Upcoming Sessions

Writing Product Backlog Items

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This is an advanced continuing education course offered through Scrum Alliance, and it is considered a complementary addition to the Scrum Alliance Certified Scrum Product Owner® (CSPO) training classes. Through interactive exercises, this workshop will provide insight into technical Agile approaches that experts commonly use for crafting quick, effective and appropriate PBI's.

In successfully completing this workshop you will also earn:

  • 7 Scrum Alliance SEUs
  • Digital access to all materials and handouts
  • Free Agile Advice ebook, estimation cards, and more
Upcoming Courses About the Instructor
    Product Backlog Ideas
Learning Objective(s): 



Praise for our Writing Product Backlog Items Workshop

"The course was very informative and the instructor kept the material interesting and flowing well."
— Portfolio Manager - November 2017

"This workshop was very empowering. It provided a LOT of very useful tips and tricks for writing Agile requirements."
— BA - October 2016

"I highly recommend this workshop for Product Owners, or anyone that has to write User Stories or is responsible for clarifying product needs and requirements."
— Team Manager - October 2016

"Jerry tied the theory and practice together really well, and provided a fantastic opportunity to get really good at writing product backlog items."
— Consultant - October 2016

"This workshop really provides a fantastic, hands on learning experience."
— Program Manager - October 2016

"Great course. It really helped me learn how to be effective at writing clear User Stories."
— Senior IT Project Manager - October 2016

"Jerry was fantastic at walking us through the steps and various tools for writing effective product backlog items. I really found the alternative approaches helpful!
— Product Owner - October 2016


Learning Outcomes

Take some of the mystery out of Agility by experiencing in a hands-on nine exercise workshop on how to quickly write effective Product Backlog Items (PBIs) using industry recognized practices, tools and techniques.

Using a cumulative scenario, this workshop explores how PBI's may be written and refined 'just in time' and made appropriately fit for consumption by an Agile team.

Through eight cumulative hands ­on exercises, this continuing education class will provide practical experience in industry recognized techniques and practices for crafting and refining Product Backlog Items. This workshop will be very interactive, with group activities, discussion, and problem solving sessions. Unlike lecture style classes that can be dry and purely theoretical, this course is focused more on how these skills are applied practically in writing good user stories.

After this course, you will know:

  1. How to craft, define and set expectations for what constitutes an effective Product Backlog Item (PBI)
  2. The structure, content and format of User Stories and Acceptance Criteria
  3. Some common tools and techniques for crafting effective PBI's including: the INVEST Model and Splitting Patterns.
  4. Key terminology and expectations associated with the Product Backlog and Product Backlog Items.
  5. How to empower Scrum teams through Product Backlog Items that resonate with them
  6. At least six alternatives to the traditional User Story format and where these may be more appropriate

NOTE: In order to focus on the topic, teaching the fundamentals of Agile including the philosophy, frameworks and mindset is out of scope for this workshop. It is therefore recommended that attendees be familiar with Agile practices before attending this workshop.

About Your Instructor

Jerry's Portrait

Jerry Doucett

Agile Enthusiast, Trainer, Coach, Father, Photographer & Kayaker

Jerry Doucett helps large, multi-national enterprises innovate and deliver quality software and process development initiatives. He provides guidance, facilitation and mentorship to leaders and delivery team members as they apply and scale Agile and Lean approaches such as Scrum, SAFe, Kanban and Lean Startup.

By fostering an environment of continuous improvement and learning, he helps people find the 'sweet spot' where they are truly excited to be at work while exceeding customer expectations and delivering true value.

Jerry's career has spanned many domains including finance, software development, operations, telecom, retail, marketing, manufacturing and utilities. He joined BERTEIG in 2016 and has quickly become one of the leading consultants and trainers in Canada for scaling Agile at large organizations.

Jerry has a wealth of experience teaching at the enterprise level; through group activities, scenarios and role playing sessions, Through dialogue and interactive exercises Jerry will invite you to challenge your perceptions of how organisations can flourish with self-organizing teams.

Topics Covered

  • Part 1 – Getting Started
    1. About This Workshop
    2. Defining Needs ­- Overview of Product Backlog Items
  • Part 2 – User Story Fundamentals
    1. Structure and Format
    2. Acceptance Criteria
  • Part 3 – Tools and Techniques
    1. The INVEST Model (sourced from XP)
    2. Patterns for Splitting (sourced from Richard Lawrence)
    3. Great Practices to Consider
  • Part 4 – Next Steps
    1. What Can You Do Today?
    2. Alternatives to Traditional User Stories

Intended Audience

This course is geared primarily for Product Owners or those who will be writing or refining Product Backlog items. Registration is open to anyone, but registrants must have prerequisite knowledge and experience using Scrum.


Pre­-requisites include:

  1. Scrum certification (Scrum Alliance CSM, CSPO or industry equivalent), OR
  2. At least 6 months as a Product Owner on a Scrum team.

What You Get

The class registration includes:

  • Attendee Handouts and Materials
  • 8 SEUs with Scrum Alliance that will count towards Certified Scrum designations
  • A BERTEIG attendance certificate upon request

Additional Benefits

Planning Cards

All attendees receive as many decks of Estimation Cards as they want! You're guaranteed at least 1 deck but the instructor often brings extra. Each deck includes four sets, therefore most Scrum teams need 2 or 3 decks. Feel free to ask for as many decks as you need.

Agile Advice book cover

All attendees receive a free electronic copy of Mishkin Berteig's book "Agile Advice".

Scrum Alliance Registered Education Provider Project Management Institute (PMI) Registered Education Provider

As Registered Education Provider with Scrum Alliance®, BERTEIG instructors regularly facilitate Certified Scrum training seminars. BERTEIG is a Registered Education Provider with the Project Management Institute: our Certified ScrumMaster® and Certified Scrum Product Owner® courses have been approved by the PMI for Category A PDUs: details at CCRS.PMI.org; our Certified Scrum Developer® is valid for Category B PDUs.

This course is geared primarily for Product Owners or those who will be writing or refining Product Backlog items. Registration is open to anyone, but registrants must have prerequisite knowledge and experience using Scrum. See prerequisites section above for details.