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What Is The Sprint Backlog? This Might Surprise You!

The Sprint Backlog stores and maintains user stories required to deliver the shippable software increment of a Sprint.

These user stories are the ones the Scrum Team committed during the Sprint Planning Meeting. All user stories in the Sprint Backlog are estimated to enable the monitoring and tracking of the work.

The Sprint Backlog is a living artifact, and during the course of Sprint, the Scrum team members continuously update it.

When a Scrum Team member works on a task, his or her name is associated with it. The status of the task is set to "Started Tasks" or "Work In Progress". When the task is completed according to its Definition of Done, its status is set to "Done" or "Completed".

New tasks (not new user stories) can be added to the Sprint Backlog during the Sprint. At the end of every day, the remaining effort to deliver the full Sprint Backlog is calculated. This helps the Scrum Team and the Scrum Product Owner to monitor the remaining amount of work to bring the Sprint goals to success.

The Sprint Backlog can be kept electronically by using a Scrum Project Management Software or spreadsheet software such as Excel or Google Sheet. Alternatively, for smaller and new teams, cards (or post-its) glued on a real physical board can be used too.

The latter has some advantages such as transparency of work and easy access for everyone, including the stakeholders. Its downside is that it's not sustainable if the Scrum Team is distributed over multiple locations.

The figure below shows a sample of how such a Sprint Backlog Board can be built. The structure should be adapted to reflect the needs of the project and the Scrum Team.

What Is The Sprint Backlog? This Might Surprise You!

A Sample Sprint Backlog Board

It's evident that for a Scrum Team to work productively, they need to understand the difference between a Product Backlog and a Sprint Backlog, and how these two elements interact to execute forward the project.

Remember that there is a complete list of user stories from the Product Backlog. And now, a small subset of this list is being moved to Sprint Backlog to accomplish the goals of the Sprint.

During the Sprint Planning Meeting, all members of the Scrum Team should discuss what tasks must be done and how these tasks will be completed.

It's at this point that each item on the Sprint Backlog is broken down into tasks or steps that will be taken to complete the committed user stories. All of this must be clearly communicated and agreed upon, so the Scrum Team members have an unmistakable consensus about what is coming in the Sprint and what it takes to accomplish its goals.



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What Is The Sprint Backlog? This Might Surprise You!




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