Organization leaders are always looking for ways to speed things up. I never get more than a few minutes into a conversation with a director or an executive, before they begin sharing their frustration about the slow pace of change. They don’t understand why new initiatives take so long to gain traction.
Upon further discussion, research and analysis, we often find that up to 80% of their technology resources are focused on the past. Project teams devote most of their time and money to ideas, issues and defects related to past releases. They spend lots of time making the existing systems and products better in ways that add little value and completely ignore the future.
So, how do you point your resources to the future? Well, it’s all about backlog management! Try these three things to shove the past aside and spend more time building the future:
- Evaluate your backlog. What percent of your backlog focuses on repairing or enhancing past releases? How much value does each repair or enhancement provide to end users and/or the organization? Are there new/upcoming products or solutions that will bring more value to the users and the organization?
- Prune your backlog. Reward your team for work not done! Use the results from your evaluation to remove as many items as possible from the backlog. Then, get busy doing the RIGHT things to build the future. Give new ideas priority in your backlog if they deliver more value to the end user and the organization.
- Guard your backlog. Fiercely. Once you get your backlog in shape, protect it. Evaluate every new item carefully. Question the value and prioritize appropriately.
Most people want to refine and perfect past work, but leaders of thriving organizations tip the scales to allocate resources in favor of the future state not the past or even the current. Does your backlog need some pruning to let the future grow faster?