The stale backlog

Backlogs become stale quick.

As soon as some of the stuff reported in the backlog stops being relevant, the whole thing becomes useless and distracting.

I just removed 27 irrelevant entries from the backlog of a project I'm working on. There were 27 things reported in there.

I bet you a lunch that if you go to your backlog right now, you'll also find tons of stuff that doesn't make sense anymore. The amount of cycles your team spends every week sifting through stale requests is wasteful and completely unnecessary.

This is why I like to get rid of backlogs. Completely.

Instead, I keep a high-level plan for the next 4 - 6 weeks. If a feature or idea is not ready to be scheduled for that timeline, I ignore it. Important things will find a way to surface again and again, and as soon as there's enough clarity around it and we are ready to tackle it, I'll add it to the schedule.

This helps my team stay focused on what's important. It keeps them away from having to fish what's relevant from an ocean of dead requests.

The fear is always the same: you think you'll forget what's essential, therefore you need to add it to a list somewhere. I've found that this is the least of your problems when developing software. Forgetting is a good thing: it means that you didn't spend time doing something that wasn't important enough.

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