I believe that current offerings have significant shortcomings:

  • They are somewhat at odds with the first Value of the Agile Manifesto namely "People and Interactions over Process and Tools".
    • Developers should be encouraged to talk to each other and give updates face to face.
    • The Sprint Scrum Board is a highly effective planning Tool.
    • Consequently, task planning should be done at the board, not around a PC.
  • Many existing tools carry the legacy of backward compatability with previous releases and methods. Consequently they are frequently bloated with incoherent and useless features that seem to be there just because they look nice.
  • Only the PO should be managing the Product Backlog.
  • POs frequently manage more than one Product Backlog. This can become a very involved activity benefiting from a rich client interface. Inspite of this most existing applications are Web based nad not everyone wants to have a critical application hosted externally.
  • Many Product Backlogs are maintained in Spreadsheets. This works well for many however there can come a point where they become unwieldy and manually intensive. More sophisticated analysis can be difficult and requires a high degree of skill.
  • Give people an illusion of certainty and predictability by encouraging them to do unfounded what-if analysis.


People and Interations over Process and Tools.
Only useful features where needed, not for their own sake or because we can.
No Tasks planning or Tracking. This is best done with a Team's Scrum Board.

What is XYZ?

XYZ is a compact application designed specifically to help a Product Owner manage their Product Backlogs.

It provides a rational basis for easily answering key questions such as:

  • "When is this feature likely to be done?"
  • "What is likely to be done by this date?"

Its role is to help a Product Owner to manage their Product Backlogs.

What XYZ is not…

  • A Web application
  • A sustitute for the Scrum Board
  • An excuse not to talk to each other


  • Story completion forecasting and Product Backlog story colouring by estimated completion date.
  • Product Burn Down showing the rate at which Stories are being Added, Done and how much work is Outstanding.
  • Drag'n'Drop story prioritisation.
  • Team Velocity Chart
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