Creating a Product Backlog

by | Aug 24, 2016

Creating a Product Backlog

by Aug 24, 2016

It’s that time of year again. If truth we know, it’s actually earlier than ‘that’ time of year; I’m just a little more organised this time around. Maybe a little inspired by a few Olympic displays!
Spring will soon be upon us, at least if you’re in the Southern hemisphere. And its time to decide upon the Summer’s sporting events. If you’ve followed any of my sporting endeavours in running or completing a marathon before, then you’ll be aware that I like to use Agile to execute my training plans and business intelligence to monitor my performance.
This summer is different. Previously I’ve decided upon an event, and used Agile to execute my plan to get to the start line. Easy, one event at a time. Only I’ve now stepped away from being a ‘runner’ into the world of triathlon. And with the advent of summer, comes a huge choice of events and distances; The Scorching Triathlon Series; short, medium, long or half-ironman. Round the Bays road run; 10km or half-marathon, Capital Classic ocean swim; 1km or 3.3km. As well as spending time doing what I love; running around the hills of Wellington.
I only have limited time (and energy) to put into training with a set of competing requirements. Time to create and prioritise my backlog.
In his book Agile Data Warehousing for the Enterprise: A Guide for Solution Architects, Ralph Hughes describes how those at the top of the organisation talk in terms of ‘epics’, the Senior Management talk about ‘themes’ and the Manager, aka Product Owner define the ‘user stories’. We’ve successfully used the technique with customers and include it as part of our Agile Business Intelligence training course.
I figured if I can define my requirements in these terms, then I’ll have a better hierarchy of requirements from which to build a training schedule.
So, I’ve consulted with the Board of Directors (family), here’s what they told me:

  1. As a Board, we want you to be fitter and leaner so that you live a healthier life. Acceptance Criteria; current Strava times drop by 5-10%, current weight decrease by 5kg
  2. As a Board, we want you to do events you enjoy so that training is something you look forward to. Acceptance Criteria; in excess of 85% complete sessions (injury excepting)
  3. As a Board, we don’t want training to take over so that family time doesn’t suffer. Acceptance Criteria; most training takes place during the week or early mornings at the weekend.

Maybe not unexpectedly, the Board aren’t interested in what I do, they are more focused on positive outcomes for the Company (family) as a whole.
Next steps; off to the Senior Management Team to define the themes.
Geoff blogs from a flat overlooking the intersection of Agile, Business, and Life
You can read Geoff’s blog What Next?, or all of his blogs here.
We run regular Agile training courses with a business intelligence slant in both Wellington and Auckland. Find out more here.

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