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Product Backlog Management

One of the most anticipated features has finally arrived - a backlog you can trust its freshness and focus. Your backlog!


Freshness is achieved by auto-moving old items out of sight and focus by limiting the maximum number of items a Backlog can hold. Product Backlog Management at its finest.


Backlog


According to the Scrum Guide:


“The Product Backlog is an emergent, ordered list of what is needed to improve the product.”


As you might know, in Agile Tools, you are not forced to use the term “project” for your work. Value Unit is an umbrella term for products, projects, services, programs, product suits, or just about anything you do and want to describe with your vocabulary.


Any Value Unit you define in Agile Tools will automatically have a Backlog.


As Value Units can be defined in a hierarchy, you will also get accumulated views on all higher-level Backlogs.


Hierarchical list of Value Units in Agile Tools
Image 1 - Every Value Unit has its own Backlog

Self-cleaning Backlog


There is no magic here—items not updated in the last 90 days are automatically moved to the Basement. So, they are, of course, not deleted but removed from the most valuable area.


The Basement is hidden by default, but you can make it visible anytime


Self-cleaning Backlog in Agile Tools
Image 2 - Backlog and Basement

Size-limited Backlog


A Backlog is the single source of work; therefore, we must protect it from becoming an unmanageable, disorganized pile of wishlist items.


It can also become demotivating to see a near-infinite list of work. Let’s break bad habits!


Backlog size limit dialog in Agile Tools
Image 3 - Backlog Size warning dialog

Pull Value Items versus Assign Tasks


The pull versus push technique is available and encouraged in Agile Tools. If you are practicing Scrum, one of the most challenging habits to break is the project management mentality and practice of the project manager assigning tasks to every team member.


The reverse technique, also known as “pull”, is the preferred method of self-organizing teams.


So, in Agile Tools, team members pull Value Items, versus project manager assigning issues (in JIRA lingo).


Self-assign task in Agile Tools
Image 4 - Pull Value Item to self-assign

To fully support the pull model, the create/edit Value Item form will be configurable in one of the subsequent releases, and the default form will not have a Doer field. That way, you are not tempted to assign tasks to others.


What is coming next?


Value Item effort estimation with one new technique called Time Points.


Estimation options that will be available:

  • No Estimate

  • Time Points (unique on the market!)

  • Story Points

  • T-Shirt Sizes

  • Hours


Also, Value Unit’s detail page will be slightly redesigned to accommodate upcoming additions, like Definition Of Done, in one of the forthcoming releases.


We might also deliver a configurable form for creating/editing Value Items, hiding the Doer field by default to further support the pull nature of agile work management.



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