- We've encountered a new, useful type of backlog - master backlog.
A product is driven by a product backlog, stating the features,
facilities, content, and technology which the customer desires. The
product manager maintains this list, and the customer determines the
priority of the list, determining the order in which work will be
The priority of the list is a meld of what the user wants, when the
user wants it, what is currently possible, what is required short
term, and what is needed for long term competitive advantage. The
customer works with the product manager to make these
and then sets the priorities. Priorities change frequently.
At the end of every Sprint, the team meets with the customer and
demonstrates what they were able to build. Based on that, and with
an eye toward the priorities, the customer and team select from the
product backlog that which the team believes they can build during
the next sprint. The customer has last word on what, the team has
the last word on how much.
The team then turns the Product backlog selected for the next sprint
into a list of work that is required to create the deliverables
indicated by the backlog and to meet the Sprint goal.
A "Master backlog" of work, organized by product deliverable,
what tasks have been required in the past to successfully build
The team selects the Master Backlog tasks appropriate for their
product backlog. They then customize these to reflect the work that
in their circumstances they expect to have to perform during
During the daily Scrum meetings, the team will report on their
progress regarding the Sprint Backlog list. Although they may find
that they need to modify this list as they try to get their work done
(who can anticipate everything?), in general their completion of the
work on this list will result in the anticipated and agreed upon
selected product backlog being ready to demonstrate at the end of the
The degree to which the team is able to select a product backlog that
they can build during a Sprint, modify and adjust the Sprint Backlog
list to reflect their actual work, and then deliver is tempered by
their experience with the tools, the work environment, and having
created identical product features and facilities in the past.