The iteration backlog is the list of refined items chosen from the Product Backlog for development in the current iteration, together with the team’s plan for accomplishing the work. Basically it’s a subset of the product backlog that reflects the team’s forecast of what work can be completed during the iteration.
With the iteration backlog in place, the iteration begins and the Team develops the new Product Increment defined by the iteration backlog.
I prefer to put the iteration backlog artefact directly in the cards that are used through all the iteration, on the whiteboard (real or virtual) but you can use your preferred tool, also an excel sheet.
Following is an example of how a backlog can be quickly created with a tool like a spreadsheet.
During the planning meeting, I fill a temporary excel sheet (that has a couple of useful macros and that I pre-filled in advance with a couple of information like start and end date, available days in the iteration net of eventual holidays, the most important stories (priority!) taken from the product backlog and so on).
One macro will then create the final tasks in our tracking system.
The temporary sheet. Each row represents the information for a topic (user story/issue/etc.), has a multiple sub-rows for each of its tasks and includes the following fields:
| ITERATION BACKLOG (example)
| July iteration (Priority decreasing) – Start: 1. July End: 28. July
|As a campaign manager I want to display in my dashboard the statistics by time …
||Design the UI
||wireframes approved by PO
||based on UX product guidelines
|Code the front-end part
|Adapt the user manual
||accepted by training team
- Story – it’s just the story name or ID taken directly from the product backlog; here as a reference.
- Task – the task title (something meaningful but not too long); if you wish you can add an extra column for the task description. You need to list under the story all the tasks that are necessary for it.
- Owner – the name or initials, something to identify the volunteer who will implement the task.
- Estimation – what has been decided in the planning meeting, for example the number of hours; some teams add extra columns (one for each day of the iteration) and put this estimation in the specific day/column. I prefer not to fix in advance in which days will be implemented and not to track the progress inside this file.
- Definition of done – this one requires some more explanation below.
Continue reading “The iteration backlog and the definition of done”