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More about the Product Backlog (part of Scrum) – the various parts

What are some of the components of a Product Backlog ? In earlier posts, we have talked about how a Product backlog is the repository of the features that are needed to be done by the Scrum team, and how those features are prioritized as per the Sprint Cycle in which they are needed to be done. The Product Owner is the owner of the Sprint and controls setting the priorities and detailing of items in the Product Backlog.
What comprises the Product Backlog ? The previous post had examples / templates of the Product Backlog, but if you want a quick listing of the structure of the Product Backlog, then a product backlog comprises of the following parts – Requirements and their priority (separate columns), complexity estimate and rough size. There is no specific way to collate the requirements listed in the Product Backlog, and this can lead to problems when the requirements are vague, or open to mis-interpretation.
Each requirement ideally should have a level of detail commensurate with the degree of complexity; all this subject to the priority of the requirements. So, if there is a need to build a feature called “Add a Login button”, it can be fairly simple; however, a feature such as “build sorting logic” will need to have more details since there are a number of different logical methods that can be used to do sorting, as well as determine details such as sorting being available on which all fields.
The product backlog should contain details of the effort estimate for the various items, but consider that for items that are low priority and in the future, the effort estimate will have a higher degree of error while an important requirement happening in the next Sprint would need to have a fairly accurate estimate. Having all the estimates in place allows the Product Owner to do what-if analysis regarding prioritization.

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