Backlog is a communication and collaboration tool for anyone working on a team to accomplish tasks in various industries. But, overall, Backlog is widely used in software development as its combination of features like project and task management, integrated version control with Git/Subversion, and Wiki for collaborative documentation make it especially well-suited for developers.
Amongst our users in the software industry, the Agile Scrum methodology is popular, so today, we will introduce how Backlog can be used by development teams to run scrums and manage sprints for projects.
What is Scrum?
Scrum is a framework based on the Agile methodology. The team works in weekly or biweekly cycles known as ‘sprints’ to develop features in increments or add iterative improvements to the software product.
Of course, there’s more to scrum than that, such as roles, rituals, and the jargon: product backlog, user stories, sprints, retrospectives, Scrum Master, etc. However, to avoid this article getting too lengthy, we won’t cover them all here. If you’d like to learn more about scrum, you can check out our introduction to Agile & Scrum or Backlog Agile Guide.
Doing Scrum in Backlog
A quick disclaimer: There are possibly several ways to do scrum in Backlog, depending on your team’s preference. What is suggested here may not necessarily fit your team’s specific situation or habits, but, as the saying goes, everyone has their own style. We hope you’ll take it and make it your own.
Step 1: Create a product backlog milestone and add user story tasks
If you think about a project in either general or abstract terms, the goal is to complete a series of tasks by a determined date. Fittingly, in Backlog, the milestone feature helps us mark out tasks to be completed within a time period.
First, we’ll create a milestone named Product Backlog with the start and end dates filled in.
In scrum, the Product Backlog contains PBI (product backlog items) or user stories. These are features to be developed for the product or tasks to be completed by the team. We’ll add these tasks/user stories into our project and assign them to the Product Backlog milestone.
Note: To denote user stories, we can use tasks or create a new Issue type in Backlog named ‘User Stories.’ For our example here, we’ll use the default ‘Task.’
Step 2: Prioritize user story tasks using the board
After adding the user stories and tasks, we can prioritize user stories. Currently, Backlog only has three options for task priority (low, normal, and high). To get around this, we can use the Board to drag and reorder them so that the higher priority tasks are at the top.
Reordering user story tasks on the Board will change their order in real-time for other users too. However, the new order will not be reflected in the Issues list and Gantt Chart.
To enter the estimated story points, we can use the ‘Estimated Hours’ field to enter a number for the tasks. This will work to generate the Burndown chart for the milestone.
Next, sprint planning.
Step 3: Create a sprint milestone for user story tasks
A sprint will typically last from one to two weeks, but it’ll really depend on your team’s preference. We’ll create a milestone for the sprint and nameContinue reading