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What Colours is Your Backlog?

YOW! 2013 Sydney

How to manage and balance all the future features, some architectural work, defect corrections and a growing technical debt. We present a simple strategy based on four colours to help putting it all in the same frame of reasoning, in a single backlog, with some détours about the real nature of technical debt, about value versus cost, the old concept of earned-value, your velocity, and risks and uncertainties.

Philippe Kruchten

Professor of Software Engineering

University of British Columbia


Philippe Kruchten has been a software architect for 35 years, first at Alcatel and then at Rational Software (now IBM), working mostly on large technical systems in telecommunication, aerospace, defense, and transportation. In 2004 he became a professor of software engineering at the University of British Columbia, in Vancouver, where he teaches software project management and entrepreneurship and conducts research on software processes—what does it really mean to be agile?— and on software architecture, including architecture knowledge management, technical debt, and complexity. He is the founder of Agile Vancouver, a senior member of the IEEE Computer Society, and a professional engineer in Canada. He has given presentations and tutorials all over the world, including Agile Conferences, Scrum Gatherings, the Java and Object Orientation Conference, and the International Conference on Software Engineering. He is also an educator, full professor of software engineering at the University of British Columbia.