#NoBacklogs: How to never lose a good idea by keeping the Backlog short!

“I’m afraid we might lose all these good ideas!” This is a phrase I hear very often when facilitating a Vision and Backlog session with the teams I work with. This is true for software teams as well as for business teams and mixed business + development teams.

The fear of losing a good idea is natural. It is as natural as it is irrational, but we are not really rational beings when it comes to “fear”. Like the fear of “losing a good idea”. 

Why do we keep on adding things to backlogs over and over again without removing an equal amount of items?

It stands to reason that if you can deliver, say 20 backlog items in 3 months (to use some numbers), then the Backlog size should never grow bigger than 20. Just regularly and ruthlessly remove the crud in every Backlog grooming meeting if you are doing Scrum, or stick to the WIP limit if you are doing Kanban. 

The appropriate numbers may vary for you and your organization, but the effect is similar. If the backlog is allowed to grow too large you inevitably end up with a haystack of bad ideas with some good ideas hiding in the messy Backlog. Keep your Backlog short, that will keep only the good ideas in! (and the bad ideas out because of the constant elimination!)

If the backlog is allowed to grow too large you inevitably end up with a haystack of bad ideas with some good ideas hiding in the messy Backlog. Keep your Backlog short, that will keep only the good ideas in!

— SoftwareDevelopmentToday.com

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.