How to break the product backlog

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How breaking down your product backlog can help your team create great products. By Filipe Rigueiro.

Teams that have mastered Scrum know that the key to success lies in a just-in-time, increasingly refined, breakdown of work on the Product Backlog. Having smaller items on the backlog improves the flow or development, reduces risks of failing the goal of the sprint and increases velocity. In this article, I will try to highlight some useful strategies to breakdown a product backlog into bite-sized user stories.

Even when delivering smaller pieces of functionality, you are still delivering value, in small increments, and with a nice flow and rhythm. The psychological effect of delivering a finished piece of functionality works as a boost to the team, helping them perform better.

The article main partts:

  • Why and when to break down items
  • Breaking down in vertical slices
  • Breaking using workflow steps
  • Breaking down by platform
  • Breaking down by operations
  • Breaking down by roles
  • Other Strategies

When do you know that a story is small enough? A good rule is not to aim for the shortest possible but to the most size-appropriate PBI. This depends on the sprint length and your team, it usually takes some experience and several sprints to find the most appropriate size. With the users in mind and using some smart strategies, scrum teams can create unique products and deliver real value to end-users. Good read!

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Tags agile teams cio management software