Prioritizing Your Product Backlog from Mike Cohn from Agile 2008

1 minute read

Mike Cohn basically invented the idea of Agile User Stories which is what we’ve started using at Amnesty on specific projects for our Agile development. It’s definitely paid dividends though, like any new introduced technique, has had a few growing pains as we’ve learned new things.

We do have some of the issues he mentions in Prioritizing Your Product Backlog in our agile development, and I’d have to say we don’t spend enough time “grooming the product backlog.” We do spend a good week between iterations, thinking of the focus of the design goals of the next iteration and writing new user stories.

Interestingly, we have noticed as well, the difficulty in prioritizing at the story level rather than epic or theme level so I thought this was a pretty nice presentation.

Really liked the idea of Kano analysis as an additional screen on the product backlog : exciters/delighters, and mandatory/baseline. Particularly the idea of driving that via a simple survey of just a few tens of users - a functional questioning asking how people feel if it’s present and a dysfunctional question asking how people feel if it’s absent.

Categorizing Kano answer pairs

Bit long, but definitely worth your time if you’re using doing agile development and working with a product backlog (doubly so if your backlog is more of an attic that never gets looked at). Weird little thing, note the slides appear below the video of Mike doing the hand waving and talking which makes full screen not so useful on it. You’ll miss important stuff… so maybe move the browser down 1/8 of the screen before starting the presentation.

product design dev