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The Agile Philosophy Within Social Media Tactics: How To Win It

The people who work inside the social media circle are acutely aware of its ever-changing facet. While such quality poses a constant challenge to many marketers, it can also create opportunities for brands to build equity and grow audience base. As social media hits it maturity phase, the demand for new approach and strategies rise. There are numerous techniques that marketers can deploy according to the goals and objectives of their businesses. You’ve heard about how the digital media technology alters the marketing platforms. Marketers and business owners can now engage with customers through innovative ways and collectively meet their needs. However, taking advantage of these digital-enabled possibilities demand a much quicker and bias actions from marketing organizations. In short, they need to be agile! The Philosophy of Agile Marketing  Agile Marketing, at its core, is a tactical marketing approach that uses data and analytics to source for solutions to problem or opportunities, employing tests, evaluating the results, and fast iteration. The beauty of this tactic is that can run hundreds of campaigns and multiple ideas simultaneously every week. It also provides brands with many advantages that integrate content marketing and social media implementation. Suffice to say that it’s not just a sexy buzzword in the digital vocabulary, but it’s one that lives up to its reputation. Agile Marketing and Its Principles The best thing about Agile marketing is that it welcomes failures so long as it comes with lessons and creates important projects in the future. The way Agile marketing works will become apparent as you check on the values that these marketing cherish. See the list below: The collaboration focuses on the customer over silos and hierarchy. Welcoming and responding to change over sticking to a plan. Iterative and adaptive campaigns over big-bang campaigns. Validated learning over conventions and opinions Customer discovery over unchanging predictions. A lot of small experiments over a few large bets. Flexibility on planning over tight planning. Why does It Work For Social Media?  There are certain conditions that you need to meet for Agile marketing to work. For example, you will need to undergo continuous change, ability to experiment, segmented analysis, and availability of steady feedbacks on experiments. The ever-moving conditions, quantifiable nature, and instantaneous feedback loop nature of social data make the social media platforms a wealthy ecosystem for agile philosophy. When it comes to taking the structure of social media into consideration, you need to remember two important principles: Constantly use an audience-first method. Think about what the audience wants to achieve and what value to add through testing. Do not just attempt to improve your marketing for the number’s sake. Use plans as guides. Utilize your methods to guide tests and use these tests to inform strategy. Don’t cease to look for ways on how to upgrade your plans in the same manner that developers upgrade apps by updating the versions. How to Incorporate Agile into Your Social Media Strategies  When it comes to social media marketing, you will need an overarching strategy to establish your methods. Although, strategies are something that every marketing department focus on regardless of how they plan to use it. Even if you use top-down or collaborative methods to create a good strategy, you can still bring it to life by using Agile-based techniques. So, below are the ways that you can incorporate into the concept of ‘agile philosophy’ to your social media marketing and go about it in a foolproof and flexible way.  Create a Customer First Policy The phrase “Customers are always right,” “Customer is king.” are just a few of the marketing cliche’ that exist for a reason, and they are unlikely true. And this a fact that marketers validate for a long time. An agile social media takes note of this vital fact. From marketing the right audience to conjuring useful and relevant contents, your customer is the crux of all your social media marketing decisions. The most successful brands use social media as a medium to establish a connection with their customers on a personal basis. Reaching out to distraught customers, responding to their queries and troubleshooting through social media are the approaches that brands take seriously in the name of ‘customer-centricity.’ Measure the Figures  It is imperative to track where your marketing efforts are heading and how they’re doing. It helps you respond to changing situations before they become crises for your brand. This timely action and alertness will only happen if your analytics and data measurement is in place. A good agile social media team knows what goes on in the system and what results to expect. In other words, you can control your ROI in social media which enables you to make a response to the slightest changes in your stats, both internal and external. However, in the real world, ROI from social media marketing is still an elusive and inclusive figure. According to Social Media Examiner report in 2014, 92% of marketers treat social media as an important factor for their businesses, while 37% of marketers managed to measure ROI on their social media engagements. These stats only goes to show that it’s difficult to gauge the influence of social media to your brand awareness and other conversion metrics. Test and Test Until You Succeed While it’s possible to create solutions for problems, it’s not mandatory that all of these solutions will give the results that you desire. Hence, testing is a must. In this case, the mechanism of social media marketing is comparable to software development. The primary motivation behind a social media campaign does not change for a brand on a regular basis. But still, you need to test the approaches to make sure they will yield the right results. Experimenting or testing the contents of a new post to publish that bring maximum engagement and two different images to accompany a significant post are both justifiable results that you can run.  Scale and Iterate When you start with experimentation, you will need to look into constructs and broad ideas. But, these constructs will become narrow as you take more projects, which require the establishment of a foundation that you need to build. Scale and iteration are both by-products of this natural development. Both of which come to life from enterprising, successful tests, harnessing precision and standardizing and successful processes. However, you need to be mindful as the processes of testing, reviewing, and questioning takes a considerable amount of energy, mainly as experiments grow in size. Pay attention to the scale and search for opportunities to incorporate efficiency and automation to keep the growth of mature experiments.  Embrace and Keep Up With Changes  From the introduction of long form content on LinkedIn to organic contents on Facebook to ‘Buy’ button on Twitter; social channels continue to reshape the landscape of marketing to enhance user experience. The tight competition in social media is another niggling concern. All of these factors don’t just affect social media, because they also influence the entire brand strategy, in the same manner when you print business card. Fortunately, the solution is simple: Do not make ’rigid’ social media strategies. You need to create strategies that respond to the changes of the customers, your competitors, and your platform. You need to stay within the curve and give relevant contents to your audience.  Takeaway Social media is a dynamic medium, and most brands struggle to keep up just because of this quality. It’s not just a simple matter that is as easy as printing affordable business cards. The point of agile marketing here is to enhance your social media marketing to provide superior brand experience for your audience. Induct it to your strategic processes, and you will be one step closer towards producing top-of-the-line results.
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The Agile Philosophy Within Social Media Tactics: How To Win It

422
The Agile Philosophy Within Social Media Tactics: How To Win It

The people who work inside the social media circle are acutely aware of its ever-changing facet. While such quality poses a constant challenge to many marketers, it can also create opportunities for brands to build equity and grow audience base.

As social media hits it maturity phase, the demand for new approach and strategies rise. There are numerous techniques that marketers can deploy according to the goals and objectives of their businesses.

You’ve heard about how the digital media technology alters the marketing platforms. Marketers and business owners can now engage with customers through innovative ways and collectively meet their needs.

However, taking advantage of these digital-enabled possibilities demand a much quicker and bias actions from marketing organizations. In short, they need to be agile!

The Philosophy of Agile Marketing 

Agile Marketing, at its core, is a tactical marketing approach that uses data and analytics to source for solutions to problem or opportunities, employing tests, evaluating the results, and fast iteration.

The beauty of this tactic is that can run hundreds of campaigns and multiple ideas simultaneously every week. It also provides brands with many advantages that integrate content marketing and social media implementation.

Suffice to say that it’s not just a sexy buzzword in the digital vocabulary, but it’s one that lives up to its reputation.

Agile Marketing and Its Principles

The best thing about Agile marketing is that it welcomes failures so long as it comes with lessons and creates important projects in the future.

The way Agile marketing works will become apparent as you check on the values that these marketing cherish. See the list below:

  • The collaboration focuses on the customer over silos and hierarchy.
  • Welcoming and responding to change over sticking to a plan.
  • Iterative and adaptive campaigns over big-bang campaigns.
  • Validated learning over conventions and opinions
  • Customer discovery over unchanging predictions.
  • A lot of small experiments over a few large bets.
  • Flexibility on planning over tight planning.

Why does It Work For Social Media? 

There are certain conditions that you need to meet for Agile marketing to work. For example, you will need to undergo continuous change, ability to experiment, segmented analysis, and availability of steady feedbacks on experiments.

The ever-moving conditions, quantifiable nature, and instantaneous feedback loop nature of social data make the social media platforms a wealthy ecosystem for agile philosophy. When it comes to taking the structure of social media into consideration, you need to remember two important principles:

  • Constantly use an audience-first method. Think about what the audience wants to achieve and what value to add through testing. Do not just attempt to improve your marketing for the number’s sake.
  • Use plans as guides. Utilize your methods to guide tests and use these tests to inform strategy. Don’t cease to look for ways on how to upgrade your plans in the same manner that developers upgrade apps by updating the versions.

How to Incorporate Agile into Your Social Media Strategies 

When it comes to social media marketing, you will need an overarching strategy to establish your methods. Although, strategies are something that every marketing department focus on regardless of how they plan to use it.

Even if you use top-down or collaborative methods to create a good strategy, you can still bring it to life by using Agile-based techniques.

So, below are the ways that you can incorporate into the concept of ‘agile philosophy’ to your social media marketing and go about it in a foolproof and flexible way. 

Create a Customer First Policy

The phrase “Customers are always right,” “Customer is king.” are just a few of the marketing cliche’ that exist for a reason, and they are unlikely true. And this a fact that marketers validate for a long time.

An agile social media takes note of this vital fact. From marketing the right audience to conjuring useful and relevant contents, your customer is the crux of all your social media marketing decisions.

The most successful brands use social media as a medium to establish a connection with their customers on a personal basis. Reaching out to distraught customers, responding to their queries and troubleshooting through social media are the approaches that brands take seriously in the name of ‘customer-centricity.’

Measure the Figures 

It is imperative to track where your marketing efforts are heading and how they’re doing. It helps you respond to changing situations before they become crises for your brand. This timely action and alertness will only happen if your analytics and data measurement is in place.

A good agile social media team knows what goes on in the system and what results to expect. In other words, you can control your ROI in social media which enables you to make a response to the slightest changes in your stats, both internal and external.

However, in the real world, ROI from social media marketing is still an elusive and inclusive figure. According to Social Media Examiner report in 2014, 92% of marketers treat social media as an important factor for their businesses, while 37% of marketers managed to measure ROI on their social media engagements.

These stats only goes to show that it’s difficult to gauge the influence of social media to your brand awareness and other conversion metrics.

Test and Test Until You Succeed

While it’s possible to create solutions for problems, it’s not mandatory that all of these solutions will give the results that you desire. Hence, testing is a must.

In this case, the mechanism of social media marketing is comparable to software development. The primary motivation behind a social media campaign does not change for a brand on a regular basis. But still, you need to test the approaches to make sure they will yield the right results.

Experimenting or testing the contents of a new post to publish that bring maximum engagement and two different images to accompany a significant post are both justifiable results that you can run. 

Scale and Iterate

When you start with experimentation, you will need to look into constructs and broad ideas. But, these constructs will become narrow as you take more projects, which require the establishment of a foundation that you need to build.

Scale and iteration are both by-products of this natural development. Both of which come to life from enterprising, successful tests, harnessing precision and standardizing and successful processes.

However, you need to be mindful as the processes of testing, reviewing, and questioning takes a considerable amount of energy, mainly as experiments grow in size. Pay attention to the scale and search for opportunities to incorporate efficiency and automation to keep the growth of mature experiments. 

Embrace and Keep Up With Changes 

From the introduction of long form content on LinkedIn to organic contents on Facebook to ‘Buy’ button on Twitter; social channels continue to reshape the landscape of marketing to enhance user experience.

The tight competition in social media is another niggling concern. All of these factors don’t just affect social media, because they also influence the entire brand strategy, in the same manner when you print business card.

Fortunately, the solution is simple: Do not make ’rigid’ social media strategies. You need to create strategies that respond to the changes of the customers, your competitors, and your platform. You need to stay within the curve and give relevant contents to your audience. 

Takeaway

Social media is a dynamic medium, and most brands struggle to keep up just because of this quality. It’s not just a simple matter that is as easy as printing affordable business cards.

The point of agile marketing here is to enhance your social media marketing to provide superior brand experience for your audience. Induct it to your strategic processes, and you will be one step closer towards producing top-of-the-line results.

Maria

Maria Estra

Blog Author

Maria Estrada is an affiliate of Print Meister, a print advertising company based in Australia that specializes in providing quality but <a />cheap business cards</a>, brochures, flyers, etc. Her interests also extend to web design, SEO, and social media marketing. On her downtime, she likes to write about her experience in advertising and commercialization and shares them with her readers. You may connect with Maria on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://www.linkedin.com/in/printmeisterau" />LinkedIn</a>.

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How to Use Scrum Board for Agile Development?

What is a Scrum Board?A Scrum Board or an Agile Board is a visual representation of the work planned, progressed, and completed by a scrum team in a sprint or iteration at any given point of time. The board is comprised of columns that represent various successive states of the workflow progressing from left to right. The work items appear in the column as per their current state in the development workflow and then move across the board from one column to the next till they reach completion or last stage.The “To Do / Ready” and “Done” states appear in almost every Scrum Board, the “In Progress” items can be further categorized into various states e.g. – Analyse, Design, Code, Test etc. These states are solely created as per the needs of the Scrum Team and Project.                                                                                                               Image 1: Simple Scrum Board  Why is a Scrum Board needed? The Scrum Board visually represents the amount of work along with their current states in a Sprint.  The Board speaks to the team everyday about the holistic progress made by the entire team towards their Sprint Goals and provides a sense of accomplishment and achievement when work items are completed. It avoids creation and progress of “Hidden Work” or “Shoulder Tap” injected work that may not be prioritized. In the event of an interruption (like production issue, any new or changed requirements, changed priorities), it helps Business to reprioritize the work items quickly looking at the current state of the planned items in the Sprint.   It also keeps reinforcing road blocks and impediments faced by the team to all the major stakeholders. Any number of written and verbal communication may not be able to visually represent the state of the entire sprintas a whole as effectively as this visual radiator.Scrum board allows teams to manage the flow of work across the sprint as it helps in avoiding multi-tasking, overloading one person because everything is visible and traceable. How to organize a Scrum Board Physical and Virtual Scrum Boards Teams that are entirely collocated can benefit from physical boards that caneven just be a whiteboard placed near their work cubicles. A physical board could also be on a wall having coloured tape for columns and sticky notes for cards.  Team members typically swarm around the board /agile wall/task wallduring their daily stand up or whenever there is a need.                                                                                                                            Image 2: A typical physical scrum board                                                                                                                                 Image 3: A typical Jira scrum boardDistributed teams on the other hand find virtual boards easy to use. There are many tools available in the market to set up Scrum Boardssuch asJira , Rally , Monday.com etc.  In some companies, the Scrum boards are displayed on giant monitors placed near the teams work cubicles. Cards and Columns are the two basic entities on the scrum board.Card is the entity on the board that represents a “Work Item”. A Card can be a User story /Production Bug/Technical Task. During the course of the Sprint these cards travel through the board from left ,“To-Do” to right “Done”.  A Simple Scrum Board for Beginner Teams The Scrum Board below is an example of a typical team board in a software project.                                                                                               Image 4: Typical scrum board for a software projectThe items on the Product Backlog are discussed and as per priority and their readiness, pulled into the “To Do” or “Ready” column during Sprint Planning. At the beginning of a Sprint all items in the “To Do” or “Ready” column comprises the Sprint Backlog of the team. As the Sprint progresses, the items move into the downstream columns until “Done” is reached. A clear “Definition of Done” helps to conclude if the story / task is completed. Usually beginner teams build the board translating the current workflow of their work items into columns on the board. As the teams evolve, they adjust the board accordingly. Effective Visual Representation of data  Information on the Cards Physical Cards usually are post-it notes or sticky notes that carry the User Story/Description, Acceptance Criteria and the Story Points as a minimum. Using post-it notes is a deliberate attempt to keep the story small and avoid loading a lot of work into one story.  In a Virtual board, cards can have exclusive fields to carry information like Project Name/Assignee/Reporter/Created Date etc. These might serve multiple purposes like metrics/reports. Colour-Coded Cards Colour coding is an excellent technique used to convey important information to the audience at the first quick glance.Cards can be colour coded based on their work type like User Story/ Technical Task/Production Bugs. Cards could also be flagged (in the case of a Virtual board) or overlaid with a (preferably) Red coloured card to convey a risk/dependency that needs attention. Swim lanes Defining Swim lanes is a very useful mechanism to categorize the work items on a Scrum Board. They are horizontal rows on the board that carry a specific type of work that is different from the normal/ work categorized by a certain parameter. For e.g. a team that has to resolve emerging high priority production bugs would prefer to use a “Fast Track” swim lane to progress the bug and then continue with their original Sprint work. A team that works on hardware, firmware and software components in a sprint might want to use different swim lanes for each component.  Swim lanes are for the teams. Creating a swim lane for each team member may not be a good idea since the basic guideline for scrum is to work as a team and this representation might affect a team’s mindset. In the board below blue cards are User Stories and green Cards are tasks. Red cards are Production bugs. Some cards are flagged red indicating risks or impediments.                                              Image 5: Example of scrum board with colour-coded cards and swim lanesAspects of Kanban in Scrum Board A common challenge encountered in projects is when tasks accumulate or pile up in a phase or stage of the workflow. There could be several reasons why that happens. But identifying them is the key to solving that challenge and the Scrum Board effectively helps in this. Assume that Cards D, E, F, G have completed development and ready for testing. Cards B, C are being tested. It is day 6 of a 10-day Sprint.  Developers might now bring in H, I from the Ready Column to start development work, creating a bottleneck at Testing.                                                                                                        Image 6: Scrum Board without WIP LimitsConcepts of Kanban can be borrowed into a typical Scrum board to address this. One of the techniques that can be used is to split the column into “In Progress” and “Ready”. This will set the stage for a “Pull” mechanism at every stage in the workflow of a story.  Introducing “WIP Limit” or “Work in Progress” Limit at the columns ensures multiple work items do not pile up at one stage of the process, do not get “pushed” downstream but rather gets “pulled” by downstream process and there is a steady flow created in the system. Considering the team is at day 6 of the iteration, it is recommended the team “stops starting and starts finishing”.  If the team swarms and completes the testing of D, E,F,G there could  be more business value delivered rather than starting development of H and I and having only few of the Development complete cards partially tested. In this scenario, a WIP Limit of 4 at development prevents the team from bringing in more work items into the development phase. The team can now swarm to complete the testing of the developed items taking them to completion.                                                                                        Image 7: Scrum board with WIP limits and columns split into “In progress” and “Ready”Effective use ofthe Scrum Board  Updating and maintaining the Scrum Board Scrum board is owned by the team and it is the team’s responsibility to update the board to reflect the reality.The team also has the responsibility to evolve the board to suit the need of the project by experimenting on concepts of WIP Limit. How best to use the information on the Board Scrum Board can be used to identify bottlenecks in the flow of work. If bottlenecks are identified in one stage of the workflow, the team can resort to Swarming or enforcing WIP Limits. Seeing the work items move through the Scrum board and reach “Done” during the Sprint provides the team a sense of accomplishment. Challenges and ways to overcome them Easier said than done, updating the board is one of the biggest challenges faced especially in beginner teams. Not every team member will be prompt in updating the board. To overcome this challenge, updating the board could be one of the team ground rules with non-compliance attracting fun consequences decided by the team, such as the defaulter treating the team with chocolates/coffee or updating everyone’s scrum board the next day. The Scrum Master can immensely help the team realize the power of the board by using it during agile ceremonies like planning, stand up and retrospectives. 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Used rightly, it will serve the team and benefit them. But if it is used by management to monitor the team or if the team members consider it as a tool to update management then it loses its purpose and becomes just another overhead. 
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How to Use Scrum Board for Agile Development?

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Must-Have tools for Seamless Agile Management

For a long time, developers did not have a lot of freedom with their projects when it came to product development. Expected to work within the restraints provided by the top management or the sponsor of the project, and creatively limited by locked plans, developers craved to think out of the box and unleash their intuition and skills to develop a much more productive system.  This led to the rise of Agile development, a science that allows developers to be flexible and creative in delivering exactly what the users demand. Agile management took over a whole new system of development. This management system has come a long way since its birth and has now become one of the best manifestos for project management.   However, with such a heavy structure in place, there were strenuous tasks and methods involved. To get accustomed to this manifesto, you should invest in a good Agile and Scrum certification to get well versed with the different Agile tools given below: 1.  Agile Manager This tool helps organize and guide teams from the start as they work towards developing working code for an Agile model. At the beginning of this process, the manager will gather important user stories and contemplate on how to attack the problems addressed by them.  During each code sprint, the developers record their progress on user stories and their problems. The entire progress is plotted on a dashboard so that everyone is up to date with their work. Figure 1: Agile ManagerFeatures included: Creates epics and map them to releases, features and stories Uses story points for estimation Analyses sprint performance with help of dashboard and scrum Uses templates and custom statuses for process management 2. JIRA The JIRA tool is one of the best tools for project management. The team first makes a list of project tasks with the help of a tool called Confluence. Then they track the tasks on an interactive Kanban board that developers can update as they finish each task.  This Agile tool is integrated with other tools. Bamboo is a tool that offers continuous integration that pre-builds the code before evaluating it. Discussions take place through HipChat, and these revolve around the tasks and probable solutions.  Included features: Issue tracking Boards Epics Bug tracking Custom fields BacklogFigure 2: Jira dashboard3. Planbox Planbox is a hierarchical tool. It offers four specific levels of organizational power, thus allowing many teams to simultaneously work towards a single goal. The topmost level is called the initiative, which is broad and abstract. They contain various projects, which are filled with tasks.  Planbox creates these projects and evaluates them to form a report. This report is prepared for the shareholders.  There are various amazing features like looping customer reviews and time tracking. This tool is integrated with Github for storage and Zendesk for tracking customer satisfaction.4. LeanKitLeankit is a very unique tool. It aims to create a conference room type of whiteboard where most projects start from. This lets members post virtual notes on it that represent tasks, user stories or glitches, which should be addressed later.   The board has a fast update feature and lets multiple teams work together in separate spaces while still coordinating together.  Figure 5: Leankit  Included features: Board view templates Track issues and bugs Manage project portfolios Lean metrics and reporting 4. Proggio This is a next generation project management tool which focuses on and around the team instead of the task. It has a good visual representation that allows managers to create a full-project blueprint. This promises team clarity and increased planning capabilities.With the powerful task management tool, every team member is sure to be on track, and the virtual portfolio is an added accessory that helps tabulate developer progress.  Now, chasing around team members for every update is no longer necessary! Any and all progress report by the team members will clearly be reflected in the project timeline.   Included features: Board and List views Visual tracking Better timelines                                                                              Figure 6: Leankit  6. Proggio This is a next generation project management tool which focuses on and around the team instead of the task. It has a good visual representation that allows managers to create a full-project blueprint. This promises team clarity and increased planning capabilities.With the powerful task management tool, every team member is sure to be on track, and the virtual portfolio is an added accessory that helps tabulate developer progress.   Now, chasing around team members for every update is no longer necessary! Any and all progress report by the team members will clearly be reflected in the project timeline.   Included features: Board and List views Visual tracking Better timelines                                                                 Figure 7: LeankitChoose the Agile tool best suited for your business In this vast market, there are unlimited tools created for Agile, but the above-mentioned are the ones which yield the best results. 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Scrum Product Backlog and Agile Product Backlog Prioritization

The 21st century has witnessed a major surge in the adoption of Agile with organizations trying to fit into their ways of working to better meet customer demands. As per the 14th Annual State of Agile 2020, 58% of the respondents were using Scrum as the framework for product delivery. It has been noticed that Agile and Scrum are considered as the same thing. Scrum is a subset of Agile where Agile is a way or method of implementing frameworks like Scrum, Kanban, etc. Agile is a timeboxed, iterative way of software delivery focusing on faster time to market and customer collaboration. With a great framework like Scrum, Agile gets a runway to deliver quality products in an iterative, incremental, and timeboxed manner. Talking of product development, be it any framework, we start with the creation of the requirement list. The same applies to Agile too. Here, we term this as “Backlog”. I am often asked about the origin of the term, “Backlog”. Why “backlog” and why not some other word? Well, the term dates back to the 1680s when large logs were placed at the back of a fire to keep the blaze going and concentrate the heat. By the 1880s, the term was adopted in its figurative sense of "something stored up for later use". So, a Backlog is a prioritized list of items the teams’ need to work for the successful delivery of a product. According to the State of Scrum 2015 report, surprisingly, only 56% of the respondents reported using extensive scrum artifacts like Product Backlog and Sprint Backlog. Major success criteria for any Agile project lie in its backlog and it demands a lot of focus both in terms of keeping it refined and updated with current situation. Thankfully, it is the topic of the day, and here we will talk more about it! Product Backlog  What is a Product Backlog? The Product Backlog is the ordered list of requirements of all that is required to successfully deliver it to the client. It contains the prioritized list of requirements that can be detailed or vague and has everything that needs to be done for a particular product. One can visualize it as a big bucket that has all the items/necessities needed for a product to be successful and competitive in nature.  Who owns the Product Backlog? The Product Backlog is primarily handled by the Product Owner who takes care of the client's needs and makes sure the product backlog represents the exact requirement. The product owner is responsible for keeping the backlog healthy and in a state that is readily consumable by the team. The product backlog is never frozen, the items can change as per the demand and market scenario. Anyone can suggest items to be added in the list but the final say will always be on the Product Owner.  Example of a Product Backlog Let’s look at an example to further understand it better: Build a mobile application for a local bank so that the users can access the bank on the go. Product Backlog would look like: S. No.RequirementPriority1Create a sign in page for the usersHigh2Create a logout pageHigh3Create a home page to land after successful sign in to the applicationHigh4Create a page for AccountsMedium5Create a page for Money TransferMedium6Create a page for LoansMedium7Create a page for User ProfileLow8Create a page for 'Contact Us' sectionLowThere can be multiple other requirements both frontend and backend to get this mobile application delivered, but, here for understanding, we are just taking a few of them. Each item in the list will have a priority attached to it, this makes it easy for the development team to pick work once they are done with the one in hand. Product Backlog can also be termed as the master list of requirements. Sprint Backlog What is a Sprint Backlog? Sprint Backlog is a list derived from the product backlog or the master list. When teams start working in Scrum, they have sprints which are a timebox for delivery, it defines when a customer can expect the shipment and at what intervals. The period can range from a week to a months’ timeline. Here, in sprints, the team pulls the work from the product backlog as per the priority and their capacity and put it in a smaller bucket called ‘Sprint Backlog’. It is like delivering the big Product Backlog in chunks called “Sprint Backlog’. The Sprint Backlog can also be defined as a subset of superset ‘Product Backlog’. For a successful product delivery, both are essential, and hence the need to keep them healthy.  Who owns the Sprint Backlog? Sprint backlog is owned by the scrum team andtogether they create their sprint board which consists of the user stories, bugs (if any), and spikes. It is the development team who determines the Sprint Backlog. Here, the Scrum Master can facilitate the Sprint Planning meeting to help the team come up with the Sprint Backlog. The scrum team utilizes the sprint planning meeting to discuss on the sprint goal and the commitment they can make for the upcoming sprint. They pull the items to discuss from the top of the list and create their sprint backlog according to the capacity and complexity of parameters.  Example of a Sprint Backlog So, the sprint backlog is a subset of product backlog and going back to our example let's create a Sprint backlog now: S.No.RequirementPriority1Create a sign in page for the usersHigh2Create a logout pageHigh3Create a home page to land after successful sign-in to the applicationHighIn our example, we have pulled the sprint backlog items from the master list which was already in a prioritized state. Product backlog vs Scrum backlog: Understanding the difference The Scrum Master can help the development team understand the difference between Product Backlog and the Sprint Backlog, this can be done through coaching the teams about the process and the Scrum artifacts and can help the Product owner in maintaining a healthy backlog. The team uses Product Backlog to create their sprint backlog. During the Sprint planning meeting, the development team should talk about the complexity and the efforts needed to get the job done. They pull the items from the product backlog to the Sprint Backlog to be completed in the sprint timebox. How to create a more effective Product Backlog? Effective Product Backlog depends on a clear understanding of the result and the need. The Product Owner must clearly define the requirements that have details enough for the team to get a clear picture of what is needed to be done. The product backlog needs to be a thorough list of all the work that must be done to get the project delivered successfully. Once a high-level list is created, the development team can help in further refining and creating an exhaustive backlog with all the technical aspects needed to deliver the functional side. Creating a backlog should be a collective team effort, this also helps in bringing about the ownership and collaborative environment amongst the group. Though the development team can help the Product Owner in creating a proper efficient Product Backlog, the sole responsibility for the Product Backlog lies with the Product Owner. How to create a better Sprint Backlog? Once you have a good Product Backlog, pulling out the Sprint Backlog gets easy. Sprint Backlog gets its shape during the sprint planning meeting which is the first thing in a new iteration where the team sits together, either, physically or virtually, to discuss the requirements they can work on in a new sprint. Essentially the discussion circles the functionalities, the technical aspect around it, and how much they can load in an iteration. Here, the Scrum Master can help the team with excellent facilitation skills to come up with a sprint goal as a joint team effort. The team pulls up the highest priority items from the product backlog to discuss functionality and complexity, they also converse on the steps they could take to reach the goal. What are the benefits of Backlog Prioritization? Prioritization is one of the critical aspects of a Product Backlog that helps in keeping it in a healthy state. Let’s look at a few of the benefits of prioritizing the backlog: Helps in the Sprint Planning with the story selection as the Product Backlog is already Prioritized. Better visibility to pull items during the iteration if the team has the bandwidth. Effective risk management due to pre-known issues during the grooming of the backlog Improved supervision of dependencies Early return of investment as the requirement follows value-based delivery. %
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