Step 2 - Backlog Setup Recommendations

Understand the different Backlog State strategies and what will work best for your team.

Setup Recommendation

Now you’re ready to start setting up the Backlog by creating your Backlog Workflow States. For instructions on the actual setup check out the Backlog Page article. Let’s walk the recommended strategy for using the Backlog in Shortcut.

The best way to incorporate the into your process is to add a Backlog Workflow state or states to a current Workflow or Workflows.

  • This keeps the work in the same Workflow, when it is ready to be worked on it just needs to be moved to the next workflow state.
  • You can add Backlog states to any or all of your Workflows, it really just depends on how your team adds to the Backlog. This means you could have everything added to your engineering workflow which you use across teams. You could also add Backlog states to your design, engineering, and more workflows.
  • No matter what workflow states your Backlog states are a part of you will be able to see them all on the Backlog Page.
  • If you are new to Shortcut and just setting up you will notice there is one Backlog state added to the default Workflow, but of course this can be customized to meet your needs.

Selecting your Backlog State or States

Now that you have an idea of your overall strategy it’s time to plan out what your Backlog State or States will look like. There are many options, but they fall into two categories: one Backlog Workflow State or more than one Backlog Workflow State. 

One Backlog State

A single Backlog state sits alongside the existing flow, but tickets can move into it as decided. The Backlog is a place where well-formed tickets land.

More than one Backlog State

More than one Backlog State: Backlog States make up a sub-flow similar to “started”, where work is expected to be done on them before they move on to Unstarted states.

If you decide on this strategy you don't have to use Draft, Ready for Refinement and Unplanned or even stick to this number of states. However, this is a good jumping off point for you to customize to meet your team's needs.

Create a Backlog Process

The goal of a Backlog is to create a place where ideas and unstarted work can live, but also to ensure this does not become a place where ideas are forgotten about and never worked on or thought of again. Both of these strategies can be used to create a well-functioning backlog, the key is to ensure that you have team alignment and an outlined process for backlog management and refinement. 

One great way to create team alignment is to talk through your proposed options as a cross-functional (engineering & product) team and then vote! This is what we did at Shortcut and we found it helped get buy-in across the team.