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This post is from the CollabNet VersionOne blog and has not been updated since the original publish date.

Last Updated Feb 28, 2014 — Enterprise Agile Planning expert

Requests and Ideas – My Polymorphic Backlog in VersionOne

Enterprise Agile Planning

If you are a Product Owner, a Project Manager, or a Business Analyst, you have heard the following before; I’m sure:

“It’s not a defect; it’s a feature.”

“It’s not an issue; it’s an enhancement.”

“It’s not a bug; it ‘works-as-designed’.”

The statements themselves underscore ambiguity between perception and (possibly) reality.  What is certain – particularly in the delivery of value, whether addressing missed functionality, feature requests, or bugs – is that items such as these should not be immediately lumped in with a well-defined, well-groomed backlog.  They may be user stories, defects, blocking issues, or even larger business cases or epics.  Since their inception these items may be somewhat amorphous in nature – “let’s first decide what ‘they’ are” – you might benefit from capturing these separately and making a decision upon review and inspection on what you want them to be.

Enter VersionOne’s Requests and Ideas – your polymorphic backlogs in VersionOne.

The Requests list in Product Planning is a ranked, ordered list of items submitted by internal or external sources.  As the name suggests, Requests provide a discrete system object to capture this input, with its own workflow and attributes, to allow for analysis and further disposition.  A Request can be used as a starting point to create Stories, Epics, Defects or Issues, or can be tied to existing items.  VersionOne provides traceability for any item derived from or connected to a Request through an item’s Detail page, data grids and tools such as Visualization in VersionOne Ultimate Edition.

VersionOne Ideas provide similar capabilities, with the advantage of receiving direct input from customers and stakeholders through Web forums, both public and private.  An Ideas forum allows submitters the opportunity to view feature and enhancement requests made by other people, vote and comment on them.  These Ideas and feedback are available for review inside VersionOne to aid a Product Owner in understanding how to better serve his/her audience, and as with VersionOne Requests, are used to create new backlog items or support existing user stories and other project work.

So – Product Owners / Project Managers / Business Analysts – don’t want to disrupt your well-defined, well-groomed backlog with as-of-yet undefined new items?  Use VersionOne Requests and Ideas as your polymorphic backlog.


Visualization map of items related to a user story.

Visualization map of items related to a user story.


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