What is Backlog Definition, Tips & FAQs

The product backlog is a container for work you think you will do in the future to keep your product competitive. It is the output of the product owner in collaboration with stakeholders . It will change frequently, with items being added or taken out on a regular basis.

When you have extra work to do that keeps accumulating, you have a backlog. Sometimes people stay late at their jobs to take care of a backlog. That creates a backlog that leads to longer emergency department waits before hospital beds open up and more patients being treated and held in emergency rooms rather than in hospital beds. Notably, the company’s order backlog almost doubled in recent years, from $42 billion in 2017 to $80 billion currently, driven by growing demand for space systems. The sudden notice and quick turnaround time required is expected to lead to a check-ride backlog, several pilots said.

  • A backlog is a list of tasks required to support a larger strategic plan.
  • In other words, a backlog is a record of what needs to be done and in which order it should be done.
  • When technical debt builds up – whether deliberately or unknowingly — you can risk delaying product releases.
  • Bugs tend to cluster and accumulate over time if they aren’t resolved.
  • New ideas get added as feedback from the market, and customers continually roll in through various channels.
  • A product backlog is a prioritized list of work for the development team that is derived from the roadmap and its requirements.

Regular review of the backlog is often called “backlog grooming” in agile circles. In addition to these tactical benefits, you can hold periodic grooming sessions. Grooming sessions are an excellent opportunity to bring the entire cross-functional team together to ensure everyone is working toward a standard set of strategic goals.

There is a growing and significant backlog of repair and maintenance to buildings. Pressure on space in the journal means that more pages must now be given to submitted articles to prevent the backlog of accepted papers growing even further. These trends did not support the backlog theory, although they did not preclude the idea that an element of backlog had existed in 1955.

A backlog is a list of tasks required to support a larger strategic plan. For example, a product development context contains a prioritized list of items. Typical items on a product backlog include user stories, changes to existing functionality, and bug fixes. The sprint backlog is a container for work the team is committed to doing, either right now as a part of the sprint (typically a one- to four-week period). It is an output of a sprint planning meeting attended by the team. The sprint backlog, ideally, doesn’t change at all for duration of the sprint.

Many think of this backlog as a to-do list, and define it in exactly this way, as a list of things you must do to deliver your product to market. Orders or tasks can be accepted and do not have to be rejected. However, if deadlines are missed, the order backlog turns into overload. Product BacklogAs described in the Scrum Guide, the Product Backlog is an emergent, ordered list of what is needed to improve the product. It is the single source of work undertaken by the Scrum Team. Find out how to create agile boards in Jira software with this step-by-step guide.

What makes a healthy backlog?

The product owner should monitor these sources routinely and resolve any conflicting requests. Doing so will help make sure the backlog contains new features that both attract new customers and build loyalty with existing ones. When done well, the roadmap lays out the relative prioritization and timing of key strategic themes. The roadmap’s high-level view does not list specific and detailed items of an individual backlog item. Theme-based visual roadmap is not just a list of backlog items slated for each upcoming release.

The Government inherited a huge backlog in 1997, which then got worse. The Safety maintenance backlog was reduced from £ 83 million to £ 71 million. The Product Goal describes a future state of the product which can serve as a target for the Scrum Team to plan against. The rest of the Product Backlog emerges to define “what” will fulfill the Product Goal.

This is the British English definition of backlog.View American English definition of backlog. ˈbacklog noun a pile of uncompleted work etc which has collected. Review the items and discuss how the items at the top support the company’s current strategic objectives. This universal repository contains every possibility for what the product may add or change in the future.

There is still a growing backlog of appeals, partly because of the speed with which existing claims are being dealt with. Here again there is an enormous backlog of neglect to make up. One of the advantages of a young journal is that the backlog is small; the turnaround from first submission to final appearance can be under a year. A backlog of cases routinely leads to trial delays of 6 months or more and some 10,780 cases were pending at the end of 2004. Currently, we are therefore having to decide whether to validate a backlog of 25 years of experience and, if so, how. We have of course, a great backlog of unfilled wants in the country.

Agile Product Backlogs

It may, for example, refer to a company’s sales orders waiting to be filled or a stack of financial paperwork, such as loan applications, that needs to be processed. Learn how to create a product backlog with this tutorial in Hansoft. Bugs and defects are problems discovered by end users that escaped quality control during development. In a Waterfall process, testing is often the last step of the development lifecycle. It’s quite common to push a release live with a large collection of minor defects. Bugs tend to cluster and accumulate over time if they aren’t resolved.

backlog meaning

The other two, technical debt and research, are invisible to customers yet can’t be ignored. In short, the sprint backlog is the short-term plan for the team’s sprint. The product backlog is the long-term plan for the product, where the vision is itemized into concrete deliverable items that make the product more valuable.

With much of the building unrenovated since it was built in the 19th century, there is a significant backlog of repairs estimated to be in excess of £1bn. Kyle purchased a new one despite having a backlog of video games that he hasn’t played. A cost center is a function within an organization that does not directly add to profit but still costs an organization money to operate. Business to business is a type of commerce transaction that exists between businesses, such as those involving a manufacturer and wholesaler or retailer. Lead time is the amount of time from the start of a process until its conclusion. Reducing lead time in manufacturing can increase output and revenue.


They can then focus on the following most essential items in the queue. It gives them extra time on projects that aren’t a priority. Proper planning and organization is integral to your success.

When a time-critical task comes up, it will be placed on top of the product backlog and, therefore, it’ll be processed first. This helps set expectations with stakeholders and other teams, especially when they bring additional work to you, and makes engineering time a fixed asset. A backlog is the aggregate sale value of all received customer orders that have not yet been shipped. A backlog is present when the production capacity of a business is less than the rate at which orders are being received. The trend line of the backlog can be monitored to see if it changes over time.

backlog meaning

Definition and synonyms of backlog from the online English dictionary from Macmillan Education. Look up any word in the dictionary offline, anytime, anywhere with the Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary app. Shiny object or pet project (“it’s in the backlog, we’ll get to it eventually”).

IT Service Management

The development team doesn’t work through the backlog at theproduct owner’space and the product owner isn’t pushing work to the development team. Instead, the development team pulls work from the product backlog as there is capacity for it, either continually or by iteration . Consequently, product development teams may complete sprint tasks more quickly than expected. For example, particular projects may get unexpectedly put on hold or canceled.

backlog meaning

Multiple Scrum Teams often work together on the same product. One Product Backlog is used to describe the upcoming work on the product. Product Backlog items that can be Done by the Scrum Team within one Sprint are deemed ready for selection in a Sprint Planning event. They usually acquire this degree of transparency after refining activities. Product Backlog refinement is the act of breaking down and further defining Product Backlog items into smaller more precise items.

backlog | American Dictionary

Once the team chooses the roadmap, the backlog serves as a source for specific development items. The tasks are most beneficial to achieving the objectives and goals of each theme. The product team may consider related backlog items for individual sprints and more significant epics. Product teams should schedule the highest-ranked things first.

Such funds are best viewed as transitional mechanisms to mobilize financing to tackle an accumulated backlog of environmental problems. They include words and phrases such as broke, down payment, advertising, charisma, fine print, input, throughput, memo, nitty-gritty, streamline, backlog, breakthrough, feedback, and format. Blackouts caused by sunspot activity made communication difficult and sometimes impossible, resulting in a backlog of delayed traffic when the blackout ended.

antonyms for backlog

An increasing backlog indicates a substantial order book that will eventually translate into future sales, or a decline in production capacity. A declining backlog indicates that there will eventually be a drop in sales, or that the production capacity of the business has increased. In the area of trendy consumer goods, the seller might attempt to artificially maintain a small backlog, which gives the impression that a high level of demand exists for the product. With a purpose-built roadmap tool, individual backlog items link with the more prominent themes in the roadmap. The backlog gets itself when stakeholders drill down into the details of each piece.

Sessions rely on the backlog to scope, size, and slot development tasks and references. Furthermore, the development team will struggle to assess possible and create a reasonably confident schedule without these details captured in a single repository. When Apple debuted the iPhone X, a 10th-anniversary edition of the iPhone, in October 2017, overwhelming initial demand for the phone created a weeks-long backlog on pre-orders. Apple was forced to delay shipments to late November and then again to December for customers pre-ordering the phone upon launch. Many criticized the backlog as an example of poor sales forecasting by Apple, which saw a similar situation happen when the firm debuted its Apple Watch product in 2015.

There are many benefits to using backlogs for your projects and milestones. They help you keep track of all the work that needs to get done so there’s no confusion backlog refinement techniques as to what should be completed by the end of your project. These are some of the questions we’ll be answering in this project management glossary article.

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