Multiple teams building a single product work from a single Product Backlog that defines all of the items/work to be done on the product. Teams do not each have their own Product Backlog. Product Backlog Items are not pre-assigned to the teams.
A Product Backlog contains Product Backlog Items. Most of these items will be goals/hypothesis/outcomes/customer items. However, everything the teams work on should be visible on the Product Backlog. Sometimes items are ‘improvement work’ such as “speeding up the build.” Thus, the Product Backlog contains potential value to customer and all the work that the teams will work on.
LeSS itself does not use different words for small item (story?) or big item (epic?) just to try to keep the language simple.
Properties of a good Product Backlog
A good Product Backlog must:
- have finer grained items at the top and coarser grained items further down,
- be prioritized, and
- have estimates for all items.
Product Backlog tools
Use simple tools for the Product Backlog. We’ve seen LeSS Huge initiatives (with thousands of people) manage the Product Backlog with a simple spreadsheet. Avoid unnecessary and costly complication by using the simplest tools possible for managing the Product Backlog.
Here is a side note regarding tool usage in Scrum and in LeSS. It is common for organizations to look for tools to solve their problems even though tools are rarely the cause of the problem. Avoid solving problems with tools unless you truly, deeply understand the problem and consider a tool to be the right solution for that particular problem.