How does your Backlog Reflect your Culture

Looking at your backlog what do you see? Do you see fear of the big items? Do you see innovative ideas left on the table? Or do you see the backfill features of a well-crafted MVP approach to the market.

Reviewing backlogs tells me much about the courage and or approach of the team. When features are tough to tackle and rate high on ROI I need to ask, WHY? Recently I heard a top CEO of a tech company confess that many of his developers were happy just showing up and putting in hours.

Some teams need to find ways to drive high ROI features, leave the story as is until the first beta is complete. Are your dev. teams pushing back on the story because they can’t figure it out?

One company it turned out the dev. team didn’t want to admit that they were up against a wall that would force an Epic if they attacked certain features. They were punching out small stuff waiting for an epiphany but suspected the only path was bigger and would effect velocity.

If it is not about the markets needs then executives need to know why they are doing it. Good PMs also know that something is in the air and while it is ok, even good to back off the petal sometimes big stuff needs to be done first.

Steven Covey used his seven habits to promote doing the hard stuff first,. Deve. Teams also need to do big stuff first!

TIm Bates