Keeping Product Backlog Healthy

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Information about Keeping Product Backlog Healthy
Business & Mgmt

Published on July 10, 2009

Author: dhaval.r.panchal



The Product Backlog drives the work of Scrum teams, but keeping the backlog fresh and useful is often a continuing challenge. Is your product backlog healthy, and what are some ways to keep it that way that you can use right away?

Keeping a Healthy Product Backlog Dhaval Panchal, CST and Agile Coach

Dhaval Panchal Certified Scrum Trainer (CST) and Agile coach Consults with organizations from mid-sized product companies to the Fortune 100 Experience in software development, business and functional analysis, Lean office implementations, organizational change, system architecture, business intelligence, and project management Writes about software development and coaching on his blog( Received his B.S. in Engineering University of Mumbai, India

Product Backlog: Point of View Maximize ROI Manage Risk Balance Workload Enhance Value

Project Vision Drives the Features Waterfall Agile The Plan creates cost/schedule estimates The Vision creates feature estimates Constraints Features Schedule Cost Value / Vision Driven Plan Driven Estimates Schedule Cost Features Source: Referenced by Michelle Sliger in “Relating PMBOK Practices to Agile Practices”

It is Impossible to Know All Requirements in Advance It is not possible to completely specify an interactive system. Wegner’s Lemma, 1995 Uncertainty is inherent and inevitable in software development processes and products. Ziv’s Uncertainty Principle, 1996 For a new software system the requirements will not be completely known until after the users have used it. Humphrey’s Requirements Uncertainty Principle

What Emerges? It is impossible to know all requirements in advance “Thinking harder” and “thinking longer” can uncover some requirements, but Emergent requirements are those our users cannot identify in advance Every project has some emergent requirements

Features / Functions Used in a Typical System The biggest cost of Predictive Development is overproduction of featuresMust be designed, built, and maintainedDon’t get used; provide no value*Standish Group Study Reported in 2000 Chaos Report. Don’t Build What Won’t Be Used

The biggest cost of Predictive Development is overproduction of features

Must be designed, built, and maintained

Don’t get used; provide no value

What is Product Ownership? Agile View of Product Management Identify partial concepts Assess Source: “User Stories Applied” and “Agile Estimating and Planning,” by Mike Cohn

Core Vision Business Drives Development Scrum considers this a good thing. Builds a closer relationship between business and technologists.Maintaining a healthy backlog is key to supporting business needs.

Scrum considers this a good thing.

Builds a closer relationship between business and technologists.

Maintaining a healthy backlog is key to supporting business needs.

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