Product Backlog - School of Computing and Information Sciences
Product Backlog CEN 4010 Intro to Software Engineering Professor Alex Roque What is Product Backlog? Product Backlog: Is a prioritized list of desired product functionality (artifacts) Centralized & Shared understanding of what to build and its build order Is highly visible to all Scrum participants
Exists for products being built, enhanced, or supported Product Backlog Items Product Backlog consists of backlog items, called PBIs, backlog items, or just items Most PBIs: Are features/functionalities that will have tangible value to the user or customer
Often are written as User Stories (but Scrum does not dictate a format) Examples of PBIs include: Features Defects Technical Work Knowledge Acquisition (proof of concept) PBI Examples PBI Type
Example Feature As a customer service representative I want to create a ticket for a customer support issue so that I can record and manager a customers request for support. Change As a customer service representative I want the default ordering of search results to be by last name instead of ticket number so that its easier to find a support ticket. Defect Fix defect #256 in the defect-tracking system so that special characters in search terms wont make customer searches crash. Technical Improvement Move to the latest version of the Oracle DBMS
Knowledge Acquisition Create a prototype or proof of concept of 2 architectures and run three tests to determine which would be a better approach for our product. Good Product Backlog Characteristics Detailed Appropriately Emergent Estimated Prioritized
DEEP acronym coined by Roman Pichler (2010) & Mike Cohn Product Backlog Characteristic Detailed Appropriately Not all PBIs are at the same level of detail at the same time PBIs being prepared to work on should be small, very detailed, and near the top of the prioritized list Other PBIs are lower in the list, larger in size, and less detail
Larger PBIs, EPICs, are decomposed into sprint-ready items in a just-intime fashion Product Backlog Characteristic Emergent While a product is being built, enhanced, or supported, its backlog is never complete or frozen Product Backlog is continuously being updated based on a stream of economically viable information Therefore, the Product Backlogs structure is fluid needing rebalancing and prioritizing based on new information Product Backlog Characteristic Estimated Each PBI has a size estimate
associated with it Product Owner uses the estimate as one input to prioritization Large PBIs near the top of the list indicate refinement is necessary Most PBIs are estimated in either story points or ideal days (See Chapter 7 for details) Product Backlog Characteristic Estimated Estimates should be
reasonably accurate without being overly precise Smaller, near top of the list PBIs will have smaller, more accurate size estimates Epics, larger PBIs, are more difficult to estimate accurately so some teams use T-shirt size estimates (L, XL, XXL, etc.) Product Backlog Characteristic Prioritized Not necessary to actually prioritize items near bottom of the list
Useful to prioritize PBIs that are candidates for the next few sprints or to a first release Too much time focus on the future is to be avoided Of course changes can shuffle PBIs Product Backlog Grooming Grooming - Proactively manage, organize, and administer the Product Backlog to accomplish DEEP characteristics
Grooming activities: Creating & Refining PBIs Estimating PBIs Prioritizing PBIs Product Backlog Grooming Product Owner leads grooming & is the final decision maker Input from stakeholders,
ScrumMaster, Dev. Team Dev. Team should allocate up to 10% of its time each sprint for grooming Product Backlog Grooming Scrum framework does not specify when grooming should take place Waterfall development tries to capture detailed requirements up front so little or no grooming is scheduled (yet it always occurs!) Scrum expects an uncertain
environment so team must be prepared to constantly inspect and adapt Initial grooming occurs as part of the release-planning activity (Ch. 18) On-going grooming can occur once-asprint, every week, or even daily Product Backlog Grooming Grooming the backlog should ensure that PBIs at the top of it are ready to move into a sprint Some teams establish a definition for Ready similar
to Done to help formalize grooming Example of a Ready Checklist Product Backlog Flow Management Product Backlog is crucial to achieving fast, flexible value-delivery in the face of uncertainty which always exists in projects Release planning can be visualized as a line through the product backlog
Specific release can be partitioned into 2 more lines must have and nice to have Wont have is below the release cutoff line Product Backlog Flow Management For a Sprint, the Product Backlog can be viewed as a pipeline of requirements that are flowing into the Sprint A problem arises if there is a mismatch or unevenness between inflow and outflow in this pipeline
Too slow pipeline could run dry Too fast may cause rework/throw away as more is learned Heuristic (rule of thumb) for many teams is to have 2 to 3 sprints worth of user stories ready to go Product Backlog What is a Product What constitutes a product? Simple definition usually works
MS Office vs MS Excel, Word, etc. A product is something of value that a customer would be willing to pay for and something we would be willing to package up and sell Component teams bump up against this simple definition Customer buying the component? Component going into multiple products? Leads to a rabbit hole! Product Backlog What is a
Product? Large Products utilize Hierarchical Product Backlogs Multiple, interchangeable teams can utilize one Product Backlog Multiple, noninterchangeable teams need to have a team-specific view of the single Product Backlog Product Backlog What is a Product?
Multiple Products best handled by one or more teams working exclusively on a single product backlog (Fig. 6.16 left side) Occasionally, not ideal, one team works on multiple Product Backlogs (Fig. 6.16 right side) Organizational impediments aside, try to merge into a single backlog Summary Crucial Role of the Product Backlog in achieving fast, flexible value-delivery in the presence of uncertainty
Structural and Process issues surrounding the Product Backlog Types of items How to groom Which and how many Product Backlogs
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