8 tips on how to master your product backlog

1. Understand why you’re doing it

Your product backlog is more than just a laundry list of things to do; it’s a carefully curated list of priorities that answers the following questions:

  • What problems am I trying to solve?
  • What are the main objectives I’m trying to achieve?
  • What are the benefits, or value this will provide my user with?

2. Understand your users

You’ll also need to figure out who your users are and the actions that they need to take in order to get the outcome they want. If your sole focus is the product or the technology behind it, you’re not solving the customer’s problem or meeting their needs.

3. Start small and go from there.

I’ve been in situations where we’ve gone round and round in circles when analysing the various journeys that a user can take. But within these journeys are discreet actions that can help solve very particular problems. It can be as basic as paying for something on a website using one specific payment method, logging into a mobile app, or even finding out about the product in the first place.

4. Try out ideas and test features

It’s no good simply hypothesising what you think your customers want without testing it out. Many people make the mistake of building out a roadmap for the next three years with tens or even hundreds of items. But when they start to go out to market, the end user doesn’t want or need particular functionality, which can have a knock-on effect for the rest of the roadmap.

5. Build a framework around experimentation

As a consultancy that helps organisations solve problems using emerging tech, DiUS is always experimenting. However, it’s important to build a framework around experimentation to keep product teams on the right track.

6. Look at what needs to be done holistically and regularly

Every product development or software engineering project is a puzzle with several interconnected pieces. From databases and cloud platforms to authorisation systems and user interfaces, everything needs to speak to each other in order to work. So when refining and prioritising your product backlog, it can all seem a bit overwhelming.

7. Find a balance between different customers

Certain features of a product are designed for a specific set of users. And if you’ve tested and launched a feature that proves successful with these users, it’s easy to lose track of other users who require something different from your product. So finding a balance between different users is critical.

8. Always keep your backlog ticking

There are countless books and blogs out there that talk about how much time and resources should be spent on certain tasks, working on your tech stack vs. delivering more features etc.



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We specialise in using emerging tech to solve difficult problems, get new ideas to market & disrupt business models.