There are two important elements in Scrum: the Product Backlog and the Sprint Backlog. They are confused rather often and some people do not understand why they even needed. In this section we try to compare them and explain necessary items.
What is it?
The only sorted list of Product requirements. That is, the list of all possibilities and features that interested people want to see in the Product.
A list of actions to realize the selected elements of the Product Backlog, that is, a list of improvements the Team will do in the nearest Sprint and a description of how they will implement these improvements.
How do they look like?
Somehow! It should be easy for the Team to work with them. Most often a Backlog is a worksheet or table in Excel, a board with stickers, a virtual board in Trello or Jira.
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What do they include?
The “Fight club” company organizes broadcast of boxing matches. They have a website where users watch records of previous fights and live broadcasts. Some kind of YouTube for boxers.
New features or functions of the Product.
The highest priority in the “Fight club” Product Backlog is: the customers should be able to put the bets on their favorite fighters to make more profit.
Real steps to achive the Sprint Goal.
In the Sprint Backlog the Team devides a big betting task in the specific steps:
– add a new section on the site;
– attach online payments;
– find out, how to transfer funds to the winners;
– test, how it works;
– gather the feedback.
Who does make it?
The Product Owner
The Development Team
Who does influence the content?
The Product Owner. He may take into consideration the opinion of stakeholders and customers, but the final decision and responsibility for the Product Backlog lies on him only.
The Development Team. Nobody else may add to or remove the tasks from the Sprint Backlog.
When being created?
On the very first Sprint Planning.
On each Sprint Planning.
When being changed?
The order of the Product Backlog elements and their detail level may be changed on Sprint Planning, Spring Review or Product Backlog Refinement. New ideas can be added to and some previous ones can be removed from the list.
Changes in the Sprint Backlog depend on the speed of the Team work. They may happen even every day. Important: the changes appear due to the fact that the Team devides the tasks into smaller ones or understands that it is necessary to do something else to achieve the Sprint Goal.
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How long does exist for?
Until the Product is actual.
During one Sprint(1–4 weeks).
How many teams use it?
The only Product Backlog inspite of number of teams.
1 Product-1 Product Backlog-several Teams
Each Team has its own Sprint Backlog. If we have five Teams, we have five Sprint Backlogs then.
1 Product-several Sprint Backlogs-several Teams
Whether it ends by the end of the Sprint?
No. New elements will appear in the Product Backlog as the Product exists on the market.
Yes. In theory, all the Sprint Backlog elements should be done by the end of the current Sprint.
The detail level
The upper Product Backlog elements are detailed better than those on the bottom.
All the Sprint Backlog elements are detailed approximately in the same way.
Now, let us repeat it shortly:
The Product Backlog is the list of Product improvements, sorted by priority. It is made by the Product Owner who considers the opinion of stakeholders and customers if he wants. The Product Backlog exists as the Product exists on the market.
The Sprint Backlog is the action list for the nearest Sprint which is made by the Development Team. In the Sprint Backlog the Team describes the specific steps by which it will implement the elements of the Product Backlog. Each Sprint the Team creates a new Sprint Backlog.
The Product Backlog is the list of Product improvements, sorted by priority.
The Sprint Backlog is the list of specific steps to implement the selected Product Backlog elements.
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