Do you know the 3 steps to completing a PBI?

Last updated by Piers Sinclair [SSW] 14 days ago.See history

A PBI (Product Backlog Item) is a term commonly used in Agile project management and software development to represent a unit of work. It refers to an item in the Product Backlog, which is a prioritized list of features, enhancements, or fixes to be addressed in a project.

From a developer's viewpoint, the lifecycle of a PBI can be broken down into 3 steps:

Before it's ready

Got an email with tasks or bugs? Add them to the Product Backlog as PBIs as soon as possible!

Next, check the PBI against the Definition of Ready.

1. PBI is Ready

You have a Sprint Backlog of PBIs (tasks, features, and fixes) which are already prioritized and approved by the Product Owner

  1. Take the next PBI in the list by assigning it to yourself
  2. Break down that PBI into clear and actionable tasks

Testing task
Figure: "Testing Task" added to a PBI. This is the board the team will use for 90% of the Sprint so that testing is visible to everyone

2. Time to Code

This step depends on the complexity and nature of the task, especially if the PBI involves intricate coding or extensive testing to meet the defined Acceptance Criteria.

  1. On the Sprint board, move your PBI into "In Progress"
  2. Create a new branch and code, code, code... (remember to Red, Green, Refactor)
  3. Open a Pull Request and get another engineer in your team to do an "over the shoulder" check of the code
  4. Record a Done Video so you get your ducks in a row for the explanation to the Product Owner
  5. Show the Product Owner so they give you earlier feedback
  6. Make changes based on feedback (and then get more feedback)
  7. Check your Definition of Done and complete the Pull Request!

3. Done

This should be the easiest part!

  1. Make sure your code is deployed 🚀
  2. Reply 'Done' inside the PBI and also in the email thread, as per when to send a 'done' email in Scrum

    Note: Remember to close PBIs, tasks and goals with context?

  3. Close the PBI

Congrats, your PBI is ready to be demonstrated during your Sprint Review!

Figure: The important steps in a PBI lifecycle. Print this "SSW 3 Steps to a PBI pdf" and put it on your 'War Room' wall

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