Let’s explore what you do and do not put in a backlog. How do these sound?
- Features and non-functional requirements – Absolutely
- Bug fixes and change requests – Yes, probably
- Risk avoidance and risk reduction activities – Sure, maybe
- Opportunity exploitation activities and marketing ideas – Now you’re just getting weird!
- Team building and social events – Erm, no!
Yet, if it’s all just stuff for the team to do, then why not put it in the backlog? Maybe because the customer has not asked for it and the product owner has to own and order it, but let’s look further.
If we used a backlog metaphor for prioritizing backlog work items. It may look like this.
I am not suggesting these are the correct elements for including in a backlog, I am just showing the common ones. However, I am probably getting too abstract too quickly. Let’s start at the beginning.