Before we can discuss What is a Product Backlog, we will first look into the Scrum Product Backlog. Well, it can be defined as a list of all things that are required to be done within the project. Further, it replaces all the traditional requirements specification artifacts. Basically, these items are very likely to have a technical nature or can possibly be user-centric.
You should note that working with a Scrum Product Backlog doesn’t necessarily mean that they’re allowed to create and use other artifacts. In fact, these artifacts are not capable of replacing the Product Backlog in Scrum. However, it complements and details the entire content of the Scrum Product Backlog.
Now that you have a somewhat sketchy idea about product backlog in Scrum, let’s check What is a Product Backlog. While you go through this blog, you will get some clear and valuable insights into How to Manage Backlog. Apart from that, you will also explore What Does Product Backlog Contain and learn how it’s different from the product roadmap.
Let’s get rolling.
What is a Product Backlog?
If you are wondering What is a Product Backlog, here’s a quick definition of it. A product backlog enlists and prioritizes all the details of the task level, which is required for executing a strategic plan. However, this plan is typically set forth within the roadmap of product management. But what is product management? Well, product management comprises the entire lifecycle of a product, right from development to pricing.
While we discuss What is a Product Backlog, you should note a few important things. Firstly, the backlog must communicate the proceeds of the to-do list of the development team. And this must be done while executing the bigger picture of the roadmap. Some typical items included within the product backlog are bug fixes, user stories, and other tasks.
You should note that product backlog is typically a single authoritative source for several things that a team works on. In other words, all things that are present within the product backlog get done. Nevertheless, there are a plethora of formats that exist within the product backlog, where user stories are extremely common.
As we define What is a Product Backlog, you must remember that a product backlog can be extremely effective. Thus, it enables a team to communicate what they’ve been working on and what they plan to do next. However, information radiators and story maps are capable of offering a clear picture of product backlog from stakeholders.
Now that you know What a Product Backlog let’s check out What product backlog contains.
What Does the Product Backlog Contain?
When you have a crystal clear picture of what is product management, you can understand what product backlog comprises. But it is quite difficult to answer What product backlog contains. This is mainly because the backlog’s contents greatly vary from team to team.
However, as we discuss What product backlog contains, you must remember certain things. Generally, the backlog functions as a comprehensive list of all projects and initiatives that are completely related to a product. And when no initiative is included within the backlog, it will possibly not get done.
In a nutshell, the product backlog is home to a plethora of items, such as:
- Updates of infrastructure
- New features
- Bug fixes
- Altering or changing a few pre-existing functionalities
- Refactoring and technical debt, etc.
Most importantly, the majority of the product managers break down a few items into user stories. And not all backlogs do the talking in user stories. The highly interesting part is that each team has its own techniques for structuring the backlog contents.
We hope that now you know What the product backlog contains. But that will technically not provide a bigger picture of all the features associated with the product backlog. So, in the following section, we will be discussing the techniques of How to Manage Backlog.
How to Manage the Backlog?
Before you can learn How to Manage Backlog, there are certain things that you need to know. First of all, managing the product backlog comes with a plethora of tactics and responsibilities. And since the product roadmap is often updated, it must remain closely connected to the product backlog. Thus, prioritizing the backlog is crucial as it deliberately reflects changes and new findings.
If you are still wondering How to Manage Backlog, you can follow these steps:
- You must keep the backlog organized so that it becomes quite easy to navigate.
- Agile teams must participate in backlog grooming sessions for refining and ordering backlog items.
During such times, the entire team works together to prepare only a few user stories ahead of time. Besides, the backlog grooming sessions also ensure that the user stories provide sufficient details. This is how it enables the delivery team to better understand how to manage the backlog.
Difference Between a Product Backlog and a Product Roadmap?
There have been numerous instances where people tend to confuse product roadmap with the product backlog. However, both living documents cater to distinctive purposes for agile teams. While backlog enlists all the tactical details of development, the roadmap certainly focuses on a broader strategy.
Here, we have listed a few more differences between the two:
|Product Roadmap||Product Backlog|
|The audience comprises the executive team||This internal document is primarily for the product and development teams|
|It includes high-level themes||It includes task-level jobs including defects and stories|
|Roadmap typically conveys your strategy||Product backlog typically conveys your plan for further implementing it|
Product Management Courses from Emeritus India
It is extremely important for all aspirants to hone their skills before they can become product managers. However, it becomes possible only when they opt for India’s best product management courses. As an aspirant, you can achieve certain valuable product management certifications.
Emeritus India collaborates with some of the world’s leading institutions to offer these product management courses. The product management courses in India, along with a few other certification programs, combine the best of all approaches.
By now, you must have clearly understood What is a Product Backlog. You should also note that the Scrum product owner is thoroughly responsible for keeping the Scrum Product Backlog in good shape. In other words, it is basically a collaborative procedure. And while using the Scrum Framework, around 10% of the total time of the Scrum Teams must be reserved.
If you’ve understood How to Manage Backlog, you’ll know it’s for maintaining the Scrum Product Backlog. On the other hand, the collaborative maintenance of the product backlog in Scrum helps in clarifying all the requirements. In fact, it also creates buy-in from the Scrum Team.