Sizes of items on Sprint and Product Backlog

Last post 01:16 pm April 22, 2019
by Manas Barik
2 replies
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05:14 am July 10, 2014

Hi all,

there is a question on the PSM I assessment that asks about the relative size of items in Product and Sprint backlog. My criteria has been that since Sprint Backlog items are usually smaller because:
1) Product Backlog can be refined to a certain degree, but the Sprint backlog items should be detailed to a low level (understandable by both PO and Dev Team)
2) Sprint Backlog contains the plan for the Sprint and tasks are also items in it (smaller)

What do you think?
Thanks!
Àlex / Barcelona

06:56 am July 10, 2014

> Sprint Backlog contains the plan for the Sprint...

That's the key point. Product Backlog Items (PBI's) describe business value, whereas a Sprint Backlog is a plan for delivering associated business value. The two are not really comparable in terms of size.

In practice, a Sprint Backlog will often be expressed as tasks for implementing a collection of PBI's that meet an agreed Sprint Goal. There will usually be multiple tasks associated with realizing a single PBI and so, by implication, these tasks are commonly regarded as being "smaller".

However it doesn't have to be that way. A Sprint Backlog is a plan, or forecast, for implementing a subset of associated PBI's. It does not necessarily have to consist of tasks, nor does it necessarily have to be decomposable. It could be a single entity that is subject to revision as the Sprint progresses, by the addition or removal of elements that are determined in an ad-hoc way at the time. By that definition, the Sprint Backlog, as a single coherent item, would actually be *larger* than any of the individual PBI's being tackled.

06:07 am April 20, 2019

Product Backlog Items (PBI's) extract from user story, describe the business value. Whereas the Sprint backlog is extract from PBI (A slice of PBI with detail description).

I didn’t see any document suggesting about the size of both the Artifacts, but from my experience what I am suggesting that a PBI should not be more than 32 hour (Sum up of all the detail Sprint backlog slice size), so that it can fit to a weekly sprint.

In the same way the Sprint backlog should be less then 7hour (preferable 3-5 hour) so that at the end of a day, we should have something ready towards an increment.