Working software over comprehensive documentation.
The agile process was built to create great software, and limit time spent on documentation. The product backlog is an excellent example that shows documentation isn't necessary to start a software development project.
The product backlog is a prioritized feature list that contains short descriptions, usually in the form of user stories, that describe all of the known features of a product. Typically a product owner and a development team begin to create the product backlog by jotting down every thing they can think of for the first phase of a product. The product owner will then prioritize this list and groom it with the team. Theoretically, a development sprint could begin at this point.
As the agile process begins and the development team and product owner learn more about the product and the customer, items are added and re-prioritized to reflect these changes. A typical product backlog will consist of 3 major items.
- Features (user stories)
These items are always subject to the product owners prioritization. In one sprint a product owner may prioritize all new features, while in the next sprint the product owner may only want the development team to work on bugs.
For more information on the product backlog and the agile process, be sure to download our free eBook "The Official Agile 101 Handbook."