What Is Product Backlog in Agile and Who Prepares It?

What Is Product Backlog in Agile and Who Prepares It?

The product owner prepares and implements(by discussing with the team) the product backlog in agile. It includes the entire process to build a product, project, or system—moreover, the entire list of steps or tasks to be accomplished is listed in the product backlog.

What is the product backlog in agile? Product backlog in agile consists of tasks or processes that are needed to create a product or service. It includes a list of functions, features, technology enhancements, and bug fixes that make all changes for future product releases. Anything that represents that work to be done is included in the product backlog.

Product Backlog in Agile:

Let us understand the product backlog in agile, how it is made, who controls it, work item estimates, etc.

How Product Backlog is Made in Scrums:

Items that must go into the product backlog are as follows:

  • Firstly,  create work items that include name, works description, starts and end date, estimated time of that work item, estimated points, and priority level.
  • Determine the workflow that should be followed in the product development process.
  • Preparation of checklist that validates the completed work item at the end of the sprint.
  • Finally, the product backlog is created by the product owner in the planning meeting of the agile scrum.

To summarize, the product backlog needs to contain a requirement to drive a two-week sprint. In other cases, it may include a thirty-day sprint.

Who controls the product backlog?

The product owner controls and manages the product backlog. The product owner may be the project head or the company’s top official, who has key control over all the functions.

For in-house developments, the product owner could be the project manager or the department manager. He is fully responsible for the project. Furthermore, he maintains the product backlog and ensures that it is visible to everyone.

As a result, everyone knows their responsibilities and what items have the highest priority, which needs to be worked on at the earliest.

Can Teams Change Product Backlog?

Teams cannot change the product backlog of their own. They need to convince, advise or influence the product owner to change the product backlog.

Organizations have many ways of setting priorities and requirements. Moreover, these scrum practices are influenced, mainly through meetings known as sprint review meetings.

Therefore, we conclude that only one person is responsible for maintaining the priority of product backlog. Otherwise, multiple conflicts will arise, and there would be confusion between scrum teams about what to do and what not to do.

How can Owners Succeed through Product Backlogs?

The owners can succeed through product backlogs if the team respects and follows their decisions.

In scrums, no one can instruct the team to work on a set of priorities other than backlog.

All the product owner’s decisions should be highly reflected in the prioritization of work as per product backlog.

The visibility requires the product owner to do their best in the role both as demanding and rewarding in the future.

How to estimate the product backlog?

The team members can estimate the product backlog in terms of points, priority, and time. The points represent the level of difficulty or challenge.

And the priority means a high, medium, or low priority in terms of work completion during the sprint. However, the work delivery remains fixed for all, i.e., at the end of the sprint.

The product owners work with the team to decide how long the product will take to develop.

Moreover, the team must be familiar with architecture, design, construction, and testing, to estimate accurate points and time.

For higher priority tasks, the time estimation must be accurate. If the product owner isn’t clear, he must redefine the top priority backlog like lowering its priority or keep it a matter of discussion rather than a work item.


The product backlog is a commitment for the team for every sprint. If any item isn’t completed, the work item or backlog is returned by the sprint end. It is further considered a backlog for the next sprint until the backlog is accomplished.

Moreover, the scrum activities are essential to streamline the work by keeping a record of every work item so that none of the workforces is left idle. That, in turn, ensures proper usage of office hours and helps achieve maximum productivity.

Written by Liam Rhoehler

Hi', I am Adam. I've been with HowNest since October 2017. My research work, articles, whitepapers cover all areas of technology such business software applications, employee management, operation management, agile scrum, etc.

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