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Scrum terms: What is a Product Backlog

If you are an advanced Scrum user, then go away (or wait, maybe you can contribute and make this discussion a bit better). As part of a Scrum based project implementation, we did away with all the grandiose MS Project based feature by feature schedule (as a mix of an iterative and Waterfall development process) and have been using the concept of a Product Backlog for some time now. So, I thought, now was a good time to start writing about it, and I would welcome those people who have been using it to give their feedback in the comments section.
For those who are used to the Waterfall method (and please don’t point out that you cannot exactly compare Waterfall and Scrum, I know that but am willing to live by still comparing them), you have a Requirements Analysis phase whereby you detail out the feature. If I can be honest, if you using Scrum, then you should junk those ideas of yours. Scrum understands that it is not easy to have a full defined list of broken down requirements, instead you have a prioritized list of the features required that form a Product Backlog. How is that different from a ISO certified Requirements Document? Well, you understand that the requirements can (and most probably will) change during the course of the project.
Further, the Product Backlog is a high level list of features, you have not spent time on detailing those requirements other than those that are needed for the oncoming Sprint. The idea is that the Product Backlog will get modified and become more detailed as we advance through the project, but you should not expect a time when all the features in the Backlog will be detailed out except near the end when the features / tasks have already been implemented (if that sounds confusing, a simple way to say it is to say ‘features in a product backlog will get detailed only for the next sprint, not for future Sprints that may be 2-3 months away). The Product Backlog is owned by the Product Owner.
Looks like this post will not be able to carry what all I wanted to say, so this post will be continued ..

2 comments to Scrum terms: What is a Product Backlog

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