Why It's Important to Maintain Your Product Backlog, Especially Now That We Have a Backlog Feature
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Product Development

Why It's Important to Maintain Your Product Backlog, Especially Now That We Have a Backlog Feature

Erika Carter
Senior Creative Technical Writer
February 16, 2023

The backlog. You know when you’re camping in the forest, and there’s a felled tree behind you, so it’s like a back log? Hold on, this post is about a different backlog

The PRODUCT backlog. Ah yes - that critical component of any agile software development process. By keeping the product backlog up-to-date and relevant, your team can stay focused on the most important tasks at hand while not forgetting about all that other stuff.

The Shortcut team has some exciting plans in motion - actually, we’re already beginning to roll this feature out to customers - that makes it even easier for you to sort, manage, and prioritize work before it properly makes its way into a Workflow. 

This new Backlog page in Shortcut enables users to: 

  • See un-planned/new/under-defined Stories separately from active work
  • Have confidence that the work you are scheduling from the backlog is ready
  • Make it easy for everyone in your organization to locate where Backlog items are, right here in Shortcut.  

We’ll dig into this in another upcoming post, as well as share how we at Shortcut manage our backlog, and we’ll also give our recommendations for you. 

In the meantime, here are some words about product backlog management vis-a-vis the long-standing, time-honored style of Q&A.

What is a Product Backlog?

A product backlog is a prioritized list of work for the development team that is derived from the roadmap and its requirements. A backlog holds work that ranges from really early ideas all the way up to work that is ready to be pulled into an Iteration or Epic.

What Should a Product Backlog Not Be?

The product backlog should not be a “dumping ground” where tickets are made, rarely escape, and “naturally compost”. Remember, we’re not camping in the forest. The backlog should never be the place where good ideas go to die.

What is Backlog Management?

Backlog management is the process through which teams add, adjust, groom, and prioritize the backlog to make sure the most valued features are shipped to users.

Why is an Organized, Up-to-Date Product Backlog Important?

An organized product backlog helps your team clearly define and understand the goals and requirements of a project, prioritize tasks based on their importance, and make informed decisions on what should be worked on next. Not forgotten about.

This allows teams to continuously adapt to changing requirements and priorities, leading to a more flexible and efficient development process. By keeping the backlog up to date, the team can ensure that they remain aligned with the project's objectives and deliver high-quality sh*t.

Beyond a Planning Tool, How Else Can the Product Backlog Be Used?

The product backlog can also be used as a means of tracking progress. By regularly updating the status of each item in the backlog, the team can see what has been completed and what still needs to be done. This helps to ensure that the product backlog remains up-to-date and relevant, and that the team is working on the right things at the right time. More on this later.

Start a Free Trial of Shortcut

The new Backlog page helps you create a prioritized list of work that ranges from early ideas all the way up to work that is ready to be pulled into an Iteration or Epic. So the final Q is: what better time to start a free trial of Shortcut? A: There is no better time than right now.

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