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How do I prioritize my Product Backlog?

Updated: Jul 3, 2023

Prioritizing product backlog items in Scrum is an essential aspect of the Scrum framework, as it ensures that the development team is working on the most important and valuable items first. In this blog post, we will discuss some best practices for prioritizing product backlog items in Scrum.

1. Understand the business value: The most important factor when prioritizing product backlog items is understanding the business value of each item. Items that provide the most value to the customer or the business should be prioritized higher. This can be determined through customer feedback, market research, and other data.


2. Involve the stakeholders: Involving stakeholders in the prioritization process can help to ensure that the development team is working on items that are aligned with the overall business goals and objectives. Stakeholders can provide valuable insights on the business value of each item, as well as any constraints or dependencies that need to be taken into account.


3. Start with simple prioritization techniques: Several approaches can be used to quickly prioritize product backlog items, such as MoSCoW and Kano analysis. These methods provide a structured approach to prioritization, helping to create an initial list of items that have been evaluated consistently.



4. Prioritize the highest value after considering the effort involved: An approach that considers the cost of delay along with the effort involved in creating the features should be applied to the top items. Calculating the Shortest Weighted Job First (WSJF) can be used to prioritize based on the potential product's estimated Return on Investment (ROI).


5. Re-evaluate and re-prioritize regularly: Prioritization is not a one-time event. The product backlog should be regularly reviewed and re-evaluated to ensure that the development team is still working on the most important and valuable items.

In conclusion, prioritizing product backlog items in Scrum is essential to ensure that the development team is working on the most important and valuable items first. By understanding the business value, involving stakeholders, using consistent prioritization methods, prioritizing the highest-value items first, and re-evaluating and re-prioritizing regularly, organizations can ensure that they are making the most of their resources and delivering the most value to the customer.

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