The Secret Life of B’s (Backlogs)
Is the primary purpose of a product backlog to:
- Collect product backlog items
- Visualise all the work needed to deliver a product
- Order work and improve focus
Chances are you know a lot about product backlogs. You’ve probably heard about Product Backlog Items, INVEST criteria, user stories, and 3 C’s to name a few.
Of course, clear product backlog items are critical to a team’s success.
Often we overlook the ultimate purpose of a backlog: prioritisation and focus.
Despite the science on the costs of multitasking, there is a constant temptation to work in parallel. (When was the last time you watched TV without looking at your phone?)
Multitasking has been shown to decrease quality, create a chronic distraction, and procrastination. 50+ years of scientific research have shown you do less and miss information when you’re multitasking. Up to 40% less!
Your product backlog is a tool to help you fight the urge to work in parallel and multitask!
A queue of work in Kanban, if prioritised, works in a similar way.
Here’s a quick checklist to assess if you’re getting the most out of your product backlog:
- Product Backlog Items (PBIs) are clearly ordered in a single list
- The top priority PBIs value is clearly understood
- The team is working on the highest value items
- Work in progress is limited
- PBIs are done by the end of the sprint
If you want to gain up to 40% efficiency improvements - start with Product Backlog ordering. See how your team’s focus increases and enjoy the results.
Want a refresher on the Product Owner role or start a career? We invite you to join our accredited course - Professional Scrum Product Owner Training.