Why a DEEP Product Backlog is Critical for Successful Product Development?

When you are further down the priority list, your estimation will be more of a guess since you don’t have all of the information yet. In these cases, use a simple agile estimation technique, such as t-shirt sizing to make a guesstimate. Based on the information you have at that moment in time, make an approximate estimate on the exertion required for that backlog item. The Product Backlog lists all features, functions, requirements, enhancements, and fixes that needs to be developed for the product release. A DEEP backlog refers to the grooming characteristics a product backlog has. DEEP is an acronym for detailed appropriately, emergent, estimated, and prioritized.

deep backlog

For example, let’s say a user story describes the functionality to be implemented along with the acceptance criteria. The description of the feature and acceptance criteria are not sufficient; the user story techniques and practices for product backlog must also have all the relevant designs attached and technical details written by the tech lead. I am passionate about solving business problems by bringing the team together and removing impediments.

Visual AGILExicon

Adding detail to high-priority backlog items for greater comprehension. As you’re well aware, the agile methodology centers around flexibility and the ability to evolve a plan as new information or roadblocks appear. What you thought was important at the beginning of product development may not be necessary anymore, or your stakeholders may have turned you in a completely different direction. The Scrum product backlog represents a small subset of the overall product backlog. The product backlog is the entire bottle of wine, while the sprint backlog is the glass of wine you’re going to tackle next. In this analogy, the Scrum master is the sommelier, providing guidance, context, and feedback throughout the sprint.

The clarity of your backlog will help keep morale high among development team members. They can trust that no sudden surprises wait for them around every corner without being informed beforehand. Have a conversation with more senior team members to detail backlog items or give estimates. Their input helps depth the understanding of your project’s direction and can support certain decisions you may contemplate. The consensus is that the ideal length for a backlog grooming session is between 45 minutes to an hour, depending on the team’s availability. The most significant way to motivate your team ahead of sprint planning is by grooming the backlog beforehand.

Who attends backlog grooming meetings?

Learn six ways effective product owners ensure their teams’ success. There should be at least one person representing the product team, the delivery team, and the quality assurance team. Every team functions better when it’s well-organized — and that’s the most https://globalcloudteam.com/ significant function of backlog grooming. Below are just a few of the major benefits of these agile sessions. The product manager may bring up items to include in upcoming sprints. This proactive measure is necessary to see how one session flows into the other.

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It is a single source of demand for any changes to the product. The answer is simple — each technique has strengths and weaknesses based on its purpose. For example, the MVP approach is great for creating a minimum viable product in the shortest possible time but it doesn’t provide much flexibility for changes during the product cycle. The DEEP Backlog technique, on the other hand, is focused on the “why” and not just the “what” of a product. This makes it ideal for larger-scale products where understanding market needs and user behaviour is critical.

DEEP: The 4 Characteristics of a Good Product Backlog

In contrast, items down the backlog should only be roughly estimated. Another important part of establishing a backlog is to set milestones for when the backlog needs to be completed. This will help ensure that there are no surprises in the final product and that the process is managed effectively. You can undertake several steps to ensure that the backlog grooming process is effective and efficient. A product backlog should allow the addition of new items as the users enhance their knowledge and understanding of the problem space. For a Product Backlog to be in good health it must contain enough User Stories in the „Ready” state with a cumulative number of Story Points greater than average Velocity.

It’s all of the work a team will tackle in the future, but it’s also a flexible, living organism that evolves as a development team learns more about the product and its stakeholders. We’ll cover all of these attributes in detail, including how you can ensure your product backlog is in good health. But first, let’s get on the same page about product backlogs and the refinement process. Backlogs are in constant evolution, changing and adapting based on the current needs of stakeholders and customers. To keep a backlog up-to-date and in its most effective form, it needs to be continuously refined and adapted. This process takes time, but there are simple, powerful strategies for maintaining a quality backlog.

Backlog grooming best practices

Including a roadblock-addled item in a sprint would prevent the team from seeing the user story through to completion. Not being on the same page about the description or acceptance criteria of user stories can lead developers to implement half-baked stories or stories that lead to unexpected results. In situations like that, during review, the product owner would provide more clarification and send the user story back to the developer to revise and implement it as expected.

deep backlog

Product backlogs are discussed in much more detail in Succeeding with Agile. Automate the Scrum events and related activities with self-explanatory instructions, samples and required document templates.

Achieving a DEEP Product Backlog

This definition can grow more complicated, as discussed in Chapter 12, but it is good enough for this initial discussion. LogRocket identifies friction points in the user experience so you can make informed decisions about product and design changes that must happen to hit your goals. Every item in the backlog must be thoroughly explained with all the appropriate details. Discover how adopting agile retrospectives can empower your team members to get better results out of scrums. Explore the essential topics related to scrum sprinting and learn about how the process works. Taking your entire team’s advice can be disruptive – it’s often better to involve those most informed and experienced in the matter.

  • Another senior member of the team, the project manager, or the ScrumMaster may also conduct a backlog refinement or grooming session.
  • A backlog can include hundreds of items or more, so it’s important to categorize them using labels and epics.
  • When applying Scrum, it’s not necessary to start a project with a lengthy, upfront effort to document all requirements.
  • The lists are typically too long and excessively or needlessly detailed.
  • Those that we will work on sooner, those at the top off the product backlog, will be more detailed.
  • This is to ensure that the most suitable backlog items are duly prioritized.

This agile product backlog is almost always more than enough for a first sprint. The Scrum product backlog is then allowed to grow and change as more is learned about the product and its customers. Sometimes during a grooming session, the team discovers another task that must be completed before executing a new feature. Adding new user stories in this situation ensures there are no gaps or missed steps as the team works on tasks in the backlog.

Chapter 6: Product Backlog

Backlog should be ranked with the most valuable items at the top. The DEEP backlog is one of the most effective workflows in any project. Each letter stands for a specific characteristic of a well-groomed backlog. Understanding how, when, and who should be involved in grooming your backlog is essential to keep it relevant, complete, and updated.