When planning a release there are a few things that need to happen to have a successful release. An important process that needs to be done is scheduling a release, but to schedule a release the team needs to figure out the product owners deliverable. Just because the agile team has an idea of the deliverable from the product owner, doesn’t mean that the team and the product owner will always be on the same page. So, to “fill the gap”, there is a product backlog, release backlog and the sprint backlogs.
I’m going to explain each backlog in a broad sense so everyone who reads this can have a little understanding of each type of backlog.
“In the simplest definition the Scrum Product Backlog is simply a list of all things that needs to be done within the project. It replaces the traditional requirements specification artifacts.”
“A release backlog is a subset of the product backlog that is planned to be delivered in the coming release, typically a three- to six-month horizon. It would presumably contain the same type of items as on a product backlog.”
“The sprint backlog is a list of tasks identified by the Scrum team to be completed during the Scrum sprint. During the sprint planning meeting, the team selects some number of product backlog items, usually in the form of user stories, and identifies the tasks necessary to complete each user story.”
To sum up, even though agile is a sprint by sprint based process, having a product backlog to keep everyone involved on the same page is very important!
Here is an example of a product backlog and sprint backlog.