Categorizing Your Backlog

Jim BensonPrimers3 Comments

Your backlog is hope. Your backlog is pain.  post 2

Your backlog holds all the projects, tasks, demands, desires, and expectations you have and the world has for you.

The problem is, today’s apparent emergencies are tomorrow’s waste-of-my-time.

If we are focused on completion, we don’t want to complete tasks.

We want to complete products.

If you find you are completing tasks, but not products … try making your backlog explicitly show what you need to do to complete the products those tasks make up.

cluttered backlog

This board is a typical cluttered backlog. You might be able to see that tasks belong to specific projects, but they are jumbled and incoherent. While each of these tasks might be options we can exercise, the complexity of our decision of what to pull next is directly related to the number of tasks in the READY column and our inability to quickly see what each task is.

So .. let’s try to build an explicit BACKLOG before the READY column:

backlog split

Here we see a board with a categorized backlog. We hold work in the backlog until it’s READY to be done. Only then can we move it into the READY column. Note here that the READY column is limited to seven tasks.

So now we’ve split out our work and we can see very clearly what projects we have, how much work is in each, and what we are currently spending our time on.

This board is much easier to interpret.

In this example, we can see that we are split between marketing, general work, and course creation.

This is the second post in the series – Are You Just Doing Things?  You can read the first post here.

Written in Mesa, Arizona

Share and Enjoy

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS
Jim BensonCategorizing Your Backlog

3 Comments on “Categorizing Your Backlog”

  1. fish

    Sorry if this has been covered before, but which software/site/tool/etc allows the “Explicit Backlog” as shown?

  2. Pingback: Clean Up Your Backlog | Personal Kanban

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.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