Business Analysis Techniques Series: Backlogs record, track and prioritize remaining work items. Backlog management is a planned approach to manage remaining work for project. In managed backlogs, items at top have highest business value and priority. Backlog items can be user stories, business analyst use cases, defects, CRs, risks etc. business analysts use multi-phased prioritization approach to prioritize backlog items (Initially prioritize epics, then stories).
Describe high priority backlog items in detail with an accurate estimate of size and complexity. Do minimal amount of work on low priority items; just enough to be able to understand the work involved to complete it.
Managing changes to backlog
⦁ Add and re-order backlog for new or changed items.
⦁ Remove completed items or decided to be removed.
⦁ Removed items can be re-added to backlog.
⦁ Prioritization for changing needs.
⦁ Elaborate and estimate in detail ONLY priority items.
⦁ Tells what items need to be worked on and what items can wait.
⦁ Large backlogs can be difficult to manage.
⦁ Needs experience to break down items for accurate estimate.
⦁ Lack of details can result in lost information over time.
Governance, Risk and Compliance (GRC) management system is developed for the IT and ITES domain. The primary objective of GRC management system is to help companies implement Governance, Quality, and Information Security Management Systems in an integrated manner. It has various features, one of which is to plan and track projects and programs using standards such as CMMI, ISO 9001, ISO 27001 etc.
Through this example let us try to understand the how the Governance, Risk and Compliance (GRC) management backlog is managed.
|Req ID||Requirement||Req Type||Size||Criticality||User Contact|
|10000||Manage schedule||Functional||80||Must Have||Lily Vasantini|
|20000||Manage defect||Functional||60||Must Have||Shalini Paul|
|30000||Manage risk||Functional||40||Must Have||Sara Lee|
|40000||Manage requirements||Functional||60||Must Have||Nori Masa|
|50000||Track effort||Functional||30||Must Have||Gajendra Battalla|
|60000||Manage audit and compliance||Functional||60||Must Have||Rebecca Randad|
Some detailed requirements related to the schedule management module of Governance, Risk and Compliance (GRC) management can be seen here:
|Project Management||Schedule||Automatically generate project schedule based on a defined project life cycle such as Waterfall, Agile, Iterative, Porting, Testing or any other custom life cycle.|
|Project Management||Schedule||Automatically provide estimated effort.|
|Project Management||Schedule||Provide complete project guidance in terms of activities, expected effort, schedule, templates, and checklist.|
|Project Management||Schedule||Automatically create Project Configuration Item Register.|
|Project Management||Schedule||Automatically create process implementation indicator database.|
|Project Management||Schedule||Provide project artifacts such as Templates, Guidelines and Checklists.|
|Project Management||Schedule||Automatic creation of deliverable checklists.|
|Project Management||Schedule||Items not met in the checklist become defects.|
|Project Management||Schedule||Ability to import schedule from MPP and Excel.|
|Project Management||Schedule||Export schedule to Excel.|
|Project Management||Schedule||Auto-allocate resources to project tasks.|
|Project Management||Schedule||Generate comprehensive risks for projects based on project context.|
|Project Management||Schedule||Connect requirements, estimation, defect, risks, issues to schedule.|
|Project Management||Schedule||Create test cases for testing activities.|
|Project Management||Schedule||Submit project artifacts for review.|
|Project Management||Schedule||Attach project deliverables.|
From this example, we can understand that backlogs are used to record, track, and prioritize the work items. In a properly managed backlog, items which are of highest business value and highest priority appear on the top. The backlog is periodically reviewed to acknowledge changes in stakeholder needs and priorities and requirements are re-prioritized accordingly. However, large backlogs may become unwieldy and difficult to manage.
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