Module 2 - Section 1 - What's a Backlog?

Alright, let's get to work.

First, what's a Backlog?

When using Scrum for software development, the key pillar that drives what development teams do next is a “backlog.”

A backlog, quite simply, is a dynamic, prioritized list of features, functions, and fixes. Every time your favorite phone app rolls out new features, these likely came from their backlog.

It’s dynamic because the priority of certain items may change as time goes on and work gets completed. What seemed important might not be or what seemed unimportant might now require more immediate attention.

In the same way that software developers use a Backlog when creating their products, we’re going to use this same concept as it relates to the skills, habits, and behaviors that will inevitably help you become the person you need to be to reach your goals.

The key component of the backlog is prioritization. While software development teams are able to work on many items at once -because teams are usually made up of m 5 or so developers, we cannot.

While many studies indicate that we can't multitask, the reality is that we can't multi-focus. We can do many things at once but only one thing is getting our true focus. While we're focusing on that one thing, the others aren't really getting any attention.

And since we're usually trying to do everything at once, we never really make any progress in any area. It's a fool's errand.

Our Backlog empowers us to prioritize and iterate. We focus on one thing at a time, the most important thing, and then once we get really go at that we then move on to the next thing.

In the next couple of sections we'll show you how to build out your backlog. Then, we'll show you our signature structure that we use with all of our clients.

This is a slightly different approach to your typical backlog which is explained in detail in "The PFF Big 15" section. Please refer to this as often as possible if you ever feel at all stuck when building out your backlog.

And feel free to copy it exactly as is. At the end of the day, this list is your list and you have the final say in what’s important and what is a priority. But know that the list of skills, habits, and behaviors that I recommend is built in a way so that it builds on itself and offers the greatest return for each consecutive action.