2 minutes

There is an essential element in scrum method: the product backlog. Artifact in scrum methodology, this list drives the entire project! In this article, we will explain to you what is a product backlog, who intervene in its conception and how your project is impacted by its content.

A simple definition of a product backlog

The product backlog is a clear and ordered list of items, characterizing the product that will be developed during the project. It’s the source of the client’s requirements, which guide the development team in the product creation. The entire project revolves around it! Without it, there is no scrum project management.

Physically, the product backlog is a cell of your kanban board. It evolves alongside the project, in order to follow the client’s requirements and to adjust to the problems encountered.

The product backlog, a responsibility of the product owner

In scrum project management, the Product Owner gathers the need from the client or the final user. From those needs, the PO will identify the product’s functionalities that will be developed during the sprints.

The items composing the product backlog

The product’s characteristics are part of the product backlog: they are developed inside user stories. But the user stories are not the only item you can find in it. Other elements will structure the project, such as internal tasks the client doesn’t know about, or even the problems encountered during the development. These others items will always be linked to the project!

Prioritize the items

In order to simplify the project organization, you need to prioritize all the elements grooming your product backlog. How to do so? Several factors will influence this prioritization:

  • the value brought by the item in the project,
  • the necessity to develop this item for the client and the team,
  • the difficulty linked to the development of the item.

So, to prioritize properly your product backlog, you will need the feedback and opinions of several interested parties of the project: the client and the members of the development team. Of course, the more details you have on a specific item, the easier it will be to prioritize it and to ensure its production.

A project well-ordered is a project successful

The product backlog acts as a road map for the Product Owner, the Scrum Master and the development team. It evolves simultaneously as the project, and needs to be updated at the end of each sprint. Adding new user stories and items will permit to answer optimally the client’s needs!

In Scrum methodology, the key for success lives in a clear, ordered and accessible product backlog!