Clean your backlog

· Dimiter Petrov

Have you recently checked the size of your backlog?

There is a limit to the amount of work a team can do at a given time, so new tasks get queued in a backlog. As a project grows, so does its backlog. There are new features to develop, more bugs to fix, but these tasks take longer to finish than to write down.

The problem with large backlogs

Large backlogs are demoralizing. It is intimidating to realize how much is left to do.

Large backlogs are overwhelming. People lose the overview. They create a second, smaller, "prioritized" backlog. Or they start tracking work through other channels: in-person meetings, email, text chat. That exacerbates the problem - now you have multiple backlogs and they all keep growing.

Large backlogs stagnate. The bigger the backlog, the more information is outdated and the more maintenance is required.

Large backlogs give a false sense of how much is really planned, because most items are too vague or not estimated yet.

Keep your backlog small(er)

Reducing the backlog size can reduce the team's stress level. It also allows the team to focus on what's the most important. Here are some ideas to help you declutter: