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Product Backlog: Decrease Its Size to Increase Sprint Productivity

When a product backlog item becomes too complicated, the team cannot work on it with other items in the same sprint. It usually happens when a change request appears, and sprint productivity takes a hit. In his blog article, Roman Pichler shares five ways you can decrease product backlog size.

Simplifying the Product Backlog

You should prioritize work items based on the product backlog description. Fewer details, and you cannot work on it, while too many requests make the log too complicated. Here are the five ways you can decrease an inflating product backlog size:

Divide It Into Deployable Parts

Stakeholders might want to add several features to the product over the weeks. Create a different backlog with features that you can develop independently. For instance, Facebook separated Messenger from its main mobile app and launched later.

Limit the Scope

Set a goal that enables you to measure the product’s progress for three to six months. Select those items that allow the team to achieve that goal. Instead of having to wait for an extended period, you will meet one vision fully. Product roadmap can also help set the purposes of your product backlog.

Don’t Highlight the Granular Details

Do not display the details of the product backlog items. Assemble similar epics into themes like registration, search, or navigation. To add in user stories, categorize them under epics. You can comfortably find out how to prioritize the user stories.

Mix Details Together

Instead of showcasing all the user stories, why don’t you use epics to represent them? It will decrease backlog size as well as give you a structured roadmap. You can review the items faster and better with this activity.

Get Rid of the Unnecessary Items

Sometimes, stakeholders come up with brilliant ideas, and those are sitting in the back burner for quite long. It is time that you removed those assignments from the backlog. Either prioritize them or remove them from the list forever.

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