The product backlog is a list of items that the Product Manager wants the development team to do.

However, the backlog is not an exhaustive list of every request or idea.

Each item needs to be assessed based on how it fits into the overall product strategy, and whether it adds value.

Think of the WHY – it goes beyond adding a checkbox or a button to a page. What is the problem this will solve?

The Product Manager is not there to simply parrot requests between users and the development team. They should be considering which items will make it to the backlog, and which items the team should work on next.

Part of this process will involve lots of discussions – and it may lead to saying “no” to a request.

But that’s OK – saying “no” is an essential way to keep the product relevant, and avoid bloat.

It also helps to reduce the volume of requests coming to the team, and allows them to focus on the most important, valuable requests.

The product can’t be everything to everyone. Spend your time making sure the product is as good as it can be for the types of people who use it.

Photo by Glenn Carstens-Peters on Unsplash

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