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In Scrum, the agile product backlog is an ordered features list that includes brief descriptions of all product functionality. These things can be technical or user-centric, for example, in the form of user stories. The Scrum Product Owner is in charge of the Scrum Backlog. It is contributed by the Scrum Master, the Scrum Team, and other stakeholders to have a comprehensive To-Do list.

During the Sprint Planning Meeting, the Scrum Product Owner uses the Scrum Backlog to describe the top entries to the team. The Scrum Team then decides which tasks they will be able to finish in the next sprint. Cutting down and then further defining Product Backlog items into smaller, more exact things is known as refining.

Product Goal

The product goal defines what the end state of the product should be to the Scrum team. The product goal is in the Product Backlog, and then the rest of the Product Backlog list is defined to know what is to be done to achieve the Product Goal.

The Scrum Team must complete (or relinquish) one goal before moving on to the next.

Every product backlog in a scrum has its unique features, such as:

  • The customer values product backlog in a Scrum item
  • Items are sorted in the order of importance
  • Details of the Product depending on where the item is listed in the Backlog

Items that add value

Only those entries are listed in the product backlog that adds value to the customer’s requirements. Anything other than that will just be a waste of time and effort. There will be some entries that might not directly add value to the product but will increase the efficiency and reliability of the product indirectly. The Product Backlog in Scrum methodology might include entries for exploring customer demands or other technical solutions and the work required to launch the product.

1. Living Document

The Product Backlog in a scrum is modified and changed from time to time according to the customer’s requirements. As opposed to the traditional method of collecting requirements and allowing no changes in the later stages. This is to ensure high customer satisfaction and add value to the customer’s product.

2. Details of the Entries

Only those requirements are described in greater detail in the product backlog of a scrum, which needs to be changed until the next sprint. Other requirements are not in-depth described or detailed because that will be a loss of time and effort. This is because most of the requirements will be charged until the product is launched.

3. Only High-level Tasks

Highly detailed specifications should not be included in the product backlog of a scrum. The final requirements should ideally be defined with the customer during the sprint. The Scrum Team is in charge of breaking down and distributing these Tasks.

4. Scrum Product Backlog is Organized

This is a very important step because it helps the Scrum Product Owner and the Scrum Team usually decide on what should be done next. The requirements in the product backlog are Prioritized according to the importance of the specification by the customer. The Scrum Product Owner decides and prioritizes the entries with the help of the Scrum Team. Cost of the Product, Value, and Risk factors are the most common factors which are used to prioritize the requirements.

5. Items in the Product Backlog are Estimated

All requirements in the product backlog should be estimated using the agreed-upon definition by the customer and the Scrum Owner. This estimate can then be used to prioritize and plan releases in the product backlog of a scrum.

Sprint Meeting

The Scrum product owner brings the prioritized agile product backlog to the sprint planning meeting and describes the most important items to the team. The Scrum team then decides which items they will be able to finish during the next sprint. Items are then transferred from the product backlog to the sprint backlog by the scrum team. They expand each product backlog item into one or more sprint backlog items. As a result, allowing them to share work more efficiently during the sprint. This helps in efficient task completion and better customer satisfaction. The Scrum Product Owner is mainly responsible for guiding the Scrum Team to correctly identify and prioritize the requirements listed in the Scrum Backlog.

Managing the Scrum Product Backlog

To manage the Product Backlog is the most important task before any sprint meeting because it will help identify what items are needed to be worked on for effective customer satisfaction. Managing and modifying the Backlog is a regular task. Initially, both the Scrum Owner and the Scrum Team get together and list out all the entries they can think of before the first sprint is held.

After the first steps, the product backlog management is done continuously. Firstly new entries are described in detail and added to the list when they are discovered. Existing ones are changed or eliminated as needed for better customer value. The product backlog is prioritized, and the most crucial items are brought to the front of the list. After this Product Backlog is made ready for the upcoming Sprint Planning Meeting by preparing the high-priority entries and re-estimating the Scrum backlog entries.