What is deep product backlog

DEEP is an acronym that defines the essential aspects of an ideal product backlog, i.e., the array of desirable attributes and features that a product lacks at the time of its launch. In this regard, the various product deficiencies outlined in a DEEP product backlog are:

Detailed appropriately (D)

Information about each product deficit should be specific and contextual, i.e., Every person in product development clearly understands the implications and significance of each backlog item.

Estimated (E)

A backlog should have clear implementation timelines for the various efforts/initiatives to address product deficiencies.

Emergent (E)

The product backlog should instantly reflect the effects of new developments and changes to a product’s market conditions.

Prioritized (P)

You should rank product backlog items in order of their direct significance to core business strategies, e.g., product placement, entry into new/existing market, and so forth.

While a product owner deems the various product deficits insignificant to warrant delaying a product’s launch, a product backlog is indispensable in ongoing and planned product development.

Scope of a DEEP Product Backlog

The scope of product deficiency as defined in a DEEP product backlog encompasses:

●     Product composition, features, capabilities, enhancements, and bugs, whereby a product owner derives each item from multiple sources, including:

●     What competing brands offer or don’t offer customers

●     Customer opinions and expectations,e.g., findings from the beta testing and customer feedback via email, chatbots, etc.

●     Current market conditions and trends, i.e., market demand the product and expected short-term/long-term changes.

●     Emergence/enforcement of product-centric regulations and legislation, e.g., reclassification/banning/outlawing of particular product packaging, raw materials, etc

●     Product availability, i.e., the different forms in which customers can purchase a product from vendors. This aspect entails:

o Product Packaging, i.e., the various price-specific quantities, volumes, measures, versions, and modules of products that customers can purchase

o Product Access, i.e., the different avenues through which customers gain access to a non-tangible product, i.e., a service offered in-store, online, or through an affiliate(s).

Benefits of a DEEP Product Backlog

A DEEP product backlog grants the product owner the ability to actively monitor, modify, and implement strategies to bolster a product’s adoption. In effect, this product development approach makes it possible to address an array of product-centric market-focused changes, such as:

●     Negating adverse effects of sudden changes in customer expectations and demand for a product, e.g., emphasizing the use of natural/sustainable raw materials in product branding in response to negative publicity on certain product ingredients

●     Identify and utilize new technologies that enhance product availability and adoption, e.g., transitioning to new resource-efficient production methods that result in higher profit margins.

●     Create and implement effective marketing strategies that target an emerging customer segment, e.g., availing a product in smaller, more pocket-friendly quantities to target lower-income customers.

●     Seeking out appropriate legislative channels to address newly-enforced product-centric regulations, e.g., including a health advisory message on product packaging as required by a new standard enforcing this measure.


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