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Tips On How to Deal with The Growing Backlog

Tips On How to Deal with The Growing Backlog
Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

Visual boards for workflow management are nothing new.  Firms have been using this method for ages. However, during the late 1940s, the world realized the potential of using a visual board for managing workflow, and slowly, this board moved from paper to the digital platform.

In today’s time, visual boards for workflow management are no longer a secret since firms of various sizes and industries are thriving on it. But if you are used to storing the entire workflow on visual boards like a Kanban board, then there are chances that you must be dealing with a never-ending course of backlog columns.

In such a situation, most firms think that they will never get the project going. Now, consider a situation wherein you work on the last item of the list on a Kanban boardand out of the blue, new items of higher priority get added to the columns.

Such a situation is an everyday occurrence for software developers. The increasing number of backlogs is common among all fields, especially in visual boards like a Kanban board. So, what can be done to get rid of these never-ending backlogs? Keep reading to stay illuminated.

Limits

This is an effective method to deal with the growing number of backlogs. The main idea behind this concept is not to let the backlogs grow beyond the team’s capacity in the first place. This means that if a team can manage only 30 tasks a week, you should limit 30 tasks on the weekly backlog. It might take some time to decide on an ideal limit, but it’s worth the effort you will be putting in. Setting limits ensures that you don’t end up only writing down things that end up being idle for ages.

It is also an excellent approach to divide the planned work into backlogs according to the different stages of timeline and urgency like yearly, quarterly, and monthly. They can then be subdivided into two categories: second priority and urgent. This helps the team to decide which task to pick first. And if the team is not able to complete a task in the second priority class in the first week, they can move to a task belonging to the urgent class in the next week.

Dimensions

Another thing that you can do to keep track of the backlogs on a visual board is to organize the entire process you follow. Separate the tasks into more defined themes, projects, epics, features, stories, tasks, and product growth steps. By having a hierarchical order of things, adding priorities becomes much more manageable. Note, every stage of the production doesn’t need to move to the working backlog directly.

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Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

You have two options here; you can either go for granular order of the backlogs or keep more general stages at another management level. So, while using the dimensions, you understand that every small thing you think of regarding the project doesn’t need to go to the board. And this is an essential lesson since it helps you give importance to only those tasks that play a vital role in the project’s success.

Definitions

It is also necessary to know what falls in the backlog category, or we can say; you must be clear about the exact definition of backlogs, and you should do this before working on the structure.

To help you out a little- backlogs are a list of things that need to be implemented, or they can be a list of ideas that you are expecting to execute. And until you don’t get the concept of backlog right, creating backlogs for your board will not make sense. It will only make things more confusing and give you the notion of leaving it instead of attending.

You can begin by trying the new backlog policy on the latest things included in the project or dividing them into subdivisions to get a better picture of backlogs. Your team might not understand what will fall under a backlog until you make it clear to them. So, begin the process by defining the backlog clearly for every team member.

A long list of growing backlogs is never a good sign for any project, but you can’t deny that it is also a prevalent issue that most firms face. But instead of ignoring the backlogs, you should find a way to minimize the number of backlogs without affecting the efficiency of your project. And the best way to do it is to use the tips mentioned in this blog post.

Featured Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay