Product Experience

4 Product Backlog Examples You Need to Check Out, Right Now!

Manoj Rana
April 26, 2024
min read
4 Product Backlog Examples You Need to Check Out, Right Now!
Share this article:
Table of contents
Table Link

Mastering Product Backlogs for Effective Scrum Management and Better Clarity

Product backlogs aren’t just lists of to-be-done work. It's a broadcasting list of items that the team must work on subject to the right prioritization. Generally, this prioritization is done based on the importance of each task and its potential to improve the customer experience. 

Well-thought and planned backlogs help set the right expectations, priorities, and build a responsible work environment and deliver the product on time. It gives the team enough time to engineer their schedule. However, a lot depends on how you can curate the backlog. 

Let’s take a look at in-practice product backlog examples and how they help build a good product roadmap. 

What is a Product Backlog?

A product backlog represents a prioritized list of to-be-done work items, functions, or features aimed at achieving the product goals. A backlog sets the right expectations as the items are added according to their priority, which helps the development team understand what work item is more important. 

The purpose of the backlog is to provide a single source of work to the scrum team. Using the backlog, the scrum master can hold brainstorming sessions and discussions, and the team leaders can assign or keep a check on work. At the same time, it helps the agile team to plan and prioritize their individual tasks. 

Companies using a product backlog can build a culture of transparency and have better team collaboration. This is because every team member is crystal clear about their work, enabling organizations to build an agile work culture.

Product Backlog Examples

Let me make one thing clear; “There’s no fixed rule or regulation to create a product backlog. I have personally checked several product backlog examples, but none of them had a fixed guideline to follow. 

The way you can build a product backlog depends on the nature of your product, team dynamics, product maturity, and product goals. 

However, you must aim for building a backlog that will bring clarity to the to-do list, streamline the work, and help with sprint planning, while making backlog management less of a headache for everyone. 

Here are the four most important product backlog examples companies use for product planning, development, and project management. 

  1. Sectional Product Backlogs

Sectional product backlogs is divided into sections into different categories;

  • Functionalities
  • Features
  • User Types
  • Bug Fixes
  • Changes in Product

In addition to these, some product owners like to use Version, Epic, and Component tags. You need not take a rigid approach to create a product backlog. Add items in the backlog ist according to your requirements and how effectively you can manage the entire product development process. 

Purpose of Sectional Product Backlog

The section wise diversification of a product backlog is meant to organize and prioritize tasks to streamline the development process. You will rarely find a product backlog template for this type. Hence, it will be better to create your own sections. 

By creating sections, the product team will benefit from 

  • Better work visibility
  • Effective work alignment
  • Understand the entire product roadmap
  • Better clarity into work 

With the sectional product backlog in place, teams can make decisions effectively, relate work items, and collaborate easily, leading to better products.

Benefits of Sectional Product Backlog

  • Better Prioritization: With a sectional backlog, teams can focus on specific sections every sprint. As a result, prioritization and the next sprint planning is streamlined and sort of automated as the team has a better understanding of what needs to be done. 
  • Lowers Work Planning Complexity: A sectional backlog breaks down the overall work into small, manageable, and easy-to-understand chunks. As a result, the teams can collaborate to build an effective product and deliver it on time. 

Considering these points, a sectional product backlog is better for large-scale projects with multiple deliverables. It's good for projects that have distinct functionalities and features while requiring different teams to contribute and where the final product also caters to a larger audience. 

  1. Product Backlog with Components, Epics, and Versions

Another popular product backlog example we have seldom used at Qwary has three parts;

  • Components: These include user stories, bug fixes, and infrastructural changes, plus additional activities necessary to accomplish the required goals. In particular, the user stories are tasks responsible for delivering maximum value to the end users. 
  • Epics: Epics represent larger work bodies, which can be streamlined by breaking down into smaller components. This makes Epics more manageable and since a backlog is a living document, initiating changes to smaller chunks is relatively easier. 
  • Versions: These represent item releases and iterations of the product, wherein each set has a list of prioritized work tasks to be completed.

Purpose of Product Backlog with Components, Epics, and Versions

This backlog is a list of items taking a structured approach to manage and prioritize work. 

  • When Epics are integrated, it helps break down a large work list into a single sprint or iteration. These iterations are akin to placeholders for key development requirements. Using this information, a product manager will break down work into more manageable tasks. It leads to delivering an incremental work value and prioritizing tasks at the higher level.
  • Segregation of the work in a backlog with Versions means categorizing smartly to allow teams and product managers to plan and track work processes. Versions are executed to enable work delivery in a structured and timely manner.
  • Components and User Stories in a backlog serve the purpose of laser-focusing on small and lightweight requirements but which add value to the end-users. These requirements are simple to understand and help achieve a desired outcome for specific users. 

Benefits of Product Backlog with Components, Epics, and Versions

  • Effective Scalability: This agile product backlog offers better scalability as it can accommodate development works with varying complexity. 
  • Better Traceability: Stakeholders and team members can easily trace user stories from the final stage to back Epics and Versions. Hence, all the work is accessible to the team, promoting work transparency, which sets the foundation for better collaboration. 

As a result, this type of product backlog grooming offers a holistic view of the product and its development roadmap. Furthermore, it's easier for the scrum team, scrum product owner, product managers, and anyone else with access to connect the dots and find clear connections. They can determine the high-level features and granular user stories. 

From what I have experienced and understood, this product backlog example improves planning. Through this, it's easier to define the scope of epics, user stories, and components. With better planning and breaking down large components into user stores and granular tasks, you can mitigate risks by identifying them early on. 

  1. Section-Wise Detailed Backlog

Don’t be confused. The first product backlog example mentioned above is slightly different from what we are going to discuss now. 

Adding detail in every section of the product backlog is one of the best practices, which is so frequently used that it now qualifies as a good example with pre-established settings. 

The idea behind this product backlog is an ordered and detail-oriented list of items. However, the details in the items will change according to their order on the list. 

For instance, items on the top of the backlog will have details on all requirements, something like this:

Going down the list, details in each item will keep on decreasing, and the last tasks in the product backlog will have bare minimum details, like this:

Purpose of Section-Wise Detailed Backlog 

Such a setting enables product managers and the team working on the development to efficiently prioritize and plan the work items. The detailed information of every user story or item on the list provides a clear understanding of what needs to be developed first and it guides them to take upon the most critical tasks first, ensuring that the end-users are able to receive the value they expect. 

Moreover, it allows for;

  • Better adaptability
  • More flexibility to work
  • Make changes in the items down the list according to the progress and response of the ones above them. 
  • Laser-focus efforts on the user stories that need maximum attention
  • Optimize resources according to the work and list items. 

Benefits of Section-Wise Detailed Backlog

  • Better Work Estimation: With complete details about an item shared alongside as curated by the product owner and others, the professionals working on the item can estimate the time required. More details mean better precision and sprint planning. 
  • Effective Collaboration: You can continue refining the product backlog as the items on the top of the list are ticked. As the succeeding items will have a clear acceptance criteria and task dependencies, it will enhance team communication and collaboration. 

A clearly detailed product backlog is suitable for projects that need extensive upfront planning. Moreover, where the tasks need precise definition and predefined work scope, it's better to use this product backlog example. 

With high-level detailing provided for every item, there’s a lesser need for clarification meetings and mid-spring adjustments, which makes managing your product backlog seamless. 

Product owners and managers often outline the task dependencies, which means establishing a connection between different tasks, and the acceptance criteria are automatically formulated. This helps identify potential roadblocks and mitigates work risks. 

  1. Clean Product Backlog

Keeping your product backlog clean is a necessity, but it still warrants a separate discussion on the importance of the same. The quality of a backlog is determined by getting rid of outdated items while focusing on reviewing the items. 

Product owners on your team might not be too eager to get rid of some items, especially the “nice-to-have” features. We have been continuously facing this dilemma, where some good features are added to the list, but they are not implemented. It might be hard to let these features go, but if you need a clean product backlog, you need to learn to clean the house once in a while. 

Purpose of Clean Product Backlog

A clean product backlog has two core purposes: ensuring clarity of the to-be-done work and removing all ambiguity from the specific product backlog. It’s about refining the product backlog. 

Maintaining a clean product backlog allows the teams to focus on high-priority tasks, eliminating all sorts of confusion. It can help streamline the development process, fostering better communication and quick decision-making. 

Benefits of Clean Product Backlog

  • Enhanced Prioritization: Maintaining a clean backlog streamline the prioritization task as it becomes easier to focus on relevant items. Moreover, it also helps facilitate a clear direction to complete the relevant tasks. 
  • Optimize Resource Allocation: Removing unnecessary items in your backlog means not wasting resources on discussing them. 

A clean product backlog promotes agility and efficient resource allocation, increasing the development process and time to market. Quicker product launches mean you will get the first-mover advantage, which helps increase stakeholder confidence. 

To have a clean backlog, you must know the backlog items that will provide a clear value proposition and align with the product vision. It's a good way to filter items and get rid of unwanted items. 

Best Practices to Create a Product Backlog

A well-curated and managed product backlog forms a solid foundation for product development. By following the due process with some situational freedom to make changes as required, product managers, owners, and development teams can build a user-centric product. 

  1. Always have a Clear Vision

A clear vision gives the right direction to the product roadmap and effective prioritization. Without a clearly defined vision, it's easier to get swayed by working on things that may have little to zero impact on the user experience. 

Your backlog’s vision statement should also be concise and inspiring, focused on the user’s needs and problems, which your product will solve. 

“Empower busy professionals to manage their finances effortlessly with an all-in-one mobile app. The app will simplify budgeting, automate bill payments, and provide real-time insights to help users achieve their financial goals.”

This is an example of a good product backlog vision statement, and if you need to know what a product backlog that lacks strength and clarity reads like, here it goes:

"Develop a finance management app with advanced features and functionalities."

Focus on the “Why” when working on the vision, highlighting why the product you are building should exist and what problem it must solve. 

  1. Choose the Right Prioritization Order for Product Backlog Items

Now, this is something totally dependent on your work settings, culture, and the product you are working on. Different prioritization frameworks exist, but two of them stand out.

  • MoSCoW: Must-Have, Should-Have, Could-Have, Won’t-Have
  • RICE: Reach, Impact, Confidence, Effort

When using these frameworks to prioritize your work, you won’t have to rely on your gut feeling. It will be easier to move beyond. Even with using these frameworks, don’t forget to consider;

  1. Business value of each item
  2. Impact of every item on the end user
  3. The volume of effort required to complete the task

Using this, place the items with the highest impact and reasonable effort on the top. Or you can also decide according to the project deliverables. Conduct product and sprint planning meetings to decide the order of items and follow agile project management practices to refine the backlogs. 

  1. Inter-Department Collaboration

Successful products are built with team effort and with insights from all sorts of professionals. Similarly, to create a product backlog, invite all relevant departments to the table to understand;

  • Customer needs
  • Market trends
  • Sales potential
  • User pain points
  • Development difficulty

Working on the principles of cross-functional collaboration, conduct brainstorming sessions, something which has helped us build Qwary with insights from all the departments. The collective minds working together on a single goal helps ensure that all angles are considered and explored. 

  1. Use DEEP and INVEST Mechanism

Use these two mechanisms for product backlog refinement. Refinement means adding more items according to work progress and user feedback. 

  • DEEP: (Detailed Appropriately, Estimate, Emergent, and Prioritized) - This mechanism encourages working on backlog items that are clear and considered while being sized appropriately. For this, you must learn to account for the dependencies between backlog items and avoid technical barriers. 
  • INVEST: (Independent, Negotiable, Valuable, Estimable, Sized Appropriate, and Testable) - This mechanism takes you one step further into the backlog creation process by focusing on independent user stories. 

Work on adding user stories that will deliver tangible value to the end users. Moreover, this mechanism supports adding tasks that can be estimated for the development effort and are appropriately sized. 

Add tasks in the backlog that can fit within a sprint and ensure they are testable. Using this approach, you can create a product backlog that is easy to manage, understand and develop. 

  1. Continuous Refinement of Product and Sprint Backlog

Consider the product backlog as a living document which breathes with your work and progress. As market trends and customer behavior change, you must make changes in user stories, their requirements, and the tasks that follow to ensure that they align with the customer feedback and expectations to build a better product. 

For this, conduct backlog refinement sessions to plan the next sprint. In this work on product backlog prioritization. As this document is owned by the product owner, it does not mean they have to work independently. Rather, work with product managers, other departments, and stakeholders to remove outdated items and review the existing items to align them with the current needs. 

  1. Use User Stories for Backlog

I have mentioned “User Stories” multiple times in the sections above. These user stories are concise descriptions of different features and functionalities presented from the end-user’s perspective. 

So, you will write these like, “As a user, I want to be able to filter the search results according to size, color, price, and popularity. The user stories are precise, leaving zero space for ambiguity. 


Creating, managing, and refining a product backlog is important to build successful products. Not that, without a backlog, you won’t be able to build the product. But the difference between creating and not creating a product backlog gets clear when the former are able to build better and user-centric solutions, while launching them on time. 

With Qwary, you can centralize all the information about the product in a single place. You can use in-app and product surveys to get user feedback and integrate the information into the backlog to encourage user-centric development process. 

Qwary helps different teams collaborate and work together to build an aligned product. You can use Qwary to collect and collaborate work items and move forward with product development while addressing the user’s pain points and creating a user-centric product.