Backlog

The Backlog and Team Backlog modules help you manage product development, rank development items, and plan development cycles.

Backlog module overview

A backlog consists of work items to be handled during product development. Backlog items include the following entities: User stories, Quality stories, Issues. For a definition of the entities, see Backlog entities.

Note: The item type labels may differ according to your organization's chosen development methodology. For details, see Languages and labels. The default labels reflect the Agile methodology.

Backlog items are organized into features, and features into epics. The epics - features hierarchy is displayed in the Backlog tree. When you select an epic or feature in the tree, the Backlog Items grid is filtered accordingly.

The Backlog module acts as a global repository of all the backlog items in the workspace. After you assign features and backlog items to a release and team, you can display individual team backlogs. For details, see Team backlog.

The Backlog module lets you:

  • Create epics and features, user stories, or quality stories. For details, see Backlog entities.

  • Open defects for problems encountered during development, testing, or application deployment.

  • Rank items and plan development cycles.

  • List the tests assigned to selected backlog items.

  • Track release and sprint development progress.
  • Add BDD (Behavior-Driven development) specifications. For details, see Create BDD specifications.

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The backlog cycle

Working in the Backlog module typically consists of the following stages: 

Stage Description
Build the product backlog

Add epics, features, user stories, quality stories, issues, and tests.

For details, see Build the backlog.

Plan a release

Assign features, user stories, quality stories, and defects to specific releases. Then, assign them to a sprint and a team.

For details, see Execute a release.

Manage the team backlog

Select specific team members to perform the work. While the team works, track progress of the team.

For details, see Team backlog.

Work on your stories

Locate items assigned to you, add tasks, and update your progress.

For details, see Work on your stories

Create and run tests

While working on your items, add tests to check that your development works as expected.

For details, see Create and run tests.

Track progress

View progress throughout the Backlog module.

For details, see Track release progress.

Assign items to application modules

Assign items to application modules to help assess application quality.

For details, see Quality.

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Backlog entities

The following table describes the entities that you create and manage in the Backlog module: 

Entity Description
Epic

A container for a high-level requirement. Based on epics, managers can create features for an upcoming agile release train. Epics are commonly used to represent a parent entity for features and user stories, focusing on one area of the product.

For details, see Epic types.

Feature A service that fulfills a stakeholder's needs. Each feature description should include its underlying benefit and acceptance criteria. Features can be split as necessary to be delivered by a single agile release train. Features can be broken down into several user stories, as they are usually too big to be worked on directly.
User story A description of a part of the desired functionality, from the user's perspective. A common use case is to create multiple user stories to cover a feature that may require software development in several areas.
Quality story A child item of a feature that typically represents a work item for the developers on the agile team. This may be maintenance of tests, creation of new tests for new features, verification of the feature, or feature documentation. Assigning quality stories to quality engineers allows them to be a direct part of the agile backlog.
Task The smallest unit used in scrum to track work. A task is meant to be completed by one person on the team. Typically, each user story or quality story will have multiple associated tasks.

Using these entities, admins can create rules that ensure compliance with an Agile framework. For example, you can define a rule that requires all Quality Story entities to be complete before a feature can be moved to Done. For details, see Design business rules.

Tip: Board view lets you see the progress of the backlog items using swim lanes. For details see Board view.

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See also: