A backlog is a queue that contains all of the potential work item that could be built, including actual work, proposed features, good ideas, or discovered defects. The work item in a backlog should cover the entire product's lifecycle, from the current release (and the current sprint) to future releases (and future sprints). Any work item in a backlog can be viewed as an ordered list (sorted by rank), in a table, or by in a tree (grouped as a parent or child work item, as defined by your organization's work breakdown structure).

In terms of the overall scope of work, a release backlog should contain a more defined amount of work than a product backlog (usually most of the work that is believed to be necessary for a specific release) and a sprint backlog should only the work that will be done during the sprint. As work item is moved into a smaller backlog it should decrease in size (for example, story point sizes should decrease), but they should also increase in detail (for example, better acceptance criteria and/or technical notes provided in the stories and/or clear tasks defined).

Any team member may add a work item to the product backlog; however, only product owners should remove a work item (from any backlog) or move a work item into a release or a sprint backlog. This determination may be based on what is outlined in the product roadmap, comparing the priorities of one work item to another, the business value each work item will provide, a team's velocity, and so on. It is important for team members to have visibility into what is contained in a release or a sprint backlog. Therefore, a work item should not be added to a release or a sprint backlog until after it has been discussed with team members during a release or a sprint planning meeting.

Serena Agile Planner includes several prescriptive backlogs, one for use by team members to view any work item to which they have been assigned, one for use by product owners as part of their planning activities, and the entire backlog hierarchy.

A burndown chart will show the backlog from which the burndown chart is based as part of the release, sprint, and task burndown chart views.

Planning Backlog

For more information, see the following topics: