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The Product Backlog is a fundamental part of product development and project management, as well as the sprint. It consists of a list of ordered functions and tasks necessary to achieve the incremental value of the product.
The main function of the backlog is to describe the work to be done on the product and it is essential that the development team knows and understands it.
There are several characteristics of the Product Backlog, the main one is that it is dynamic and lives depending on the development of the product; it is never complete, it evolves as the product and its environment do.
The backlog is segmented by different deliveries or releases, at the top are the most important tasks, and at the same time, the ones that should be delivered first, while at the bottom are the lower priority items and therefore the last to be developed by the work team.
What are the elements of the Product Backlog?
The Product Backlog is dynamic, this means that it will be constantly changing and evolving to adapt to the development of the product and its environment.
Within a backlog there are several elements that must be known in order to understand its importance and its correct functioning.
These are the different elements that constitute the product backlog:
- PBI: A Product Backlog Item or in short “PBI” are functionalities, requirements, enhancements and bug fixes found within the Product Backlog. In other words, PBIs are each of the parts needed to develop the product.
- Tasks: Tasks are the different tasks to be carried out by the development team to complete a PBI. With DoneTonic it is possible to define the estimate (time or Story Points) that each user must dedicate to each task. The total estimate of the BIP can be the sum of the task estimates, or an own estimate. We invite you to learn more in our article: Capacity of each user per project.
- Release: The product backlog pillar is also segmented into releases. These releases will compile the tasks to be completed in each delivery, as well as their priority and deadline.
Who develops the Product Backlog?
Although the Product Backlog must be known and understood by the entire Scrum team, the Product Owner is in charge of building it. He is in charge of managing its content, its availability and defining an order based on priorities.
The Product Owner is responsible for ensuring that the Product Backlog has the necessary PBIs that must be applied to the product to meet future deliverables.
How to prioritize the elements of the Product Backlog?
An essential component is to prioritize and order the tasks according to their importance.
In Scrum there must be a continuous delivery of value to the customer, therefore, you must ensure that what is important is built first.
When you focus on organizing the tasks to be developed, consider mainly those that are essential, place them at the top of the Product Backlog, below you should include those that involve significant improvements in the product, followed by secondary improvements.
On the other hand, we recommend assigning the most complex tasks first. Normally, work teams decide to get rid of the simplest tasks and this is a mistake. In product development, unforeseen events and constant changes occur, so doing the complex things first can be more efficient and provide relief in the long run.
Assign dates to tasks and meet deadlines, breaking large tasks into smaller tasks can help you manage them more easily, be more productive and meet the assigned deliverables.
At the end of each sprint the completed tasks will be captured, the product manager and anyone else involved in the development will be able to attend the sprint review, checking that the product is on track.
Communication between the different team members is of vital importance for the correct development of the product, as well as good agile team management. To effectively manage backlog tasks and complete them within a reasonable timeframe, you need to work together.
Manage the Product Backlog with DoneTonic
Product Backlog management with DoneTonic is simple and very visual. The Product Owner has multiple functionalities that allow him to quickly prioritize the PBIs.