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Apr 28

Beware the hidden dimension of the product backlog

By Georg Fasching | blogpost

The Hidden Dimension of the product backlog

Over the years I’ve seen my share of product backlogs and while they are telling in themselves the product backlog naturally is not the only source of insight. The vibe amongst the team is yet another important one. Growth time is another. For this post I’ll paint the picture of 2 teams for you to illustrate the premise.

Let’s say team Nautilus have done everything right in the team chartering stage and are off to a great start. Everyone knows the team’s purpose and is bought into it. Things are running like clockwork. Nautilus are pushing themselves. Most of the time they hit their iteration targets. A few times they fall short. Retros have become honest, open, constructive, and real. The team is firmly in the performing stage of team development. After a brief period however the team members start to complain about being overworked. There is an impressive amount of productivity, which is coupled with an increasingly bad vibe.
Team Condor is in a similar position. The main difference is that the vibe remains positive and full of excitement; the team keeps getting better. Overall they deliver almost as much as team Nautilus, say 90%.Continue reading