The Backlog is a biweekly newsletter about the undervalued and overlooked in modern product development. It covers product development, self organization, and productivity. I include methods, books, and write about my own experience. Subscribe to get new posts straight to your inbox.

Definition of Ready & Definition of Done – so simple and so powerful

Whenever I start working with a new team, one of the first things we do is defining the Definition of Ready as well as the Definition of Done. Defining and using those two artifacts is not overly complicated but saves all involved from a lot of stress down the road. Nevertheless, I frequently find teams that use neither or don't even know what they are. Thus, I think it makes sense to address what Definition of Done (DOD) and Definition of Ready (DOR) are and why they exist.

Our unreasonable hope that software tools will magically save us

Don´t get me wrong, many software tools are fantastic products. I use a wide variety daily. However, I feel like their impact is overvalued. Or maybe, to put it better, I think they are misused. Far too often is some new license for a tool purchased because “we are not meeting our targets”. The hope is then that the tool magically solves everything. Spoiler alert: It doesn't.
Visualization of a user story

The easy way to write the best user stories

Writing a user story is not rocket science. Nevertheless, it is a point of significant leverage for the success of product development. As such, I feel that the task is undervalued. Thus, this post describes how to write user stories.

The four core competencies of an effective product owner

The Product Owner (PO) is an extremely important role that includes a diverse set of responsibilities and an empowered PO can have a tremendous impact on product development, if he or she is able to handle the many jobs of a PO. This raises the question of what skills are needed to do just that. Thus, in this third installment of the series on the PO I will focus on answering the question What are the core competencies of a Product Owner?

The effects of remote work on company culture

Now that the intense part of the corona pandemic is over (fingers crossed), companies and teams are transitioning to a permanent new normal, and figuring out how to do so. Thus, now is a good time to write down some thoughts on how to deal with the effects of remote work, specifically on company culture.