One Team, Several Products = One Backlog or Several Backlogs

Last post 04:46 pm August 2, 2019
by Neringa Šukytė
5 replies
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10:17 am August 1, 2019

Hi All,

Our team currently working with a few products. At the moment we have one Product Backlog that contains different epics - that almost become like mini Product Backlogs. 

Maybe you had a similar situation - how did your team handle that kind of situation and maybe you have some good tips and tricks for us too?

Best,
Neringa

01:27 pm August 1, 2019

One product, one backlog. However, it does depend on how you define "product".

There is also a risk of having one team work on multiple products. Their focus is split and it becomes harder to deliver a cohesive value if, over the course of a single Sprint, they are working on multiple products.

04:42 pm August 1, 2019

Not ideal, and certainly not as Scrum designed, but one strategy that might improve your situation is to dedicate sprints to specific "products" to support focus and reduce waste and context-switching.

05:17 pm August 1, 2019

Our team currently working with a few products. At the moment we have one Product Backlog that contains different epics - that almost become like mini Product Backlogs. 

Why "almost"? What is impeding the creation and management of backlogs for these products?

07:56 pm August 1, 2019

However, it does depend on how you define "product".

@Thomas makes a great point. My current organization has multiple epics in a single Product Backlog. Our trick is to make sure those epics are all aligned with what we call a product.  For us, products are more along the lines of value streams than specific product lines.  We actually have multiple "things created from a code base" that spans our value streams. We also have the potential for multiple teams to work from the same Product Backlog. You may want to look at your definition of product and see if there is a better way to envision the work.

If that is not an option I like @Timothy's suggestion. And I recommend that you contemplate @Ian's question. It may not give you an answer that you like but it will definitely provide a lot of reasons for your organization to inspect and adapt. 

07:17 am August 2, 2019

Thank you a lot for your comments.