About Backlog and Work Items | Zoho Sprints Help

About backlog and work items

When you have a business as a solution or service provider, you need to build your solutions and services around your target customer or user. To achieve this, you need to invest resources in effective research and requirements gathering. This enables you to create a clear picture of what your customer needs and set the goals that you need to accomplish to deliver the best possible product or service. Zoho Sprints comes equipped with a structure that incorporates this into the project management process.

Backlog and work items are two of the major fundamental aspects of scrum. Work items are the building blocks of your backlog. A backlog is like a container that houses every conceivable requirement that your product or business foresees or deems necessary. Each of your requirements can be considered a work item. Any task that is identified in the project qualifies as a work item. The item can be a large task with multiple subtasks or a small task with a simple change or a an issue that needs to be fixed.

There is a backlog for the entire project and a backlog for sprints. The project backlog has all tasks associated with the project and is likely to be taken up eventually based on the availability of resources, time, and immediacy. Whereas the sprint backlog contains items carefully selected for each sprint with clearly defined short term goals. These sprints are planned and scheduled to be started at a date convenient to the team.


Let's assume you provide cloud software apps to businesses. When customers approach you with requirements for software solutions, they provide your with the details for what they expect out of the software and what kind of problems they seek to resolve. You need a system to document these requirements, review them, curate them into categories, and start working on them in phases with fixed timeframes. In Zoho Sprints, the system translates into project and sprint backlog and the requirements translate into work items.

For instance, if your customer is a healthcare provider and is looking for an employee management software, the software will have modules like employee details, department details, payroll management, leave management, approval trackers, etc. Each module will in turn have a web of smaller requirements. You can draw up requirements as work items in your project backlog to assess the magnitude of the entire venture. Then, you can curate and move items to the sprint backlog to group items under sprints and split the project into a series of miniature projects. This allows your team to identify focused goals and compose the final deliverable with multiple small scale goals.

The work items are broadly classified into Stories, Tasks, and Bugs. This is an industry standard classification that will help you define the type of the task.
  1. Story: A user story serves as a tool that helps describe a feature or a requirement from the customer's perspective. It usually follows a format that describes the type of the customer, what the customer wants, and why the customer wants it. This is beneficial to conceive and develop a customer-centric output.
  2. Task: A task serves as the smallest unit of your project management effort. It is used to identify a specific piece of work that needs to be completed by an individual member or a team of members. You can have multiple tasks to meet a feature requirement or achieve a user story goal.
  3. Bug: A bug is always indicative of an issue. The issue could be a logical or technical glitch that hinders progress of the application or results in errors. The size of a bug varies based on the business and it impact. You can denote the seriousness of the bug using priorities.

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