Prioritizing your Product Backlog

There are many ways to organize the Backlog: Business Value, Point value and relative Importance are the most frequently used systems.

  • Business Value indicates the $ value of releasing a particular Story;
  • Point Value is an indicator of the relative difficulty of delivering the feature;
  • Importance is a measure of how critical a feature is to the overall project.

Put together, these indicators allow for a Cost/benefit analysis that facilitate the Prioritization process.


Based on this Matrix, it is suggested to work:

  1. High Value / Low Effort items
  2. High Value / High Effort items
  3. Low Value / Low Effort items
  4. Low Value / High Effort items - if you must, but preferably not

When starting your product backlog, there is only one way to go:

Start with the minimum Marketable Feature Set

Once you have that in place there are multiple methods which can work, and it comes down to which fits your business model best.

  • Scrum
  • Lean / Kanban
  • Extreme Programming (XP)
  • Feature-Driven development (FDD)
  • Dynamic Systems Development Method (DSDM)
  • Crystal

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