Year 2022, it is still common to find project management using excel applications. It seems that much have changed for past decades. Of course, there are many project management tools that are bought and forgotten. Like all users, IT project management follows the path of least efforts. This is why I prefer the Agile approach to keep a backlog as a single source of truth to store all matters to be addressed. How should you start your backlog?
Role of Product Owner
Agile in practice differs greatly from theory. Scrum master, product owner and developers may span multiple geographies. There may also be vendors running this role. Or in some case, there is no product owner role. Organisations are slow to realise that backlog belongs and are maintained by product owner. Without this role, it is common to see emergence of multiple excels from your waterfall approach. Therefore, it is time to realise that you need this role to start your backlog.
Backlog for External Parties
A common challenge for backlog is accessibility to external parties. This happens when you have contractors as developers. Thus, you need a secured space with version control to store your backlog. There are many cloud applications that provide agile backlog maintenance. Another approach for product owner is to restrict by view only and assign backlog accordingly. This is the standard approach for many agile implementation.
To avoid multiple trackers and problems of versioning changes in excel, you may want to adopt Agile and backlog. The role of product owner is critical for backlog maintenance. Backlog provide a single source of truth for all to review and avoid missing tasks.