Releasing a product and maintaining its speed and efficiency can be a long and arduous process. From the initial release, to making a roadmap for the future, it can be an overwhelming process involving a lot of different specialized teams to ensure success. Whether you’re concerned with general long term health, or you’re planning a long list of new features, it pays to have a strong, well-organized plan of action so you can give your team the information they need to spend as much time as possible pushing out ideas and features that your customers really want.
This is where a product backlog is imperative to building a product that will last — the ability to define specific aspects of the product that need work, or sort ideas based on importance and viability is huge when it comes to building a realistic timeline. Proper use of this template will help you do just that, as well as give you the tools you’ll need to get your team working as efficiently as possible on iterations, upgrades and new features that will have the maximum impact for the time invested. It will allow you to make clear which ideas are important right away, and what are more long term concerns that don’t need attention right now. You’ll also be able to see what features have been ruled out entirely so you know that no time is going to waste on functionality that will never be pushed live.
Because creating and maintaining a strong product backlog requires a keen eye and attention to detail, as well as the ability to juggle a lot of different moving parts, proper use of this template is important for long term success. You’ll want to start by making an overall plan and plotting it on the calendar. Here you’ll be able to make a note of any specific timelines you want to establish, and break it down into smaller chunks.
From there, you can turn a long term plan into a series of tasks that you can assign specific teams or individuals. You can assign suggested features as tasks, and sort them however you like, giving you total control over what priority each task is given. You might want to assign ideas for review by your team to get a sense for how long they might take to implement, or block them outright. However you decide to break it all down, you’ll be able to tell at a glance what needs to be done, in what order of priority, and by when — giving you total control over the ongoing development of your product.
Because implementing product changes requires a lot of open communication between technical and design teams as well as project managers, you’ll want to make good use of the Hive chat to keep everyone in the loop. It’s especially useful for a project like this as it’s the perfect way to encourage discussion on potential improvements to your product. If you want feedback on a potential feature, simply open a chat with your team and discuss it in real time. Then if you decide to move forward with it, you can move it from suggested status to something more relevant. It’s also useful for keeping up to date with how specific tasks are going when combined with the team view. Opening team view will let you see who is assigned to what, and from there it’s a simple matter of opening a chat with the team member you want an update from and talking to them directly.
Making sure you’re efficient with your time is of the utmost importance when you’re managing a product backlog, so it’s especially important to make good use of the tools you have at your disposal using this template. Here are a few tips to help along the way:
- The Gantt Chart is the view you’re going to want to get familiar with when you need an update on long term strategy. If you want to map out a feature timeline you can do it here, giving you the ability to set firm long term deadlines so you stay on track at all times. This is not only useful to give you a broader sense of where your product is going, but it’s a great way of showing any potential stakeholders your long term plans and it’s great for helping you plan any product presentations.
- The Kanban Board is the view to use to get to grips with your daily and weekly tasks. Anything you’ve planned and assigned for the week can be viewed here to help you get a good understanding of how your product backlog is coming along, and what features you can expect updates on and when. Perfect for making sure that you’re on track to hit your goals.
- The Table View is ideal if you want a more analytical list of everything that is scheduled for the short term. If you want to know what tasks are going on, when they are due, who is assigned to them, and what their status is, you can simply open the Table View and sort through your day-to-day that way. Perfect for when you want more specific information or to make a checklist of tasks for the day.
Hive also offers you a robust set of analytical tools, which are ideal for helping you track your product backlog timeline to make sure that you’re rolling out features efficiently. They can help you keep an eye on your teams productivity rate and their output, so if you have concerns or you’re finding deadlines are being pushed you can spot any weak points early and address them quickly. Combining this with Hive chat to talk to team members directly, and the team view to get a real-time sense of who is assigned to what task, gives you a strong set of problem solving tools that will allow you to nip any issues in the bud before they cause any real problems.
Check out some other project templates here: