Product Backlog Prioritisation for Developers

In the Scrum framework, the product backlog is an ordered list of all the work needed for development of the product. It comprises of user stories, bugs, technical work and knowledge acquisition. The items in the product backlog are driven from the product roadmap, where the Product roadmap is a strategic plan that shows the evolution of the product on different release phases.  The product roadmap is written by the product owner with the collaboration of the stakeholders.  The items in the roadmap show the long-term vision for the product. The items in the product backlog are workable features and are detailed in comparison to the abstract goals defined in the product roadmap.

Both the product owner and the development team work on the definition of the items and their details in the product backlog. The Development team estimates how much work is needed for each item in the product backlog and the prioritized items in the backlog are scheduled to be worked on iteratively within each sprint. Based on their capacity, the development team decides when and how each item is delivered. But the Organization and prioritization of the backlog items are done by the product owner. For this purpose, the product owner receives feedback from development team and customers on each backlog item. The product owner can change the priorities at any point of the project and is responsible for the backlog.  The feedback received from the stakeholders are reflected in the reprioritized backlog before each sprint planning session. During the planning session, the items of the product backlog are revisited and refined both by the development team and the product owner.

Project planning

In project planning, the product owner is required to prioritize the backlog items to fulfill the requirements of the stakeholders and deliver value to the customers. Without prioritization, the development team may work on items that deliver limited or no value to the product. The scrum master coaches the team on the importance of prioritization and the application of different prioritization metrics.

There are different criteria for ordering and prioritizing the backlog items such as value, risk, uncertainty, and dependency. Value or business value reflects the importance of the features required by the customer. The more valuable items are prioritized first in the backlog. The items that do not bring any business value to the product, are either removed from the product backlog or deferred to later stages. Another important metric for prioritization is risk. A risk is correlated with uncertainty. The more uncertainty, the riskier the project or task is. By implementing the riskier items first in the product backlog, the developers reduce the uncertainty and ambiguity from the product. This leads to a higher quality product.

Releasability is another criterion for product backlog prioritization. Releasability means being able to release product increments early and frequently. Each release should include a functionality desired by the customer. Releasing the product increment early will help the development team to get feedback from the customers and understand how to continue implementation in future while allowing the stakeholders to benefit from the added value of the product earlier.  Another prioritization criterion is the dependency. Dependencies can be between requirements or between several teams working on the same product.  The dependencies should be resolved by the scrum team. If it is not the case, they affect the product backlog prioritization. The items which other items depend on should be implemented first.

 There are different prioritization methods for ordering backlog items such as MoSCoW, paired-comparison and the 100-point method.

<– Continue Reading –>

Our Book Recommendations

We found these books great for finding out more information on Agile Scrum:

Master of Agile – Agile Scrum Developer With 59 Seconds Agile (Video Training Course)

Introductory Offer: Free Course

Master of Agile – Agile Scrum Developer With 59 Seconds Agile (Video Training Course)

What is this course?

This ‘Master of Agile – Agile Scrum Developer With 59 Seconds Agile (Video Training Course)’ provides an in-depth understanding of the Agile Scrum Developer roles and responsibilities

You will explore the Agile Scrum project life-cycle, including how an Agile User Story is created, to how we know when it is ‘done’

This course is aimed at those with or without prior knowledge and experience of the Agile values and principles

During this course you will learn the tools needed to succeed as an Agile Scrum Developer

What will you learn?

You will gain an in-depth understanding of the Agile Scrum Developer roles and responsibilities, and you will be able to

  • Fully understand the role of the Agile Scrum Developer
  • Understand the roles involved in an Agile project
  • Create an effective Product Backlog
  • Effectively participate in Scrum Meetings such as the Daily Stand-up, Sprint Review and Retrospective
  • Identify the roles involves in the Scrum Team

What topics are covered within this course

You will cover the following topics during this course:

  1. An Introduction to Agile Project Management (Developer)
  2. The 12 Agile Principles (Developer)
  3. Introduction to Scrum (Developer)
  4. Scrum Project Roles (Developer)
  5. The Agile Project Life-cycle (Developer)
  6. Acceptance Criteria and the Prioritised Product Backlog (Developer)
  7. Initiating an Agile Project (Developer)
  8. Forming the Scrum Team (Developer)
  9. Epics and Personas (Developer)
  10. User Stories and Tasks (Developer)
  11. Implementation of Scrum (Developer)
  12. The Daily Scrum (Developer)
  13. The Product Backlog (Developer)
  14. Scrum Charts (Developer)
  15. Review and Retrospective (Developer)
  16. Validating a Sprint (Developer)
  17. Retrospective Sprint (Developer)
  18. Releasing the Product (Developer)
  19. The Communication Plan (Developer)
  20. Formal Business Sign-off (Developer)
Translate »