In our previous blog, we discussed how your backlog gets out of control and some steps you can take to manage it. In this article, we are changing focus to offer insight into our best practices for solving backlog issues.
These perspectives cover our experiences and approaches.
For example, backlog most often gets out of control because it’s no longer aligned with business goals. Creating strategy and goals in-house will help you to resolve that. Gapstars also often relies on external expertise, consultancy, and temporary tech support when solving backlog issues, but that depends on the client and their needs.
Backlogs often get out of control because they are not aligned with business goals. In some cases, business goals have changed since the log was created. In others, the people adding to the backlog aren’t keeping goals in mind.
The solution is to scope the backlog and align it with business goals. At Gapstars, that means assessing which backlog items align and then prioritizing these items to highlight which are most important. Our emphasis is always on creating strategy and goals – because that’s how you get the most out of any team – in-house or external.
Another common reason you might not be able to keep up with the backlog is that the technical skill isn’t there. For example, if you’re building a product and start to add usability and experience elements to the backlog. You can’t tackle those items unless you have the right people on the team.
If your team isn’t set up to support backlog items, you’ll never catch up, because the support isn’t there.
When you’re missing skill sets, you need short or long-term people to fill those gaps. At Gapstars, we use our existing talent databases to understand and fill out teams, to help clients resolve those backlog issues.
It’s often the case that your backlog is growing because your company is growing. If you consistently have more backlog items than your internal teams can support, then it might be a good time to expand.
Here, Gapstars often turns to offshore Agile teams as a solution. For example, this allows you to have the flexibility to expand the team on-demand, without worrying about local availability. This allows you to build out whole new development and product tracts – without splitting, overburdening, or expanding your local team.
Eventually, your daily process is crucial to your success. You can have the best team and roadmap in the world, but without good processes, it won’t go anywhere. That means having good plans for sprints, having an accountability structure, etc., as well as people who take ownership and accountability, rather than just completing tasks.
At the same time, you might not have time to implement processes. In this case, we would normally deliver first and create structure later. Here, Gapstars relies on delivery managers. Unlike project management, who do direct planning, delivery managers are there to execute processes or to ensure projects are completed.
Ultimately, the most important thing is results first. If you’re not getting those results, contact the Gapstars team, and we’ll see how we can help you fix that.
If you’d like to see more insights from Gapstars, visit our blog here .