New Tools for Prioritizing Backlogs Available

We've added two new agile project management tools for prioritizing a product backlog: Theme Scoring and Theme Screening. Each of these is a lightweight way of comparing product backlog items to one another.

Theme Scoring

You can use theme scoring to compare user stories or entire projects against one another. In this technique you identify a set of criteria that will be important in prioritizing. Each item is assessed on relative 1-5 scale against each criterion and the priorities are determined.

theme scoring

Theme Screening

Like theme scoring and relative weighting, this technique can be used to prioritize user stories or projects against one another. The simplest of the three prioritization techniques, theme screening starts with you identifying a baseline item. Each other item to be prioritized is compared to the baseline item for a set of factors that will determine priorities.

theme screening




About the Author

As the founder of Mountain Goat Software, Mike Cohn specializes in helping companies adopt and improve their use of agile processes and techniques to build extremely high-performance teams. He is the author of User Stories Applied for Agile Software Development, Agile Estimating and Planning, and Succeeding with Agile. Mike is a founding member of theĀ Agile Alliance and Scrum Alliance. He is also the founder of, an online agile training website. He can be reached at or connect with Mike on Google+.