Lesson 03: Creating the Product Backlog
What would you do after preparing the Product Vision?
- 00:05 – Okay. So, you’re going to start a new project, and you’ve already spend enough time thinking about the reasons why you are doing the project.
- 00:14 – What is the type of problem that you’re going to solve in the project?
- 00:17 – And you’ve probably documented it in, some may recall, the Product Vision.
- 00:23 – What would you do next? Next, it is time for you to start thinking about the product, different types of feature that you need to have in the product, and as you remember, your main … your main responsibility as a Product Owner is to maximize the value of the product, and still we know that this is done by the way we think about the features in the product. Alright?
- 00:51 – So, you create a list of the features that we’re going to have in the project, and because it’s so special for us, we have a name for that in Scrum. It is called the Product Backlog.
- 01:06 – Alright. So, you go there and talk to the customer, to the end-user representatives, and even sometimes to the Development Team, and understand what they want, what they need, and based on that understanding and based on the analysis that you do, you will create the Product Backlog, the items in the Product Backlog.
- 01:31 – Most of them will come from the customer, but you still have to think about other stakeholders in the project, and the important thing that I also mentioned before is that you’re not there to take notes.
- 01:43 – You’re there to interview people, to get the information, analyze the information, and use that to create the items. And, for example, because you’re talking to many different people, there will always be inconsistencies. If you’ve done anything like that before, you know how inconsistent things are. So, one of the things for you is to collect all the information, remove inconsistencies, talk to people again, receive their approval if needed, and then create the items.
- 02:22 – The other thing that we need to do, remember maximizing value, we need to know which features are the most important things for the product.
- 02:31 – Most of the features that we have in software, pieces of software, are not so useful.
- 02:38 – Most of them are never used, and for us, it’s much better if we at least start with the most important things because those things will help us find our way throughout the project and, for example, if we decided to stop the project before we imagined, then we will have the most important items. So, what are the most important items?
- 03:07 – Those that generate more value.
- 03:10 – The traditional answer to the question of how are we going to order the items in the Product Backlog is to say based on their value. Later on in the course, we will see that it is not a perfect answer.
- 03:26 – We can explain it in a much better way but for now, the simplified answer, which is not accurate enough, is to say that we will order the items based on their value.
- 03:37 – So, keep it like this and we will get back to it.
- 03:41 – So, in the beginning of the project, you don’t want to spend weeks creating a complete Product Backlog.
- 03:47 – We never have a complete Product Backlog because we’re always showing the software to the end-users and to the customer and we receive new ideas, and those new ideas will go to the Product Backlog. We don’t want to fix it.
- 04:04 – That’s basically the concept of Agility, which we will talk about in the next iteration.
- 04:10 – But anyway, in here, you don’t even try to create a complete Product Backlog because we really know that it’s not going to happen.
- 04:20 – What you would do is that you will spend just a few days creating a few items there, enough to start the project and when we start developing, then we will have more ideas, we will have a better understanding of the product, and the purpose of the project, and we can add more items to the Product Backlog, refine the existing items in the Product Backlog, sometimes remove items, and so on. Okay?
- 04:48 – So, for now, your next step is to create a simple Product Backlog, and then in the next lesson, we will see together how we’re going to run the project and develop.
So, a reminder for the changes I’ve explained in the previous two lessons that are applicable here as well:
- “Development Team” is now replaced with “Developers”
- Product Backlog, which used to be an ordered list of items now contains the Product Goal as well.
- Again, what’s your main responsibility as the Product Owner?
- How would you know what features are needed for the project?
- Which features should be developed first?
- At what point in the project is the Product Backlog complete and final?
Optional Extra Activities
- How do people create their Product Backlogs? Physical boards, pieces of software, or something else? Can you find a few pictures of real Product Backlogs on the web?
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