The Backlog

Backlog Definition: A wish list of requests for features to be included in a product.

Johann Lohrmann Product Backlog
A Product Backlog doesn’t need to ruin your project

Product Backlog: An element that belongs to a backlog. It can be a feature, a bug fix, a document, or any other kind of artifact.

When you’re working with the product backlog you want to prioritize by the highest customer value. Where a business can fail is if they tackle backlogs from the developer’s point of view.

Here’s what happens. The developer is a resource. There’s only so much he can do. The business units want x built and they want it right away.

Talk to your business units. What is their priority?

Your backlog consists of user stories and they should include the expected business value. As you move through your project, the backlog items are refined.

You’ll notice that as the acceptance criteria is clearer the product log priorities change. That’s fine. What’s important is the user stories and the product backlog are updated at the beginning of each sprint. Otherwise, your team will end up working on an old product backlog.


Definition Source: IIBA, Agile Extension to the BABOK (®) Guide, Version 1.0.


The Kanban Can

Japanese Kanban Concept in word collage
The Kanban Can

Business analysis involves lining up solutions and understanding how those solutions impact the development and the eventual deliverable.

I use Kanban as a tool when I want to prioritize a flow of work through the life of a project. I’ll then prioritize based on the business value.

This is extremely helpful when I’m estimating time for a Service Level Agreement.

Here’s my list of cool Kanban tools and yes, I’ve used them all. Most of these offer a free trial version and are intuitive by design.

If you’re looking for enterprise level, keep in mind that the personal account and a business account may behave differently.