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Sprint Backlog consists of

  • Sprint Goal (WHY)
  • Product Backlog Items selected for this Sprint which will help meet the Sprint Goal (WHAT)
  • Plan to deliver the Product Backlog Items (HOW)

It is common practice that the Sprint Backlog is represented on a task board which provides a constantly visible depiction of the status of the items in the Sprint Backlog. Also included in the Sprint Backlog are any risks associated with the various items. Any mitigating activities to address the identified risks would also be included as tasks in the Sprint Backlog.

Once the Sprint Backlog is forecasted, the team should make constant changes to the Sprint Backlog as more is known about the Product Backlog items selected. The changes made to the Sprint Backlog should be such that the changes does not compromise the Sprint Goal selected. If major changes arise during a Sprint, they are added to the overall Product Backlog and included in a future Sprint.

Representations of Sprint Backlog

In its most basic form, a Sprint Backlog is represented as a task board and can be drawn on a whiteboard or even a section of wall. Using electrical tape or a dry erase pen, the board is divided into three columns labeled “To Do”, “In Progress” and “Done”. Sticky notes or index cards, one for each task the team is working on, are placed in the columns reflecting the current status of the tasks.

Sprint Backlog represented in the task board format

The task board is updated frequently, most commonly during the daily meeting, based on the team’s progress since the last update. The board is commonly “reset” at the beginning of each Sprint to reflect the Sprint Plan.

Some of the variations of the task boards are depicted below

For myths around Sprint Backlog, refer to following articles