The Agile Team and what is a Backlog? What are they for and why are they important?

The Agile Team

Agile software development is a group of software development methods in which requirements and solutions evolve through collaboration between self-organizing, cross-functional teams. The Agile Team consists of roles such as Stakeholder, Product Owner and Team Member. (Ambler & Holitza, 2012)

Product Backlog

Figure 1.1 : Product Backlog. Pichler (2013). Retrieved from http://bit.ly/1vHAD5G

stakeholder is someone who’s financially impacted by the outcome of the solution and is clearly more than an end-user. A stakeholder may be one of the following: a direct or indirect user, a manager of users, a senior manager, an operations or IT staff member, The “gold owner” who funds the project, an auditor(s), a program/portfolio manager.  A product owner is the team member who facilitates the team members to understand the requirements of stakeholder. Along with this, a product owner represents the needs and desires of the stakeholder community to the agile delivery team. He clarifies any details regarding the solution and is also responsible for maintaining a prioritized list of
work items that the team will implement to deliver the solution (Ambler & Holitza, 2012). The role of a team member focuses on producing the actual solution for stakeholders. Team members perform testing, analysis, architecture, design, programming, planning, estimation, and many more activities as appropriate throughout the project. In addition to these roles, some team members also carry out very specific roles such as a team lead, an architecture owner and an agile mentor. A project might have need to add some or all following roles: Domain expert, Specialist, Technical expert, Independent tester, and Integrator. Success of the Agile team depends on how well the people with different roles communicate with each other.(Ambler & Holitza, 2012)

My Personal Experience with Agile Team and Backlogs

In our cloud computing project we are a team of three members and we are developing a cloud based application. We are using Agile methodology to keep track of the tasks. As Agile team has very specific roles assigned to each of the team members, we are using the same strategy. Based on the skills of the people, we assigned roles as domain expert, developer and tester. The backlogs are helping us to keep our project on track.Understanding and implementing the agile team concept and backlogs are helping me to execute my projects successfully.

What is a Product Backlog? : Purpose and Importance

Backlog_with_stories

Figure 1.2 : Product Backlog . Bozzuto (2014). Retrieved from http://bit.ly/12dktHf

A product backlog is nothing but a picture of how the final product should look like (Bozzuto, 2014). It consists of user stories arranged according to their priorities. After each iteration of agile cycle, the product owner updates the product backlog. The product owner needs to add any new user stories to the product backlog and rank those stories by priority. The product owner also adds stories that were scheduled for the current iteration, but not completed, back into the product backlog, and ranks those stories again based on the most recent priorities. The product owner needs to complete updates to the product backlog in time for the next iteration planning meeting.A good product backlog does not automatically ensure good software. However, the lack of a good product backlog often results in incomplete software that does not meet the requirements of your customers and stakeholders. Microsoft (2013)

Managing the product backlog is a full-time job. Simple techniques can help change what can be an overwhelming, time-consuming process to an interactive, iterative process that effectively engages team members, customers, and stakeholders. It’s essential, therefore, to learn solid techniques to help you build, prioritize, and maintain your product backlog. Microsoft (2013)

Pichler (2013). Pichler Consulting : The Product Ownership Test. Retrieved from http://bit.ly/1vHAD5G

Bozzuto (2014). The Product Backlog : An Agile WBS. Retrieved from http://bit.ly/12dktHf

Microsoft (2013). Microsoft Developer Network. Retrieved from http://bit.ly/11I3uMp

Ambler & Holitza (2012). Agile For Dummies®, IBM Limited Edition.  Hoboken, NJ : John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

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One thought on “The Agile Team and what is a Backlog? What are they for and why are they important?

  1. Great job!! All the concepts are clear. very well explained about the agile team, how they play an important role for making the product successful, release the product in time. very nicely written about the backlog. good explanation for why the product backlog is considered as a stepping stone for success. purpose and importance of product backlog is very well explained.blog is neat and clear.so overall a great job.

    Like

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