Product backlog reference

Following are descriptions of the entities that comprise the product backlog, and the relationships between them. The examples in this topic describe the development of a fictitious online store.

All product backlog entities are viewed within the context of a specific workspace. Enterprise organizations can use multiple workspaces for scaled agile projects. In such cases, users are able to view items in the workspaces to which they are assigned.

Users with access to multiple workspaces can toggle between them using the dropdown menu in the header. This dropdown menu is not displayed if there is only a single, default workspace defined in the site.


With Agile Manager you can manage multiple applications within the same workspace. Applications are the different components developed by your teams. Applications can be independent of each other, or composite – designed to be integrated into a single product.

The user stories for all the applications are managed in a combined product backlog, providing you with visibility into the entire workspace's activity, and enabling you to define dependencies between user stories in different applications.


The online store workspace may include the following applications:

  • Web Site
  • Mobile App
  • Marketplace

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Themes are the top-level objectives your product must meet, or the product's high-level functional areas.

A theme is broken down into features. A theme may span several applications.


The online store workspace may list the following themes:

  • Music Store
  • Billing Module
  • Security Compliance

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Features are the functional areas of a product. Several features can be grouped together under a theme. A feature is broken down into user stories. You can associate features with multiple applications.

Agile Manager supports two types of features: Business and Architectural. Use a Business feature for customer facing changes, or an Architectural feature for changes required in your system to support a Business feature.


The Music Store theme could include the following Business features:

  • Album Database
  • Song Playback
  • Music Purchase

To support the Music Purchase feature, you might also develop a Secure Browsing feature.

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Backlog items

The user stories and defects that are listed in the product backlog are known as backlog items. From the product backlog, you plan backlog items to release and sprint backlogs.

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User stories

User stories describe the actions the user should be able to carry out by interacting with the product. Each user story should be associated with a feature, and may be associated with an application.


The Album Database feature could include the following user stories:

  • As a user, I can recommend a song to my friends
  • As a user, I can rate an album I downloaded
  • As a site administrator, I can delete an album from the album database

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Grouped user stories

Grouped user stories are a set of related user stories, and are created by breaking an original user story into several children.

You can assign each child user story to different features, teams, or sprints, and even different releases. Child stories always inherit the parent story's tasks, acceptance tests, and entity links.

Grouped user stories are helpful when a large user story must be divided into multiple smaller parts, to be completed at different times and/or by different teams. You can track the group progress using the Group Stories view from the Product Backlog > Backlog page.


The online store workspace could include a group story for downloading MP3 files. 

Child user stories may be used to plan updates for various features in the Music Store and Billing themes. These child user stories could be developed over various sprints and releases, while ensuring that they have the same acceptance tests and can be tracked as a group.

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The faults or bugs detected in the product. Defects are included in the product backlog together with user stories. Defects can be linked to user stories, and can be associated with features and applications.

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User stories and defects are broken down in to tasks.

When you create a new task, estimate the number of hours you think the task will require. As you complete the task, report your progress by updating the number of remaining hours in the Task Board. After you mark a task as completed, the task's remaining hours are automatically transferred to the invested hours.

  • The estimated hours for all tasks in a backlog item are aggregated into the number of Planned hours for that item.
  • The invested and remaining hours for all tasks are aggregated into the number of Actual hours for that item.

Compare the Planned and Actual hours for backlog items in the Details page, the Release and Sprint Backlog grids, or custom graphs.

Tip: You can edit tasks to add additional, unplanned hours, or to update an estimate.

Agile Manager does not retain the history of estimated hours, and aggregates only the current estimated value.

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