Agile Product Backlogs | Perforce software (2023)

Learn the basics of agile product backlogs. Keep reading or skip to the section that interests you most:

  • What is a Product Backlog?
  • An agile backlog example
  • Backlog do Produto Agile vs. Backlog do Sprint
  • Product backlog items with examples
  • How to create a product backlog (video)

What is a Product Backlog?

In agile development, there is a product backloga prioritized list of deliverables (e.g. new features) that must be implemented as part of a project or product development.

It's a decision-making artifact that helps you evaluate, refine, and prioritize everything you do.maybe sometime in the futurewant to complete.

This helps ensure that the team is working on the most important and valuable features, fixing the most important bugs, or doing other important work that is critical to the development of the product.

The backlog is therefore extremely useful in situations where you can't quite get everything done (which is most situations) or in contexts where even a little planning goes a long way (which is most cases). contexts).

Many see this backlog as a to-do list and define it as such, as a list of things you must do to get your product to market.

actually it isnot necessarilya to-do list. Think of it as a wish list.

Think of the product backlog as a wish list – not a to-do list.


When we view the backlog as a wish list, we invite flexibility and change. In this way, we enable true agility and give the organization the power it needs to win in today's marketplace: the power to change your mind.

In this context, the purpose of the backlog boils down to three simple objectives.

  • Develop common ground to align stakeholders and teams so that teams implement the most valuable user stories.
  • Offer flexibility to adapt to new needs and realities.
  • Improve the accuracy of product release forecasts by creating a common denominator for many teams collaborating on a product.

This backlog is typically fed through a strategic roadmap and then broken down into themes, epics, sprints, and user stories. Most include items that would be completed in the next quarter or fiscal year.

Agile Product Backlogs | Perforce software (1)


Agile backlog example

Agile Product Backlogs | Perforce software (2)

You might be wondering what this decision artifact should look like?

Honestly, it's hard to give a useful example. That's because a well-built backlog is what he needs to help teams build the most valuable product in the time available.

In this definition, there is little to copy and paste!

This is because the form must be shaped as much by the product as it is by the processes and needs of the team that creates and champions it.

In its simplest form, a backlog is for a team and focused on goals. These goals are broken down into valuable features and user stories, which are in turn prioritized, valued, refined and broken down accordingly.

Below is aProduct backlog examplefor a social media game. It is organized by themes, features and user stories.

Agile Product Backlogs | Perforce software (3)

Agile product backlogs. Sprint backlog

Content, granularity, and immediacy are the three main differences between Product Backlogs and Sprint Backlogs.

Agile Product Backlogs | Perforce software (4)

In short, the sprint backlog is the short-term plan for the team's sprint. The Product Backlog is the long-term plan for the product, which breaks the vision down into concrete deliverables that add value to the product. Many consider the sprint backlog to be a subset of the product backlog. Ideally, this is true; The sprint backlog consists exclusively of items from the product backlog. In practice, however, a sprint backlog includes other tasks that the team is committed to.

Das Product-Backlogit's a container for the work you think you'll be doing in the future to keep your product competitive. It is the result of the product owner collaborating with stakeholders (customers, staff, analysts). It changes frequently as items are added or removed on a regular basis. It will usually be larger than the sprint backlog. There will also be items with a mix of granularity; with fewer items split below the user story level. It is monitored by the Product Owner.

The sprint backlogit's a container for the work the team has committed to, now as part of the sprint (usually a period of one to four weeks). It is the result of a sprint planning meeting in which the team participates. Ideally, the sprint backlog doesn't change during the sprint. It consists of user stories that the team has committed to delivering within the next sprint timeline. But it could also contain bugs, refactoring work, and so on. It's typically more granular and tasked, with a focus on the technical execution of a user story. It is the responsibility of the Scrum Master and the team.

Examples of Product Backlog Items

Four main categories of items (so-called Product Backlog Items) fall under the Product Backlog. Two of them are clearly visible to customers - features and bugs. The other two, technical debt and research, are invisible to customers but cannot be ignored.

In an agile organization, product backlog items are often written as user stories, although they don't always have to be. They can also be written as traditional requirements documents or in other ways.

Written as user stories, product backlog items usually take the following form:

As a <stakeholder>, I want to <act> with this <benefit>.

1. New features

New feature requests come from many sources. This includes end users, sales, support, product management, and so on. New features can be the hardest to prioritize when trying to balance competing needs:

  • Satisfy existing customers.
  • Discover short-term sales opportunities.
  • Work towards a long-term vision for your product.

The Product Owner must routinely monitor these sources and resolve any conflicting requests. This ensures that the backlog contains new features that will attract new customers and retain existing customers.

As a <new feature>, I want to be <properly understood and prioritized> so that I can <deliver maximum value to customers and owners>.

2. Technical Debt

Technical debt includes work that must be performed to keep the product up-to-date and maintainable. Examples of PBIs for dealing with technical debt include updating to the latest third-party libraries, architectural changes to support better scalability, or refactoring the source code to avoid future maintenance issues. When technical debt accumulates - intentionally or unknowingly - you risk delaying product launches.

Technical debt is often the result of changes related to:

  • direction and range.
  • Performance and scalability expectations.
  • Technology or Best Practices.

These types of PBIs are often referred to as "technical debt" due to their similarity to financial debt; You have to pay interest for that, but in the form of a longer development lifecycle. These tasks should be added to the backlog and then prioritized along with features and shortcomings for inclusion in the planning cycle.

As a <technical debt>, I want to be <understood and prioritized correctly> so that <we can maintain and improve the product without delay>.

3. Error

Bugs and defects are issues discovered by end users that have escaped QA during development. In a waterfall process, testing is often the final step in the development lifecycle. It's quite common to submit a live release with a large collection of minor (and sometimes moderate) bugs. Bugs tend to accumulate over time if not fixed. These are sometimes managed in an issue tracker, but they can also be included as part of the backlog.

As a <bug>, I want to be <understood and prioritized accordingly> so that <issues are resolved early and the product is of high quality>.

4. Research

Search is another element that the end user doesn't recognize as a feature, but can be included in a backlog. Research is useful when you know very little about how to implement a new feature or concept, or want to try something new. Either way, circumstances demand that you take the time to expand the team's understanding. The output of these user stories, commonly called "spikes", is not working code but knowledge.

As a <research>, I want to <be understood and prioritized properly> so that <we can reduce business risk and innovate>.

How to Create a Product Backlog

put it all together

Proper planning and organization are key factors in your success. Residuals provide guidance here. When created and managed properly, the backlog becomes a tool that helps teams manage constant change, reach peak productivity, and deliver maximum value for both the organization and the customer.

Build a better product backlog

Manage your to-do list like a pro with Hansoft, theAgile Backlog-Management-Toolfor productive teams.

Create a backlog in Hansoft

More waste tips

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[BLOG]6 inspiring backlog examples

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