Product Backlog
Product Backlog


This article seems like a 180-degree turn, being the one always flourishing the agile and scrum technology, this article stands on a bit odd platform. However, this is also essential for our readers so that they can effectively put up with this new methodology. Hence to give the 360-degree view of the effectiveness and the involved operations this is essential. A direct jump into the world of agile sometimes proves to be harmful if you don’t know the twists and turns involved which can lead to losses in the business. So in this article, we shall discuss when you should not adopt agile and the trailing reasons. Each and every step has to be defined in a refined manner in order to have a company, which works efficiently in synchronization with the agile framework. Following are the pre-requisites to immerse the business model into the agile. For more information about CSM Certification please visit StarAgile site.

  1. Always have a crystal clear vision and associated objective
  2. A synchronized business case is just to survive in an agile environment
  3. A predefined sprint forms a backbone
  4. An effective product backlog

These four points act as four pillars on which the dynamic business model stands. Each and every one of them has an equally important role but in this article, we shall discuss the role of the product backlog and describe the misunderstanding and misinterpretations and when is the case where you don’t need to use the agile or the agile can actually backfire instead of moving forward.

What is the Product Backlog Item?

In agile methodology, the work is done in steps or sprints. There are a timeline and a goal associated with each step which one has to complete. So before starting the work, the intended stakeholders and the team has to form a list where all the requirements are listed according to the product to be formed and the timeline associated. The requirements collectively are known as product backlog items. The term backlog specifically refers to the fact that the requirements discussed have still not been incorporated in the current business model. So the product backlogs are the set of items which we need to insert in order to get an efficient product as required.

What is not a Product Backlog Item?

Knowing what is product backlog is a simpler task, however knowing what product backlog item is not, is a more important and cumbersome chore. The most important thing to be considered is not to confuse the technical specifications and requirements with the product backlog items. The product backlog items include user specific details such as customer requirements, client specifications, sales related areas, etc. The reason for this technical emission is to keep the backlogs small and manageable.

Procedure to make an effective Product Backlog

To ensure that the product backlogs are defined and aligned according to the demands and the requirements of the business stakeholders, the associated teams can follow the following simple steps-

  1. Create the user stories associated with the product
  2. Find the issues involved in the user stories
  3. Define the issues in detail
  4. Rank the items derived according to the end product

Each business model has tonnes of user stories attached to it. These user stories form a backbone to derive the requirements. Once the issues associated with all the user stories are defined in detail, the team has to rank the items according to the end product priorities and stakeholders demands along with the associated business requirements and time frame.

Estimation techniques involved in Product Backlog

In general, there are two types of estimations involved which are Absolute estimation and Relative estimation. These two are discussed in detail as follows-

  1. Absolute estimation- It is the traditional approach to estimating the whole project. It involves the entire project hence can be inexplicable long and hence tiresome for the whole team. This method is more prone to errors but has an upper hand as it is easy to use.
  2. Relative estimation- It is a sophisticated technique for estimating the product backlog. It involves a relative approach, in which all the development teams have to work in synchronization. The technique is entirely different. Hence the team members need proper mentoring to implement this approach. However, it has proven to be cumbersome. But the area where accuracy is of utmost importance, this estimation provides the most glitch-free results.

How to manage the product backlog?

The businesses in the world are fast transforming to the agile environment, and here we are talking about how not be agile. So one must consider this article to be premised from where one can learn the mistakes and transform more swiftly towards the agile environment. Here are the few methods with which we can manage the product backlog and jump into the bumpy world of agile.

  • Effective estimation of PBI is one of the most crucial tasks
  • A regular control over product backlog by product owner must be given due importance in the agile environment.
  • Coaching and mentoring of the team members are must at every step. They must be regularly updated technologically.
  • Product backlog and the value of the business involved must always be in synchronization.
  • Smaller the product backlog better will be the results and higher the accuracy.
  • Continuously change the priorities according to the market and client requirements
  • Use your imagination beyond the client and customer requirements. As imagination can do wonders in the business world.

Every business has to change according to the changing world so as to survive and flourish. But it is better to know both the pros and cons of the transformation so as to make an effective lead instead of the blind fall. An agile methodology can be very effective for the business, but one must take care of the specifications before the transformation takes place. A product backlog is a very important parameter on which the product-shaping stands. So let us get into this world with our skillful swords along with armor of awareness.