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What is a Product Backlog?

This agile management approach has become a crucial resource for efficient teamwork for many teams. The agile method loses effectiveness if everyone isn’t equally conversant with the agile framework and specific terminologies. If your team employs the Agile technique, a product backlog can assist you in segmenting projects and initiatives to identify the most crucial activities.

In the write-up, we will explore the basics of the product backlog and how this can contribute to the success of any project. Without further ado, let’s delve into it;

Product Backlog

It’s a prioritized list of all the items you require. It’s the only place where product demand changes. The product backlog is the product’s to-do list , and the product owner determines its priority, availability, and content.

The task-level details necessary to carry out the strategic plan outlined in the roadmap are listed and prioritized in a product backlog. As the development team carries out the broad objectives of the roadmap, the backlog needs to elaborate on what tasks are coming up next on their list. User stories, and bug patches , are examples of standard elements in a product backlog.

What should be on your Product Backlog?

It’s a challenging question because each team’s backlog contains different items. The backlog generally serves as a catalog of all activities and projects connected to a product. Most of the time, product managers divide items into user stories.

However, not all backlogs employ user stories to communicate. Each team structures the items in its backlog in a different way. Initiatives that are not added to the backlog are unlikely to be completed. This indicates that a diversity of items exists here, including but not limited to

  • New changes
  • Modifications to the infrastructure
  • Modification of current functions
  • A bugfix
  • Refactoring and technical debt

Product Backlog vs. Sprint backlog

There is a significant difference between sprint backlogs and product backlogs , but both are crucial components of any product development.

The difference between a sprint backlog & a product backlog is one of the most frequent sources of misunderstanding, which undoubtedly still results in many miscommunications in agile teams. We’ll, therefore, clearly and concisely outline the differences in this article.

Product Backlog

  • It lists all the tasks that must be finished before the finished product may be created.
  • The product owner is responsible for gathering, prioritizing, and modifying the product backlog items.
  • The entire purpose of the product is exclusive to the product backlog.
  • Depending on the customer’s vision, there can be a chance for variations.
  • The entire set or list of tasks must be finished to build the product.
  • Management of the product backlog is the individual responsibility of the product owner.
  • The product backlog is still present and needs to be kept up until the entire product is developed.
  • Each User Story is given its own set of story points and product features.

Sprint Backlog

  • It’s a list of all the tasks that must be finished from the product backlog for the sprint to be completed. It contains a strategy for turning the chosen items into an increment.
  • The developer is in charge of establishing the sprint backlog and working through it to finish the sprint.
  • Only the sprint goal for a given sprint is specific to the sprint Backlog.
  • The sprint Goal won’t change for the sprint duration, even though the sprint Backlog might.
  • It’s finished during a sprint and is a subset of the product backlog.
  • The Product Backlog is the only factor that influences it.
  • Every Sprint has a to-do list, which is the sprint backlog. The developer breaks down the User Stories into separate tasks to determine each task’s anticipated completion time.
  • Management of the sprint backlog falls exclusively under the developer’s control.
  • Every new sprint has a new sprint backlog, which expires along with the sprint.

Let’s summarize everything in a table:

Product Backlog Prioritization Techniques

Prioritizing a product backlog isn’t something that everyone should follow the same pattern. You might not experience the same results as someone else. The following three methods are the most efficient way to deal with prioritization:

Technique 1: Priority Matrix

With this prioritization technique, the team can rank the issues, functionality, and other items in the backlog according to their significance to the project, also known as the impact/effort matrix. The effort axis and the impact axis are two axes of a matrix. This approach enables you to consult with everyone involved in the project regarding the various product-related duties, including requirements, features, and issues.

Technique:2 MoSCoW method

The MoSCoW method , also known as MosCoW prioritizing or MoSCoW analysis , is another famous method for categorizing requirements. It is an effective method for classifying project work into critical and non-critical groups. Product Managers divide the items on the backlog into the following four priority groups:

  • Must-Have: An item is a Must Have. If not included, it will force you to cancel your release. User stories must be delivered because doing otherwise would be impractical, unsafe, or illegal and are known as must-have user stories.
  • Should-Have : Should-Have elements are crucial but not necessary for the effectiveness of your delivery. They can be challenging to omit and may affect your business, but they don’t harm the product’s minimal viability.
  • Could-Have : Items in the could-have category are desired or wanted but are not as crucial as those in the should-have category.
  • Won’t-Have : User stories marked as “Won’t Have” indicate that everyone has decided not to deliver them this time.

The MoSCoW prioritization method is relatively flexible, making it ideal for projects with changing priorities. As a result, you can rapidly and effectively communicate the priorities to the entire team.

Technique:3 Kano Model

The Kano Model consists of two parameters, horizontal and vertical axes.

The Kano Model classifies features based on customer demands and expectations. This model is available in several variations. But in the original, there are four standards to categorize things: must-be, attractive, one-dimensional, and indifferent.

  • Must-Be : Customers anticipate these from you. They are aspects that won’t impress them. They are a requirement for your product and are frequently regarded as routine.
  • Attractive : Users find these attractive when present, but they don’t disappoint clients when absent.
  • One-dimensional : Users are happy with one-dimensional features when they are present but unhappy without them.
  • Indifferent : These do not affect consumer satisfaction levels.

This approach is helpful for teams with limited funds, which need the right balance of fundamental, engaging, and efficient features to launch their product successfully.

How to Create and Manage a Product Backlog in 4 easy steps?

A product backlog is more than just a simple to-do list; it is a place where challenging activities are broken down into manageable tasks and assigned to team members. To create a successful product backlog, follow these four steps.

Step 1: Create a product roadmap

The product backlog is built on the product roadmap. Your team should first develop a roadmap, which will be used as the strategic plan for how your product will develop as it evolves. Although it can change, the roadmap represents the long-term direction of product development.

Step 2: List the products on the backlog

Your team can start creating a list of product backlog items while keeping in mind your product plan. These items should include both urgent things and more complex concepts. You’ll also need to interact with stakeholders during this stage of product backlog creation to hear their suggestions for innovation and product quality. With the Agile methodology, you can schedule this discussion as a component of your sprint planning session.

Step 3: Sort the items on your backlog according to priority

Sort and prioritize your most essential tasks after your team has listed every item in the product backlog. You can determine the top-priority items by keeping the consumer in mind and considering which things offer them the most significant value.

Step 4: Update regularly

Remember that the product backlog is a live document as your team works through it. The backlog may consistently be expanded, and items can be prioritized or changed as you go along.

Product backlog is vital for any project’s smooth flow and execution. You can ace all these processes with which is based on management and collaboration themes. assists teams in making plans, keeping track of their progress, and managing their workloads. We also make it easier for teams to collaborate on product development throughout the project.

Just refresh your product journey with!

Originally published at on December 22, 2022.

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