Types of Product Backlog Tasks

 

In the previous article, we talked about user stories. But there are four main types of items that will be populating your product backlog. So what is a task in the backlog?

Backlog tasks are classified into user stories, bugs, refactoring and knowledge acquisition. Let’s see what each of them represents and how to define and prioritize them.

User Stories

The majority of your backlog tasks will be in the form of user stories, and they are also the most important items in your backlog. As we already said, user stories are units of development that describe product functionalities from the users’ perspective.

  • For example: As an admin user, I want to be able to control who can delete a task in my boards.

Aside from this definition, a user story needs to include the acceptance criteria, which represents the conditions that need to be met for the story to be considered as completed. 

Bugs

Bugs are the errors in the code discovered during peer review or testing. They will end up in your backlog most likely after the users report them to your team or if your team notices them.

Bugs will usually be high-priority items in your product backlog, however, they should also be discussed just like all other backlog items during the backlog refinement and weekly Scrum meetings. 

  • Example: New item on the task list appears in the middle of the list.

Refactoring

Refactoring is the process of restructuring existing code without changing the external behavior of the software. This results in better code readability and lower complexity, which makes the code much easier to work with and build upon.

In other words, refactoring is essential for creating a good basis for improving the tool and adding more value in the future. 

Knowledge Acquisition

As their name suggests, knowledge acquisition tasks are those tasks that are focused on gathering new information and new knowledge to be able to accomplish some future task.

For example, if there is a user story that your development team doesn’t know how to tackle or it requires some prior learning, a knowledge acquisition task will need to be assigned to prepare someone from the team to eventually develop that user story and all similar stories in the future.

  • Example: Research WordPress plugin libraries and select which one to implement.

 

How to Manage a Product Backlog in Infinity

Adding new tasks to the product backlog is simple. Here's what you need to do:

  • Step 1: Open the Backlog folder.
  • Step 2: Delete the example tasks - you can keep a few to serve as a template.
  • Step 3: Create a new task by clicking +Add new item below each group. Make sure you add the task to the correct group depending on its type - Story, Bug, Refactor, Knowledge.
  • Step 4: Write your task in the Name field. 
  • Step 5: In the Description field you can briefly explain the task or add the user story related to it.
  • Step 6: Add an assignee who will be responsible for this task. 
  • Step 7: Add a priority level - make sure to read the next article where we'll explain backlog prioritization. 
  • Step 8: Add 'To Do' Status to high-priority tasks you're planning to work on in the next sprint.
  • Step 9: After prioritization and backlog grooming, you will move high priority tasks directly to the sprint by drag and drop. 

Product backlog in Infinity grouped by task types

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