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Product Backlog – Explained

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    What is Product Backlog? That’s a good question to start from if you’re doing your first steps in learning the Agile. In this article and video materials, we will review what is Product Backlog against four major questions:

    • What is Product Backlog?
    • Why we would want to have a Product Backlog?
    • Who manages the Product Backlog?
    • How Product Backlog is sourced?

    Let’s find out what is Product Backlog

    1️⃣ What is Product Backlog?
    Product Backlog is known as an Agile Scrum artifact. However, in our day’s it’s not limited to Agile Scrum and used in a variety of workflows and approaches. Overall Product Backlog could be represented and a box or container that contains everything that is known about the product in prioritized order. That includes User Stories, Technical tasks, Bugs/ Defects, Exploration issues etc. The main keyword is everything!

    In other words, Product Backlog is the ultimate to-do list that contains everything that needs to be done toward the completion of the product development.

    2️⃣ Why we would want to have a Product Backlog?
    Product Backlog is needed to communicate the way how the product would be developed. It also answers the question when a particular deliverable could be expected as per priority. As it contains everything that is now about the product, stakeholders could get the transparent ability to understand the product development roadmap.

    It’s absolutely valid to compare the Product Backlog to a plan in traditional project management as it addresses the deliverables (scope) and timeline (based on priority).

    3️⃣ Who manages Product Backlog?
    The Product Owner manages the Product Backlog and responsible for prioritization. Though Product Owner could allow team members or other stakeholders to contribute to the Product backlog it’s necessary to ensure that all contribution goes through the Product Owner, and he/she is aware of any changes in Product Backlog.

    4️⃣ How Product Backlog is sourced?
    Product Backlog is fulfilled from all possible sources. However, primarily we can highlight the following sources:
    – Users feedback
    – Business Team
    – Development Team

    The above three are usually the major source for Product Backlog.

    I hope now after reading and watching the video you have much more sense on the purpose of the Product Backlog, but feel free to leave a comment if you have any further questions on this.

    Other materials to consider:

    Alex Kostritsa

    About author
    My name is Alex. For more than 10 last years I've been worked in the role of Project Manager in an Agile environment. I have experience working with different business domains including e-commerce, social networks, and gambling. As a Software Manager, I try to keep myself tuned and continue self-development.
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    • Odessa, Ukraine
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