Cover page by Mike Cohn

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Chapter 13. The Product Backlog

The biggest question looming at the start of a project is, what exactly are we building? We know the general shape of the system to be built. We may know, for example, that we are building a word processor. But there are always dark corners yet to be explored or issues yet to be settled about how specific features will work. Will our word processor include an interactive table design feature, or will tables be designed by entering values into a series of screens?

When using a sequential development process, we try to start with a lengthy, up-front requirements-gathering phase during which the product is presumably fully specified. The idea is that, by thinking longer, harder, and better at the outset of the project, ...

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