How can I manage a product backlog for multiple teams and platforms?

Using JIRA, can product owners manage functional areas span multiple platforms and SCRUM teams (any arguments for or against this approach)?

Is there an easy way to manage stories for epics that span multiple JIRA projects (one for each platform) or is there a better way to manage this type of scenario?

How can product owners effectively manage the lifecycle of new requirements at a product level even though execution is done by each platform's SCRUM team?

 

Goals:

  • Reduce duplication of story creation and curation,
  • UX/UI discussions with PO are on a feature basis and are not repeated by platform 
  • POs build expertise in a specific area and are more apt to understand functional nuances of inbound product requests, feedback and enhancements
  • Increase user experience parity in the implementation of features across platforms (as the epics are all written by one product owner) and simply our feature release process (it's confusing to customers to get features that don't exist on other platforms or work differently).
  • Track delivery of features at the product level, not the platform level
  • Manage customer requirements for the product at the product level, not the platform level

Heres the scenario:

There is one product that supports 3+ mobile platforms. Each platform has a JIRA project and each SCRUM team has their own sprint that pulls from the groomed platform backlog. There are multiple SCRUM teams with a minimum of 1 per platform but possibly more than one on each platform. The code base is largely nat0ive to each platform and teams work somewhat independently. 

In general, all capabilities of the product will be the same across platforms with some differences in implementation based on the UI/UX or API's available. Currently there is one product owner per platform, and they  consistently lack the time to effectively collaborate with their PO counterparts on story creation, planning etc. We end up having the same conversations multiple times, with the only difference being the platform in discussion.

1 answer

1 accepted

Hi @Evan Hurst

I have come across this sort of problem multiple times. There are a number of ways it can be solved and here is the one I found easiest to work with for different users.

Step 1 is to create a filter of all your epics across the projects that reflect the 3+ mobile platforms.

Step 2 Create a Kanban board based off the filter from step 1. 

Step 3. Train your POs to prioritise in the Kanban backlog - Any epic that is not in the To Do list is already prioritised and underway.

Nice to haves but not essential

Amend the workflow for Epics to have an additional stage eg. To Do - Ready for Work - In Progress - Done. Then your POs can confirm an Epic is complete and drag to the Ready for Work column to indicate to the platform teams that it is ready for work to be done, confirming the priority at the same time. The Scrum board for each team can then be updated to exclude any issues in "To Do" and they will focus on those that are Ready for Work.

I would also add a new custom field to Epics with a multi-select for the platforms. Once this is added you can use quickfilters to see which epics apply to a particular platform. Eg customfield is platform then you can use the JQL platform is 'Android' to identify all features related to the Android platform

Copy the filter from Step 1 and add the condition "OR flagged is NOT EMPTY" then use this as a report for Scrum of Scrums or Status meetings.

There are lots of other things you can do with this sort of setup but that is probably enough to get you started. smile

 

Phill

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