stakeholders and Scrum masters to review during a retrospective meeting to evaluate what went well and what didn’t.

  1. Sometimes, what seems like a solid, carefully considered idea to one person, may not make much sense to another.
  2. A burndown chart helps decide whether your team’s current workload is too heavy or too light.
  3. The team using the product backlog determines the format they chose to use and looks to the backlog items as reminders of the aspects of a solution they may work on.
  4. As the market or customer requirements change, the backlog adapts, ensuring that the team is always working on the most relevant tasks.
  5. The team refines the sprint backlog each day during the daily scrum, where participants discuss progress, changes, and impediments to the sprint.

In other words, a backlog is a record of what needs to be done and in which order it should be done. Because all the work for a product flows through the backlog, the product backlog provides a base for iteration planning. As your team prioritizes tasks with guidance from the product owner, they’ll also determine how much work they can commit to in a specified block of time. An essential component of managing the product backlog is prioritizing tasks. As the Scrum master, you should have a thorough understanding of what new features stakeholders want to see in the product. Here are some strategies on how to prioritize backlog list items.

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As the name suggests, an opportunity backlog is a list of opportunities you wish to explore further. A backlog is a list of things you must, should, could, or would like to do. In many cases, these lender backlogs resulted in situations where delinquent borrowers were able to remain in their homes for several years without making any mortgage payments. The housing recovery did not begin in earnest until such backlogs were mostly cleared. One month, the company unveils a new T-shirt design that quickly catches on among college students.

what is backlog

Sometimes a couple will place things on a backlog—at the bottom, to indicate they are not yet priority tasks—as a springboard for further discussion. They may guide discussions, help resolve conflicts, and ensure that the team adheres to the time-boxed refinement sessions. The Scrum Master also helps the team understand and implement good practices for refinement, including effective techniques for estimation and splitting user stories. While the Scrum Master does not have a direct role in prioritizing or defining backlog items, they play a facilitator’s role during the refinement process. The Scrum Master ensures that the process runs smoothly, fostering effective communication between the Product Owner and the Development Team. The team provides estimates on the effort and complexity of each backlog item, contributing their expertise to break down larger items into smaller, manageable tasks.

All the work the developers are doing is visible on the sprint backlog. The sprint goal the team commits to must be contained in a single place where everyone can see it, such as at the top of the sprint backlog. A user story has one or more acceptance criteria that would be met when the user story is implemented. The developers then collaborate to decide how they will work on particular user stories.

A backlog is a list of tasks required to support a larger strategic plan. For example, a product development context contains a prioritized list of items. Typical items on a product backlog include user stories, changes to existing functionality, and bug fixes. The team decides who does what work, how they do it, and how they’ll provide value in service of their product goals. In the sprint planning event, developers should select the items for the sprint backlog. The entire scrum team collaborates to create a sprint goal, and the product owner may offer guidance about the relationship between PBIs and the sprint goal as needed.

User stories

It’s a term that comes from working in an agile, iterative environment. To avoid wasting time, plan the sprint schedule by creating a document that outlines the sprint planning from end to end. Organizing and prioritizing tasks is vital to help your team focus on what is most important.

Product creation begins with an idea, and it takes a dedicated team to create something special. Yes, even the iPhone was once just a prototype that made its way to mainstream popularity thanks to the right team. https://accountingcoaching.online/ When managing a Scrum team of developers, staying organized is crucial for product success. Once the backlog grows beyond the team’s long term capacity, it’s okay to close issues the team will never get to.

What is Backlog?

Files and images can be attached to kanban cards, which can then be prioritized and tagged to make them easier to find. Optional techniques like size or story point estimation can help teams understand their capacity and construct realistic sprint backlogs. Sizing and estimation techniques are not part of the scrum framework, so your scrum team can choose any technique you all find helpful. The developers, often collaborating with the product owner for additional information, populate the sprint backlog with product backlog items. Everyone can see the backlog and see where and how collaboration must happen to complete product backlog items. For example, software engineers commonly create tech debt items and designers point out usability glitches.

Backlog Refinement

Follow these four steps to develop an effective product backlog. You create a product backlog from the product roadmap, which explains the plan of action for the product’s evolution. Developers use the tasks in the product backlog to get to their desired outcomes as quickly as possible. Occasionally, there are multiple product backlogs with multiple teams working on one larger product. Each of these smaller products would have its own product backlog and designated teams for development.

A sprint occurs within a specified timeframe, so the project team needs a well-defined backlog to ensure they stay on track with their tasks. A strong sprint backlog ensures that work can and will be completed during that time period. Team capacity is a major component of sprint planning, affecting which tasks the team includes in the sprint backlog. Once a task is on the backlog, it needs an owner who can execute the work of the sprint backlog to complete the task. Meaningful product backlog items describe problems, why they matter, and expected outcomes. Creating a backlog can be done in many different ways, with the most common method being to create user stories.

Conversely, the presence of a product backlog item on a product backlog does not guarantee that it will be delivered. It represents an option the team has for delivering a specific outcome rather than a commitment. When done well, the roadmap lays out the relative prioritization and timing of key strategic themes. The roadmap’s high-level view does not list specific and detailed items of an individual backlog item. Sprint planning sessions rely on the backlog to scope, size, and slot development tasks and references.

These are software features written from the perspective of the end user within a workflow. A sprint backlog is a list of work items your team plans to complete during a project sprint. These items are usually pulled from the product backlog during the sprint planning session.

We’ve outlined backlog grooming even further in this video below. If the backlog grows too large or lacks any consistent, coherent organization, it can quickly shift from a valuable resource to an unsalvageable mess. Great ideas, key customer requests, and crucial technical debt issues carry equal weight.

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