Scrum: Sprint Backlog Creation - in-Depth

This course is an applied workshop with hands on practice, in your environment, to create a backlog from product vision concept to first sprint.

This course will teach how to envision a product and drive out good requirements that can be prioritized to reduce project risk and maximize return on investment.   The course will start from the beginning of a business need and derive the project vision, roadmap, release plan, and sprint-ready requirements in the form of user stories. Vertical slicing, prioritization, estimation and right-sizing requirements will be thoroughly practiced through a series of exercises.  Common pitfalls and techniques to avoid those pitfalls will be thoroughly explored with multiple hands on exercises.  The objective of this class is to train you to be effective and maximize ROI for an agile Scrum project.

Course Outline

Section 1: Identify Product Vision
 Differentiating product ownership from product management and project ownership
 Overview of the case study
 Create a product vision using the elevator pitch template

Section 2: Identify Strategies to Enact the Vision
 Identify top strategies that will enact the vision using risk and uncertainty
 Value and order the strategies
 Baseline strategy metrics and goals
 Create business model canvas for the top strategy
 Determine acceptable tactics and release goals based on prior exercises.

Section 3: Identify Large Grained Stories and Their Value
 Create a product road map
 Identify top large grained stories
 Lecture on use of MoSCoW, value points, metrics, trees, personas, dependencies
 Value stories using value points and other mechanisms

Section 4: Story Mapping to Identify Releases and a Walking Skeleton
 Create story map and identify walking skeleton
 Simplification of product (Picasso’s bull) to grow the product

Section 5: Break down first projected sprints’ stories
 Definition of Done part 1
 Story identification and breakdown working session (grooming)
 Backlog refinement with acceptance criteria
 Definition of Done refinement
 Story tasking

Section 6: Common Pain Points
 Story sizing, when it’s too soon or too much
 Refactoring of bad stories
 Backlog refinement – too little and too much


The use of agile as an approach to managing projects has been increasing dramatically over the last several years. Gartner predicts that by the end of 2012, agile development methods will be used on 80% of all software development projects. PMI’s research has shown that the use of agile has tripled from December 2008 to May 2012.

Over and over, students in various agile courses have said that the most difficult thing after scrum training is determining the right level for user stories and creating an actionable product backlog. This workshop directly addresses that issue with practice from product vision to prioritized backlog – in your environment for private classes and a canned exercise for public courses.
Learning Objectives:
• Ensure your project delivers required functionality and adds value to the business
• Understand the purpose and application of product vision and roadmap
• Understand how to apply vertical slicing to stories in order to emerge a holistic product
• Gain an applied understanding and practice for good User Acceptance Criteria.
• Grooming the Product Backlog, writing User Acceptance Criteria, and identifying common pitfalls when developing the product backlog are all discussed and practiced.

A foundational understanding of Scrum is necessary to get the most out of this course.