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Topics: Agile, Organizational Project Management
Is the product backlog part of project management plan?
Oraib Nawash Innovation Project Manager| Northern Illinois Food Bank Orland Park, Il, USA
Is the product backlog part of project management plan?

How the role of project manager fits in?

How is the product backlog fits in the general management plan of the project?
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Aaron Porter IT Project Manager| Blade HQ Pleasant Grove, Ut, USA
Project management plans (assuming you're talking about a document outlining how the project will be run, with topics like change management plan, risk management plan, scope management plan, etc.) usually aren't associated with agile approaches. If you're running a hybrid project, and/or your company requires a project management plan, you could describe the product backlog and how it will be managed in the plan, but the backlog itself doesn't need to be part of the document.
Kiron Bondale
Community Champion
Mentor| World Class Productivity Inc. Welland, Ontario, Canada
Oraib -

The product backlog is a Scrum artifact. Scrum is a product management framework, not a project management one and hence the intersection between the two worlds of product and project management hasn't been addressed in either the PMBOK Guide or the Scrum Guide.

As Aaron has indicated, you can certainly indicate that needs & wants will be tracked and reported in a product backlog and provide the location or a hyperlink to the backlog as part of your Requirements Management Plan/PM Plan, but the actual backlog itself wouldn't be there.

Keith Novak Tukwila, Wa, USA
It may or may not be part of a project plan. Some products have long lifespans and significant complexity to the point where they are managed as a program, rather than a project. Items in the backlog that are big enough are addressed as individual projects.

In other cases, the backlog would definitely be part of the plan. I currently manage a portfolio of improvement projects of various types. For targeted improvement areas like a defect reduction project, multiple ideas are generated for different chronic defects and involve many of the same people. Since we can’t work them all at once, they are prioritized based on impact, difficulty, cost, and time-to-delivery as examples, or perhaps by multi-voting. The top ideas are then worked in a kanban approach with those ideas planed for later in the backlog. The backlog is then the equivalent of our WBS.

Showing the projects in the project plan, we might use a rolling wave-type approach where we target the first set of improvements for completion by the end of a fiscal quarter and our best guess at what we plan to work on during subsequent quarters so we can estimate staffing and budget requirements. There would be a more detailed level plan for each item in the current quarter but not for Q2 and-on. We learn more over time so we revisit the backlog as items are completed to evaluate whether our best guess was accurate or if we should work on other items first.
Rami Kaibni
Community Champion
Senior Projects Manager | Field & Marten Associates New Westminster, British Columbia, Canada
Oraib, if you are talking pure PMI and Scrum, then Id agree with Kiron because Scrum looks at the development cycle only, not the whole project from initiation but if you go for example to AgilePM, you will notice that Product Backlog is somehow part of the PM Plan and there is a PM Role as well besides a Team Leader, Business Analyst and so on.
Leander Lawrence Software Technical Project Manager| Bosch Global Software Technologies Company Limited Coimbatore, Tn, India
I think most of the members have already answered the question. But just wanted to share my views.
If your handling a SW project, then it is essential to indicate the type of development methodology you will use in the SW project plan.

In case your following agile or hybrid way of SW development, then its sufficient to provide a short description of it along with the analysis of why this methodology was chosen (probably a reference to the stacey matrix analysis).
Sergio Luis Conte Helping to create solutions for everyone| Worldwide based Organizations Buenos Aires, Argentina
Trying to add something to great comments above let me say. Usually the artifact called Product Backlog is associated with Scrum. But you can have a Product Backlog using the method/framework you like to use. A Product Backlog contains all the things needed to create a product/solution/result. You can consider it the product scope. So, to be or not to be included in the project plan will depends on your governance model..
Enrico Jay-ar Corella Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
Yes, the product backlog will be a part of the project management plan, specifically under Scope Management Plan, If the approach is hybrid, the project manager would have a defined role working with the agile team. The organizational structure and team charter will be helpful on this regard.
Thomas Walenta Global Project Economy Expert| self Hackenheim, Germany

The backlog describes the product - of one project with a planned outcome or if you are governing by Scrum teams of a Scrum team with multiple projects/releases.

It replaces a requirements register and tracking system, a product design, and a configuration mgmt system used in larger projects (like automotive, nuclear, and pharma) with a simple, continuously changed artifact.
So, yes, it is part of a project management plan in that it is defined including how to deal with it in the scope mgmt plan (how) and a living document describing the scope itself (what).

All projects include product management, as a project creates an output.
Most product management includes (multiple) projects and could be seen as program management. 

They are 2 sides of the same coin, yin and yang. 

Tunde Agbato, PMP, ACP, PSM I, RMP Agile/Risk Project Manager| Animal Care Services Konsult Nigeria Limited Ogere-Remo, Ogere,, Ogun, Nigeria

Product backlog and project management are two different concepts in software development and project management.

A product backlog is a prioritized list of features, enhancements, and bug fixes for a product that is being developed. It is a living document that is constantly updated and refined based on customer feedback, market trends, and other factors. The product backlog is owned by the product owner and is used to guide the development of the product over time.

Project management, on the other hand, is the process of planning, organizing, and controlling resources to achieve specific goals and objectives. In the context of software development, project management involves defining project scope, setting timelines, assigning tasks to team members, tracking progress, and ensuring that the project is delivered on time, within budget, and to the required quality standards.

In summary, a product backlog is a key component of product management, while project management is a broader discipline that encompasses all aspects of project planning and delivery. While they are related, they serve different purposes and play different roles in software development and project management.

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