Product backlog template

Managing multiple backlogs requires a cohesive structure to keep collaborators on the same page. A product backlog template can help you establish that foundation for your teams.

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Keeping track of all the deliverables your product team needs to complete can be a hassle—especially if they all contain different amounts of information. Creating a product backlog template can help your team maintain cohesive product backlogs across multiple products and ensure that each task has all the information a developer needs to complete it. 

What is a product backlog template?

A product backlog template is a reusable outline of an Agile product backlog so that you can quickly and easily create backlogs for new projects. 

Once it’s created, teams can use this product backlog template as a framework for creating new product backlogs. Generally, there are multiple product backlogs that focus on different aspects of one overarching product. For example, there may be a team dedicated to user experience, and another on quality assurance, but both are on the same product team. Using a product backlog template provides consistency across teams, so that regardless of who’s working on what task, everyone will have a uniform way of viewing information. 

What is a product backlog?

A product backlog is a prioritized task list that is often used in Agile project management methodologies, and more specifically, product development. Your product backlog should be based on the project roadmap, which is the general progression of how you want your product to evolve. 

How do you create a product backlog?

When you first create a product backlog, it’s important to connect with key stakeholders. Work with other product managers or Scrum masters you regularly collaborate with to align processes. This helps to create a cohesive experience and improve team collaboration, giving your entire team the same processes regardless of what part of the product they work on. 

By creating your general product backlog template framework, you can then tailor it to fit the needs of your specific project team. For example, one team may have a phase for designing, while a different team may have a phase for QA. Not all teams will have the same exact processes, so starting with a template gives your team the opportunity to have the same basic framework, but still offer options for personalization. 

What goes into a product backlog template?

Having a cohesive framework for your product backlog makes sprint planning and backlog refinement easier. Here are a few characteristics of good product backlog templates that you should include in your product backlog template:

  • A descriptive task name: A common best practice for task names is to start them with a verb so a developer knows exactly what action needs to happen to complete the task.

  • Task priority: This is how important a task is in comparison to other tasks within the product backlog.

  • Sprint: This identifies what sprint this product backlog item is for. 

  • Due date: When a task should be completed.

  • Story points: An estimation method that indicates how much effort a specific task should take. 

  • User story: An explanation of how a feature should function based on the perspective of an end user. User stories typically follow the format: “As a [persona], I want to [software goal], so that [desired result].”

Tasks in a product backlog template are often represented with Kanban cards. Using a Kanban card template can help keep your product backlog organized. 

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What do you use a product backlog template for?

A product backlog template is used to develop a repository of different tasks that your team needs to complete to achieve a certain goal. As development begins, tasks will accumulate into the resulting product backlog. From here, a product manager or product owner decides what tasks from the product backlog will go into a sprint backlog to be developed. 

What’s the difference between a product backlog and a sprint backlog?

A product backlog is the larger bank of tasks for an entire project, whereas a sprint backlog is the reserve of tasks that goes into one specific sprint. A product manager will organize and refine a product backlog to ensure that any backlog item that goes into a sprint backlog will have all of the contextual information a developer may need to complete that task. 

Integrated features

  • Board View. Board View is a Kanban board-style view that displays your project’s information in columns. Columns are typically organized by work status (like To Do, Doing, and Done) but you can adjust column titles depending on your project needs. Within each column, tasks are displayed as cards, with a variety of associated information including task title, due date, and custom fields. Track work as it moves through stages and get at-a-glance insight into where your project stands.

  • Timeline View. Timeline View is a Gantt-style project view that displays all of your tasks in a horizontal bar chart. Not only can you see each task’s start and end date, but you can also see dependencies between tasks. With Timeline View, you can easily track how the pieces of your plan fit together. Plus, when you can see all of your work in one place, it’s easy to identify and address dependency conflicts before they start, so you can hit all of your goals on schedule. 

  • Project status updates. Say goodbye to sorting between multiple tools to find project status information or sitting through another meeting that could have been an email. Project status updates in Asana aren’t just easier to use—they’re also directly connected to the work your team does. This makes it easy for team members to access additional project information, like your project plan, communication plan, project goals, milestones, deliverables, and more. Ultimately, project status reports reduce your manual work, centralize information, and keep everyone up to date. 

  • Automation. Automate manual work so your team spends less time on the busy work and more time on the tasks you hired them for. Rules in Asana function on a basis of triggers and actions—essentially “when X happens, do Y.” Use Rules to automatically assign work, adjust due dates, set custom fields, notify stakeholders, and more. From ad hoc automations to entire workflows, Rules gives your team time back for skilled and strategic work.

Recommended apps

  • GitHub. Automatically sync GitHub pull request status updates to Asana tasks. Track progress on pull requests and improve cross-functional collaboration between technical and non-technical teams, all from within Asana.

  • Jira. Create interactive, connected workflows between technical and business teams to increase visibility around the product development process in real-time—all without leaving Asana. Streamline project collaboration and hand offs. Quickly create Jira issues from within Asana so that work passes seamlessly between business and technical teams at the right time. 

  • Zendesk. With Asana's Zendesk integration, users can quickly and easily create Asana tasks directly from Zendesk tickets. Add context, attach files, and link existing tasks to track work needed to close out the ticket. The integration also provides continuing visibility across both systems, so everyone is kept up to speed regardless of which tool they use. 

  • Google Workplace. Attach files directly to tasks in Asana with the Google Workplace file chooser, which is built into the Asana task pane. Easily attach any My Drive file with just a few clicks.

FAQs

What is a product backlog template?

A product backlog template is a repeatable framework that you can use to create new product backlogs. Most product development teams have multiple work streams under one product or feature. Using a product backlog template helps to create a cohesive experience for your development team so that everyone is on the same page.

What should a product backlog include?

Good product backlog templates will include a descriptive task name, task priority, sprint number, due date, story points, and a user story. Using a product backlog template ensures that you’ll have consistency across multiple product backlogs, so everyone on the team knows exactly where to find the information they need.

Why should I use a product backlog?
  • A product backlog helps keep related tasks organized. When used with the Agile methodology, a backlog makes it easier for product managers or product owners to see what tasks need to be completed. They can then pull those tasks from the product backlog and into a sprint backlog where they can be scheduled and assigned to a specific developer. 

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