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A New Artifact – The Long-Term Product Backlog

by Mike Cohn, 6 May 2011 | Agile Planning

This post is from Mike Cohn's Blog - Succeeding With Agile® by Mike Cohn. Click here to see the original post in full.

The weather turned nice about two weeks ago, which meant it was time for spring cleaning about the Cohn home, affectionately known as the Cohnderosa (which will only mean something if you’re old enough to remember “Bonanza”). While washing the windows around the outside of the house I had plenty of time to think about spring cleaning I’d also just helped a couple of clients with–we cleaned up their product backlogs.

The Long-Term Product Backlog

In order to clean up the product backlog, I want to introduce you to a new Scrum artifact–the Long-Term Product Backlog. The Long-Term Product Backlog is maintained by the product owner and is usually round, black and sits next to or under the product owner’s desk. Left unattended, a product backlog can become large and hard to work with. If your backlog has reached this point, take some time to do some spring cleaning—review the backlog and delete / throw away user stories that you can finally admit you’re never going to get to.

Some product owners or teams feel this is an admission of failure. It’s not. In most cases it’s an admission of success–we’re throwing away feature ideas that we...

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