Creating Purposeful Scrum Teams via Awesome Backlog

Scrum is a practical framework to build products, provided you identify, in advance, what to build. However, even after a successful product discovery phase, you may struggle to implement the right way if your product backlog is not up to the job. Garbage in, garbage out — as the saying goes.
Managing the product backlog is a full-time and continuous evolution.

In this session, we will share simple techniques that can help change what can be an overwhelming and time-consuming process, to an interactive, iterative process that effectively engages team members, customers, and stakeholders. It will teach you how to develop solid techniques to help you build, prioritize, and maintain your product backlog.


Outline/Structure of the Hands on Session

  • Identification – Product backlog items identification
  • Planning, prioritization and investment
  • Backlog grooming techniques
  • What User stories are
  • Users, User Roles and Personas
  • Story Mapping and Story-Writing Workshops
  • Story Sizing and Ruler
  • Adding Detail and defining Acceptance Criteria
  • Common Pitfalls
  • Things That Are Not User Stories

Learning Outcome

Key learning objectives:

  • Creating purposeful backlog
  • Beauty and benefit of Feature and story prioritization
  • Painting the big picture using the Story Mapping

Target Audience

Product Owners, Product Managers, Business Leaders, Agile Coaches, Scrum Master, Developers, Architects

Prerequisites for Attendees

- Come with an open learning mind

- Ask questions with focus on discovery and learning

- Participate fully in activities - this is a workshop that will take you step by step from idea to a well refined backlog

- Share experiences

schedule Submitted 1 year ago

Public Feedback

comment Suggest improvements to the Speaker
  • Peter Stevens
    By Peter Stevens  ~  1 year ago
    reply Reply

    I like these aspects of the submission, and they should be retained:

    • .I like 

    I think the submission could be improved by:

    • reducing the number of learning objective three or four. What are the most important takeaways
    • how do all the pieces fit together? I see a long list of slides, but no story or vision. What is the key question which will attract the participant. What are the main themes? So maybe group the topics into three major themes. These should answer the question, why does the participant want to learn these things?
    • Shijo Paul
      By Shijo Paul  ~  1 year ago
      reply Reply

      Thank you Peter for your comments.

      We listed the details, as this is a 90 minutes session and wanted to clarify how we engage the audience for that period.

      The key learning objectives we have are the following:

      • Creating purposeful backlog
      • Beauty and benefit of Feature and story prioritization
      • Painting the big picture using the Story Mapping

      Our focus and key takeaways are these, while we make this as an engaging workshop.

      If there is any specific area you want to add or remove, please let us know.



      • Peter Stevens
        By Peter Stevens  ~  11 months ago
        reply Reply

        Thank you Shijo,

        Learning objectives need to be short and sweet, so people understand what they will get out of the sessions. I believe you would improve the proposal by updating it to reflect your previous comment.



        • Shijo Paul
          By Shijo Paul  ~  11 months ago
          reply Reply

          Absolutely Peter :) Thank you for pointing it out. I have updated the learning objectives.



  • Madhavi Ledalla
    By Madhavi Ledalla  ~  1 year ago
    reply Reply

    Hello all, thank you submitting this workshop to RSGI. This seems to be an engaging piece around backlog management. The outline of the proposal has many topics to cover, would you be able to go through all of these in 90 min. Would it be possible to please add timelines to outline section for ex

    Topic A - 10.min

    Activity x- 15 min

    Topic B - 15 min etc


    • Shijo Paul
      By Shijo Paul  ~  1 year ago
      reply Reply

      Thank you for the review and the kind words.

      Since this is a 90 minutes workshop, we had to plan out our session in detail while we did this successfully at the Regional Scrum Gathering Australia conference few months back in Sydney. 

      I am attaching the photo of our task board after we were done with the session at Sydney. Each task showing the topic, who all would be leading and the max time limit. Hope that gives a clear picture of the flow of our presentation also.

      While we were thorough with our planning, we were also agile, in terms of customer collaboration and responding to change, as we were driving it as a session driven by our audience participation.

      I would also like to hear from your if there is any particular topic within this which would be more relevant or interesting for the crowd we are expecting at the conference, so we can tweak our focus accordingly.

      Let us know if you have any further questions.




      Since attaching the photo did not work, please find below the details in text:

      Welcome: 3 mins
      Profiling: 5 mins
      Agreement/expectations: 3 mins
      Discovery to delivery: 5 mins
      Sample product overview: 5 mins
      Personas: 5 mins
      Goals/Purpose creation: 5 mins
      Story Identification: 5 mins
      Feature List: 8 mins
      Prioritization Techniques: 5 mins
      US Overview: 2 mins
      US Writing Techniques: 3 mins
      Big picture: 3 mins
      Story Mapping Theory: 5 mins
      Story Mapping Activity: 10 mins
      Dependency Map: 5 mins
      Pit falls: 5 mins
      Key take away: 3 mins

      • Madhavi Ledalla
        By Madhavi Ledalla  ~  1 year ago
        reply Reply

        Thank you for adding details and the time division, this helps thanks!

  • Liked Bibin Mathew

    Bibin Mathew / Shijo Paul / Venkateswara Reddy P, CSM - OKR & Agile - Making the best out of both

    45 Mins

    Many companies have transformed to Agile from waterfall model in the Past. Recently many organisations are struggling to migrate to OKR (Objectives and Key Results) from Agile. When used correctly, OKR and Agile are a powerful combination. They can create Value-driven teams and transform how organizations work.

    Studies have shown that committing to a goal can help improve employee performance. But more specifically, research reveals that setting challenging and specific goals can further enhance employee engagement in attaining those goals. Google often uses OKRs to try to set ambitious goals and track progress.

    OKR is a goal setting framework and has two components, the Objective (What we want to achieve) and a set of Key Results (How do we know if we are getting there): The main objective of OKR is to create alignment in the organization.

    In waterfall model also we set goals, but it is more of a project Goal /Static Goal. In OKR Modal, High-level goals for the company are set annually and Detailed incremental goals for the teams and individuals set at shorter goal cycles (iterations) that usually last a quarter.

    In this session we will talk about the key benefits of Agile and OKR and how we can make best use of both.

    OKR for this session


    • Enlighten the attendees about the powerful combination of Agile & OKR

    Key Results

    • Key Benefits OKR
    • How to use Agile & OKR as a combination
    • Get started with setting OKR for some typical scenarios