Friday, November 7, 2008

INVEST in your backlog...

Backlog Items are a unit of work with end to end business value being planned, implemented, and delivered through our process. They should attempt to be:
  • Independent – so that it can be reprioritized without dependencies
  • Negotiable – a starting point; everything cannot be known up front
  • Valuable – the story should communicate value to a user or customer, not the tasks or deliverables
  • Estimable / Small – fits into one or two sprints for confident estimation and management.
  • Testable – There has to be a way to verify you have delivered that value, if not with a true test or metric, then with an acceptance test by the customer.
This concept isn't something I created, but I was reminded of it when I ran across this post today on Agile Software Development about the six good features of a user story.


  1. Of course, "estimable" has perhaps become moot, given that cost estimates are waste. :)

  2. I have read about this and might agree for mature agile teams, but for young agile environments like the one I'm working with right now... I believe the process of estimation is important since it forces the group to do just in time design to just enough detail. It also provides feedback to the business which is used for prioritization (because they also are not mature in the prioritization process).