What is an engineering backlog?

An engineering backlog in agile refers to the artifact that lists and prioritizes epics, stories, and initiatives to be performed by the engineering team in a sprint.

Common items in a backlog include bug fixing, stories, and other engineering activities. The owner of the product or a project maintains a backlog, and the agile development team uses engineering backlogs of varying sizes.

The engineering backlog, sometimes known as the product backlog, enables the agile team to understand what they should deliver first. After every sprint, the team can meet up to analyze and review the project’s progress.

Agile organizations and teams have a varying definition of backlog. Some define engineering backlog as whereby the product owner categorizes epics and user stories into different engineering tasks. That means the engineering backlog of the team is a product.

Other companies define engineering backlog as a place for tracking and prioritizing product ideas and recommendations. Other organizations consider an engineering backlog as a document for keeping product bugs and faults that require fixing.

What’s in The Engineering Backlog?

Depending on the organization, the backlog has different definitions and uses. However, things you may find on the backlog include:

●       New user stories

●       Product bugs and deficiencies

●       The engineer’s opinion for fixing and improving the product

●       Specific tasks and blocks of times that address technical debt of the product

●       Initiatives of the engineering team aimed for completion in the next sprint

How To Maintain an Engineering Backlog

The owner of the product owns the engineering backlog and has the following responsibilities:

●       To keep the items of the backlog arranged in order of priority.

●       Ensure the items on the backlog are actionable and well written, and a standard development cycle time frame is achievable. For agile companies, this should be within one or two development sprints.

●       To remove items that no longer fit into the list of engineering backlog.

●       To view and check the backlog items regularly against the product roadmap. Also, to make sure the current tasks level plan of the development team aligns with the product’s strategic goals as per the company.

●       To facilitate occasional backlog grooming sessions with the cross-functional team. The grooming ensures that the subsequent sprints and tasks are clear and actionable and can be discussed during the sprint planning sessions.

●       The team might change or upgrade the following during the backlog planning session.

●       Adding further details to the task

●       Adjusting the time frame required for doing a task

●       Changing the priority of order for several tasks

What is the Role of the Product Owner in Engineering Backlog?

The product owner is an essential factor in the engineering backlog. The owner is tasked with creating, handling, and refining the backlog. To create a backlog, the owner checks the requirements and completes tasks to enable the team to reach its goals. If the owner does not have the technical knowledge, the development team can assist. They will estimate the project’s span and break it into smaller workable bits.

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