If you want to do something well, it is essential that you plan properly. Contrary to what many people think, this can be done in a simple and practical way, specially using tools as the Backlog. In agile management, the Backlog is the list of the main features and tasks that must be delivered at the end of a project. From it we extract not only the tasks that we must perform, but also the deliveries to be made.

First, why should I have a Backlog?

When you finish doing a task for the company, have you found yourself not knowing what to do next? This is a recurring problem when you don’t have an organized list of what needs to be done.

A company that uses the Backlog to organize its tasks and deliveries has several competitive advantages over others, such as:

  • Decrease in waste;
  • Prioritization of tasks by value generated;
  • Optimization of employees’ time.

And how does having a Backlog help me with this?

The benefits of using a Backlog come mainly from breaking down important deliverables into smaller tasks and ordering them in order of value. With this artifact, the operational team will know exactly what to do as soon as they finish a task, thus optimizing employees’ time.

Because the Backlog is prioritized in an order in which the tasks that will most generate value for customers come first, it enables the company to deliver maximum value earlier. Thus, the company will always be using the Pareto Principle (Pareto Principle says that 80% of the value will be generated by 20% of the tasks performed), increasing the speed of growth and the quality of the product or service, which as consequence will generate an increase in the company’s earnings.

When setting up a Backlog, at the time of prioritization, attention should be paid mainly to tasks that need other previous tasks to be performed (prerequisites). It is important that as soon as a collaborator starts a task, it has its prerequisites already made. This is necessary to don’t lead someone to start a task and in the middle of it realize that they will have to do another one and generate waste.

How should I create the Backlog to have these advantages?

To create the Backlog, it is essential that the Scrum Master and the Product Owner are present. The Product Owner will be primarily responsible for defining which points the team should work on next, due to its greater contact with customers and thus having a more aligned view with them, knowing what will generate more value.

The Scrum Master has an auxiliary role in this process, helping the Product Owner to write the tasks in a way that the team will understand and also helping to understand what are the prerequisites for each task, making the prioritization take that point important to take into account.

Although it is not necessary for the meeting to take place, the internal team leader can also participate in this meeting, as well as any interested member, and we even recommend that this be done. After all, who better to know if a task has prerequisites, if they are too big or too unclear than who is going to do them?

In this meeting, it is interesting that the Milestones of that team are already created, ordered and organized, which will facilitate and speed up the meeting by already knowing what are the next necessary deliveries and in what order they should be made. Having the Milestones already created, just think about what tasks will be needed to make these deliveries and define the criteria for accepting the tasks.

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