Product Backlog Transparency vs Visibility

Last post 02:47 pm July 13, 2020
by Jack Daniel Morilla
10 replies
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05:24 am November 12, 2018

Hi Everyone,

I am reading the scrum guide and one line has confused me in the Product Owner role. it states that

"Product owner ensures that the product backlog is visible, transparent, clear to all, and shows what the scrum team will on next"

I have the following questions after this :-

  • What is the difference between transparent and visible?
  • How does the product owner ensures that product backlog is transparent? In my opinion, it contains list of all features and fixes and describe the value associated with each PBI. Secondly those performing the work and those inspecting the resulting increment must share a common DOD. That's what make it transparent. Am i thinking correct?

Appreciate the response. Thanks

06:03 am November 12, 2018

A traditional requirements set and project plan may, together, contain all of the information needed to represent a Product Backlog and for a Definition of Done to be implied. However, the Product Backlog and DoD might not be very transparent to team members if they were to be presented in such a format.

06:18 am November 12, 2018

Understanding this, what makes a product backlog transparent then?

If i consult the scrum guide, following are ways, product backlog is transparent

  1. A product backlog to be transparent, it should lists all features, functions, requirements, enhancements and fixes that constitute the changes to be made to the product in future releases and to make them transparent, they should be visible and accessible to everyone on the scrum team.

Am i correct? Thanks.

07:44 am November 12, 2018

The answer to that question probably extends beyond the Scrum Guide. What makes the Produtc Backlog transparent depends on the devlopment team and the stakeholders.

01:18 pm November 12, 2018

Are there any good practices by which we can make the product backlog transparent?

05:43 pm November 12, 2018

My interpretation of the difference between visibility and transparency is between radiating information (visibility) and making available the right information (transparency).

08:19 am November 13, 2018

Are there any good practices by which we can make the product backlog transparent?

Using clear, ubiquitous language that is understood by both developers and stakeholders when writing PBIs is helpful.

09:03 pm June 26, 2020

The Product backlog is transparent when it is ordered and when the product backlog is available to all stakeholders.

02:18 pm June 29, 2020

What is the difference between transparent and visible?

If transparency were to be described as being 'well understood'  would this help with the difference between the two? 

A backlog can be ordered and accessible to the team and stakeholders, however, they may not understand the direction the product is going, the work that needs done to get there, and it's value. 

10:19 pm June 29, 2020

To take it a bit further, could a backlog be considered transparent if there are hidden considerations that will cause it to be adapted in the future?

For example, the current state of the Product Backlog is visible to all stakeholders, but the Product Owner knows they will interview one stakeholder in secret next week, and that has the potential to trigger a substantial shift in priorities.

09:33 am July 12, 2020

my perspective about Transparency and Visibility:

Transparency - This is between the PO and Stakeholder, all the possible requirements are reflected in the Product Backlog.

Visibility: This is where it's visibility Scrum Team (Scrum Master and Development Team.) All the possible PBI's are being discussed during the Backlog Refinement/Grooming.