Product Backlog Excel Template Free Download

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What is an Agile Product Backlog?

Product backlog templates are standardized repositories for tracking PBIs through prioritization and inclusion in sprints, usually retained in standard Excel format. 

Product Backlog Excel Template Free Download
Product Backlog Excel Template Free Download
In Agile methodology, the product owner gathers required tasks or requirements as Product Backlog Items (PBIs), also referred to as “stories.” By retaining an ever-changing but all-inclusive list in a central repository, the prioritization and visibility of PBIs facilitates planning and allows for pulling product backlog items into Sprints for development and implementation.

Product backlog information is continuously being updated with new items and status information of previous items. This varies considerably from a sprint backlog, which is static in nature once PBIs have been designated as included in the sprint. Product owners and scrum masters can benefit greatly from standardization and effective use of the product backlog template.

How the Product Backlog Template Contribute to Agile Methodology

Product backlog information forms the basis of pulling PBIs into sprints for development and delivery through:
  • Providing a central repository of items/tasks identified by the product owner and stakeholders
  • At-a-glance view of prioritized items for consideration in sprint planning
  • Quick reference of relative task difficulty, sprint preparedness, and status
  • Story points contribute to establishing a reasonable number of tasks that may be accomplished within the scope of any sprint execution.
  • Product owners can utilize this information to make accurate decisions on PBIs to be included in sprints, based on priority and level of resource requirements. 
  • PBIs may be submitted by any stakeholder and added to the product backlog, but the product owner makes the decisions on product backlog priorities.

What does a Product Backlog contain?

Template content includes high-level information that can readily be utilized by the product owner and Sprint leaders to accurately evaluate, monitor backlog items and sprint planning:
  • Task name/description – This is a brief identifying description of the task to be performed by the backlog item.
  • Story – This is a Y/N indicator to identify if there is a clear story behind the item, stating the item’s purpose and benefits.
  • Dev Ready – Is the item ready for pulling into a sprint action? There are varying views of what “ready” means, but the values of Y/N tell the product owner that there is sufficient information for the PBI to be pulled forward into a sprint.
  • Priority – the product owner establishes the priority of each PBI. This is based on a combination of business value, cost to implement (or cost savings), and story points. Values for priority are Low, Medium, and High. 
  • Status – Initially a story will be in a “Not Started” status. Once it has begun work as part of an active sprint, it will move to “In Progress” until such time that the task is delivered, making the status “Complete.”

  • Story Points – Story points are unique to Agile estimating techniques, taking the place of traditional estimating in increments of hours or weeks. Story points are assigned as factors of difficulty for development either due to complexity or unknown factors required to complete the task. Scrum teams come to a consensus on the story points to be assigned to a PBI without a true relationship to estimates of hours. This value presents a realistic gauge of complexity as related to other tasks on the product backlog. Values for story points are generally set as numerical values such as 1,2,4,8,16, indicating the comparisons of very small through very large efforts required.
  • Sprint – Once an item has been combined into a sprint exercise this entry tracks the sprint associated with the task. This column may include values of Y/N, or if sprint numbers are utilized may contain the actual sprint project designation.
  • Release number and/or date – this can be utilized to record when the sprint results were actually implemented.
  • Acceptance criteria – Where the product owner or designated stakeholders have specific requirements that must be met before acceptance, this column can be utilized to provide such details.
PBIs form a key part of all the sprint activities including but not limited to Sprint Review Meeting, Sprint Capacity Planning and Agile Reporting.

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