Product management glosary

Product backlog

Product Management Glossary: Product Backlog

What is Product Backlog?

In the world of product management, a product backlog is a prioritized list of features, enhancements, bug fixes, and other changes that need to be made to a product. The product backlog is a living document that is constantly updated and refined by the product manager, who works closely with the development team and other stakeholders to ensure that the most important items are addressed first. The product backlog is a key component of Agile and Scrum methodologies, which emphasize flexibility, collaboration, and continuous improvement.

Why is the Product Backlog Important?

The product backlog is essential for several reasons:

  • Prioritization: The product backlog helps the product manager and the development team focus on the most important tasks and features, ensuring that the product evolves in a way that meets the needs of users and stakeholders.
  • Transparency: By maintaining a visible and accessible product backlog, the entire team can see what work is planned and understand the rationale behind the prioritization of tasks.
  • Collaboration: The product backlog encourages collaboration between the product manager, the development team, and other stakeholders, as they work together to refine and prioritize the list of tasks and features.
  • Flexibility: The product backlog allows the team to adapt to changing requirements and priorities, ensuring that the product remains relevant and valuable to users.

How to Create and Manage a Product Backlog

Creating and managing a product backlog involves several steps:

  1. Identify tasks and features: The first step in creating a product backlog is to identify all the tasks and features that need to be completed for the product. This can include new features, enhancements to existing features, bug fixes, and other changes.
  2. Prioritize: Once the tasks and features have been identified, the product manager must prioritize them based on factors such as user needs, business value, and technical feasibility. This can be done using techniques such as the MoSCoW method (Must have, Should have, Could have, Won't have) or by assigning a numerical priority score to each item.
  3. Refine and update: The product backlog is a living document, and it should be regularly reviewed and updated to reflect changing priorities and new information. The product manager should work closely with the development team and other stakeholders to ensure that the backlog remains accurate and relevant.
  4. Plan and execute: The product backlog is used to plan and execute development work, with the highest-priority items being addressed first. The development team should work on one or more items from the backlog during each sprint or development cycle, with the goal of completing the highest-priority tasks as quickly and efficiently as possible.


The product backlog is a critical tool for product managers and development teams, helping them prioritize tasks and features, collaborate effectively, and adapt to changing requirements. By maintaining a well-organized and up-to-date product backlog, product managers can ensure that their products continue to evolve and improve, meeting the needs of users and stakeholders alike.