As a Product Owner, as the person who came up with the idea, you know your app inside and out. You probably know how you want it to look, how you want it to function, how you want users to experience it. You’ve taken great care to write it all down – you now have yourself a detailed product description. You may even think that you can turn that product description over to a mobile app development company and they’ll turn back over a finished application. Unfortunately, that’s not how it works. What you really need is a product backlog. Fortunately, you’re not that far off.

When you’re writing your product description, you’re breaking it down into its most desirable and sellable aspects. You’re determining your target audience/consumer; you’re crafting your unique voice/tone. You’ve made the product sound good on paper, and you’ve made it sound engaging. What you have is a pitch. You’re a solid salesperson, but all those ideas have to coalesce into something that can actually be built. That’s where the product backlog comes in.

Asking Questions, Not Giving Answers

You have what sounds good to consumers but without the product, there’s really no point. The real questions come down to: how long and how much? That’s what you need to know before your build, right? Some Product Owners think they can skip the backlog process during software development because it feels laborious, but despite the hard work involved, it’s absolutely essential.

It’s here that you’re creating user stories – short, simple descriptions of your app’s functionality from the perspective of the user. Every function, every feature, has to be backed by reason. What problem does each feature solve? More importantly, what do your users want? Building a product first and then asking these questions will always lead to wasting time and a whole lot of money.

A product backlog will help take all the great ideas you have and prioritize them. Now you’re working toward your MVP, your app at its leanest. Now your closer to your release. The product backlog is the first step toward this. You can get our detailed take on at the Neon Roots main site by reading “It All Starts With A Backlog.”

Once your product is done, then you can put your salesmanship to work. Then, you can work out your detailed product description because your consumers will be ready to be sold on your great new product. Better yet, you’ll have the lean MVP to back it up.

Creative Commons untitled” by Alejandro Escamilla is licensed under CC BY 1.0

CEO and Co-founder of Neon Roots Ben Lee is the co-founder and CEO of Neon Roots, a digital development agency with a mission to destroy the development model and rebuild it from the ground up. After a brief correspondence with Fidel Castro at age nine, Ben decided to start doing things his own way, going from busboy to club manager at a world-class nightclub before he turned 18. Since then, Ben has founded or taken a leading role in 5 businesses in everything from software development to food and entertainment.