Tuesday, December 5, 2023

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The prioritized backlog … and Santa Claus!

Posted by jc-Qualitystreet on 2009/11/13

Christmas is coming and kids know it. This is what happened to me last weekend …

My kids « Dad … Dad for Christmas … can we play the sticky notes game  »
Me: « Okay kids, but this time we’re going to change the rules »

In one year, I had the time to improve the process  🙂 even if the constraints are almost the same:

  • Santa Claus is very busy
  • His sledge is not expandable
  • The deadlines are tight
  • The delivery date cannot be moved

In addition, my kids as good Product Owners have understood two important things making them realize the importance of priorities:

  • You cannot have everything (even if you always want more),
  • Being good (or not) can potentially impact on what you’d receive

Scrum / XP from … Home!

Or how we set priorities to write the letter to Santa Claus 🙂

Step1 : Brainstorming, data collection and workshops
Passionate reading for weeks, intensive research from several sources, and interviews with the little brother to finally cut in the magazines the images of the toys they like


Step 2: Backlog Initialization
The images are cut. In case of several kids, ask them to place their images in an envelope. Use one envelope by child then one image by sticky note. The backlog is initiated.


Step 3: Backlog Prioritization
Notes are laid on the ground. Ask the kids to rank in order of preference by placing on the top toys they want most, the most important to them…

… ..



Step 4: Backlog Display
Notes are now prioritized on the ground. We had to find a wall or a door to display them vertically (visual management …).

My daughter’s wall (not very reasonable):


My son’s wall (moderate …)


Retrospective: We had a good time and kids were very happy !

My wife and I’ll take care of the estimation (points/ euros) 🙂

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