PO: How to prioritize backlog items?

2020-11-17 14:08:29
Renee Fey
Original 48
Summary : The Product Backlog items are specifications and requirements, user stories, bugs, user cases, etc. According to Scrum, the primary responsibility of the Product Owner is to manage the team backlog. The Product Owner needs to prioritize those items by their value.

The Product Backlog items are specifications and requirements, user stories, bugs, user cases, etc. According to Scrum, the primary responsibility of the Product Owner is to manage the team backlog. The Product Owner needs to prioritize those items by their value.


Features of a product are not of the same value or importance. 


80% of value typical resides in 20% features.

What is the business value?

Business value comes from the intersection of three dimensions
  1. What you can implement continuously
  2. What you can sell to your customers
  3. What you are passionate about
Simon Sinek’s Golden Circle explains what is most important for a product.

Value and Effort

Also, the Product Owner has to balance between the value and the effort. When the PO is busy making sure the value is maximized for the customer, the effort it takes the team to build the right thing has to be weighed too.

How to measure the value?

Ways to measure the values are Affinity Sizing, MoSCow, Cost of Delay, Return On Investment, etc.



It is the responsibility of the PO to measure and prioritize PBIs, Scrum Poker is often used to help estimates the value and the effort in a team. You can follow the steps below to measure it.
• Pick a low-value item and assign it 3 points
• Each team member use a card to estimate a story
• Show estimates, discuss highs and lows, estimate again
• The third round is the final one, then average the estimates


Feel free to leave your thoughts on PBI orders in the comment.
Write a Comment
Comment will be posted after it is reviewed.