Keep an up-to-date list of things you need to address, so that you can remember them, and use that information to plan and organize your work.

A backlog (to-do list) is a list of (often prioritized) uncompleted work items (typically a deliverable, requirement or a driver) that need to be addressed.

Backlogs are at the core of any reliable and transparent system for organizing work and governance. Consider making backlogs visible, not only to other members of a team but also to the wider organization.

Rather than getting side-tracked when a new work item comes up, make a note of it in the appropriate backlog, so that you keep focus on the work in progress.

Types of backlog include:


Each item on a (prioritized) backlog typically contains:

  • a short description of the work item (typically a deliverable requirement or a driver)
  • reference to other interdependent work items or projects, as well as to any other relevant information
  • an estimate of the time required to deal with it

It can also be useful to include: