Backlog is easily overlooked part of Scrum or Kanban processes. It is often treated as a cloaca, full of festering stories that did not make the cut and are now not going anywhere.

With a right approach, though, product backlog can be a tremendously powerful resource.

Of course, we’re not the first to have discovered neither the backlog anti-pattern, nor adopted an alternative approach to it. This piece by CEO of does a great job on both counts.

Keep It Epic, Keep It Groomed

When dealing with product backlog, at bonusbox we have adopted the following approach:

  • Everything that is not worked on is in the Backlog;
  • Backlog has its own Board;
  • The Board consists of:
    • Themes – swimlanes;
    • Epics – cards;
  • Epics are listed within a Theme in order of priority – vertically;
  • Themes are ordered in order of priority – horizontally;
  • Split a Theme into “do now” v. “do later” swimlanes if needed;
  • Keep prioritizing Themes along the horizontal axis;
  • Keep prioritizing Epics along the vertical axis;
  • Epics from the high-priority end of the Board elaborated on.

Here is roughly how it looks in action (thanks to our CTO Jan):

Ta-da! There is your quick overview of priorities with Backlog playing an key role in product planning.

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