Friday, 24 May 2013

What is a PBI?

After my last post, I had the question of what is a PBI... so I thought i'd write a short blog post about what they are and why they are used.

A PBI is an acronym for Product Backlog Item. It is a description of a piece of work that your SCRUM team will develop and deliver. When you have a list of Product Backlog Items, you then refer to that collective list as a Product Backlog.

The product backlog is often prioritised and yourteam will work through each PBI, and release on a regular schedule... I am however going deep into the world of Agile development, which isn't entirely what this post is about, so I will stop myself now.

A Product Backlog Item is made up of the following:

Title - This is often a one liner that gives the team an idea of what the PBI is about, although it can just be an ID for the item and the team work off of that.

Description - Breaks down the PBI in a bit more detail, and can be written in any style, however I prefer it to be written as follows: 

By writing it this way you can clearly see what it is that is trying to be achieved, you also know who it is aimed at and what the benefits are.

Conditions of Acceptance (COA) - These are effectively criteria that must be met for the PBI to be considered as done. They will often drive test cases, as well as the QAs own mind and inquisitive thinkings.  The COAs can b written in Given When Then format, or they can drive the teams in coming eup with their own GWTs which are then reviewed by the Business Analyst or Product Owner.

Every PBI will be sized in a sizing session, this is where the team sit down with the product owner and business analyst and will have a look at the title, description and the COAs and then come up with an arbitrary size based on how big they think it is. 

The following sizes are used (fibonacci sequence):

0, ½, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 20, 40, 100,

Every team will size a PBI different, however, they will have their own scale so a PBI that is a 2 for one team may be a 3 or even a 5 for another team, many factors will play in to a size of a PBI, ranging from complexity, to teams knowledge of the systems (another factor that will change the size of a PBI from team to team). 

Sizing a PBI will give a team an idea of what they can fit into a sprint, each team will have a velocity of what they normally achieve in a sprint, and this gives the business an idea of when they can expect certain features/PBIs to be completed. Again, this is why every team will size a PBI differently, and this leads into the amount of story points that a team can do in a sprint, so whilst team A might be able to complete 20 story points in one sprint against another team that can do 15, it's not necessarily saying that team A are completing more work...

Hopefully this has given you an idea of what PBI is, it is essentially an item of work that will have a number of team (QA and Dev) tasks against it, that the team will complete during a sprint.


  1. nice post thanks for sharing. i will also share this article in my circle
    Business softwares

  2. Now-a-days, nothing is sure!!! Then undoubtedly, our main concern would be purity that affects our health and atmosphere. xenon test chamber

  3. hi admin...Really an amazing post..! By reading your blog post i gained more information. Software Testing Training in Bangalore

    1. Hi, Great.. Tutorial is just awesome..It is really helpful for a newbie like me.. I am a regular follower of your blog. Really very informative post you shared here. Kindly keep blogging. If anyone wants to become a Java developer learn from Java Training in Chennai. or learn thru Java Online Training in India . Nowadays Java has tons of job opportunities on various vertical industry.

      or Javascript Training in Chennai. Nowadays JavaScript has tons of job opportunities on various vertical industry.

    2. Java Training Institutes Java Training Institutes Java EE Training in Chennai Java EE Training in Chennai Java Spring Hibernate Training Institutes in Chennai J2EE Training Institutes in Chennai J2EE Training Institutes in Chennai Core Java Training Institutes in Chennai Core Java Training Institutes in Chennai

      Java Online Training Java Online Training Java Online Training Java Online Training Java Online Training Java Online Training

  4. Really cool post, highly informative and professionally written and I am glad to be a visitor of this perfect blog, thank you for this rare info!

    selenium training in chennai|

  5. Needed to compose you a very little word to thank you yet again regarding the nice suggestions you’ve contributed here.

    Java Training in Bangalore

  6. I believe there are many more pleasurable opportunities ahead for individuals that looked at your site."Oracle Training in Chennai"

  7. Thanks a lot very much for the high your blog post quality and results-oriented help. I won’t think twice to endorse to anybody who wants and needs support about this area. software testing training in chennai

  8. I feel really happy to have seen your webpage and look forward to so many more entertaining times reading here. Thanks once more for all the details.

    selenium training in bangalore|

  9. Thanks for one marvelous posting! I enjoyed reading it; you are a great
    author. I will make sure to bookmark your blog and may come back
    someday. I want to encourage that you continue your great posts, have
    a nice weekend!

    java training in chennai

    java training in bangalore