Where Features Go To Die

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Earlier this year Thomas Schranz published a great article over at Medium.com about the evils of long backlogs.

I too, have seen the horrors that a huge backlog can spawn. Once that baby goes beyond a couple of handfuls of entries the builder team's eyes start to glaze over and they get stunned by the task ahead of them.

Someone much smarter than me once asked, "How do you eat an elephant?" and then they answered, "One bite at a time." Monster backlogs are the equivalent of dropping an entire elephant onto a plate. Doesn't matter how sweet the sauce or how perfectly cooked that pachyderm is... that's still a lot to eat.

My suggestion is to strictly limit epic creation to things that can actually, realistitcally be acheived in the next year and story creation to things that can actually be worked on in the next 4-6 sprints. But wait, there's more! At least every quarter these things need to be revisited and refreshed. Things that might have been possible three months ago might now be so far away that the team will never see them. And other things might have come on up in importance. Groom this just like you do anything else.

Thanks Thomas for the great read and keep it up!


Author Bio:
Lee Allison
Author: Lee AllisonWebsite: http://www.allisonagile.com
Agile Coach
Lee is an experienced Agilist and IT professional who loves the people-centric nature of Agile practices. He and his awesome family live in Austin, TX where they watch the Cowboys, brew beer, laugh and wish the weather weren't so damn hot!