In simple words, Product Backlog is a list of all the possible features that are needed to be in a project or product or whatever that is being built or done. If you are building an airplane, then everything that makes an airplane will be there in the Product Backlog. It has both functional and non functional requirements. In other words, everything that interests your customer will be in it. Product Backlog is not just a list of user stories or features but it is prioritized by Product Owner (if needed, helped by Scrum Team) as per customer preference. Product Backlog will have highest value adding features at the top and lowest at the end. This makes everyone in the project know what is important for customer. Product Backlog keeps on evolving during Scrum, during each Sprint it gets refined (priorities change, user stories re-phrased, enhanced as per customer etc) by the team.
Product Backlog is single list of things needed to be done as part of the project. These lists of things are User Stories or features in other words. These User Stories are prioritized as per customer’s needs and preference. User Stories at the top of the list are the ones badly needed by the customer.
User stories could include functional and non functional requirements or any requirements that finally adds value to your customers. e.g. If you need a special automation testing tool to do thorough testing, then it could be a user story. This is because, better tested software always gives better product to customers and has great value for them.
User Stories in the Product Backlog could generic and more the number of User Stories, the detailed is your Product Backlog. User Stories that would be worked first or high priority User Stories may be very detailed.
Product Owner is the ultimate responsibility for Product Backlog.
At any given point, however big the project is, there is only one Product Backlog list. During Sprint Planning, Team selects few User Stories (Sprint Backlog) from the Product Backlog based on the priority and starts working on them. This ensures that team always builds something that is of interest to the customers.
A sample Product Backlog:
Project is to build an E-Commerce Website that sells flowers.
|User Story ID||User Story||Priority|
|ID1||As a Developer, I should be able to test the code developed in an efficient way via a continuous integration server so that the customer gets quality product at the end||1 (Highest Priority)|
|ID2||As a customer, I should be able to browse through the Flower Collection in a easy way so that the buying experience is pleasant||2|
|ID3||As a customer, I want to be able to register in to the website and store my preferences, previous buying history etc so that I do not have to remember anything||3|
|ID4||As a proprietor, I should be able to know the current sales and other details so that I can know the sales trend||4|
|ID5||As a proprietor, I should be able to see my loyal customers and should be able to offer them better discount over others so that they come back even more||5|
|ID6||As a customer…||—|
|ID7||As a auditor…||—|
|ID7||As an Site Admin…||—|
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