3 steps to introduce Backlog into your organization

Introducing a collaboration tool like Backlog to your team or organization can result in significant changes in workflow. But the process requires some finesse to ensure everyone is successfully onboarded.

In this post, we’ll discuss how to introduce Backlog to your team and maintain the momentum for change, so that you and your team have a solid foundation to effectively use Backlog and increase your productivity! :raised_hands:

Overview of the 3 steps

  1. Start small with your team
  2. Plan how to use Backlog for your team’s work
  3. Communicate and spread Backlog to other teams

Step 1: Start small with your team

A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. If your team is new to Backlog or task management tools, it’s a good idea to start with small tasks.

What is a small task?

A small task is something that is easy to do and can be completed within a short period of time.


  • Perform simple tasks such as introducing yourself or updating your profile settings in a practice project.
  • Manage small tasks such as office or team chores.
  • Manage event tasks such as an internal meeting or discussion.
  • Developers can try doing tasks related to technical research, or try out a programming language or tool.

Why start small?

The main reason for starting small is to find out if the people around you like using Backlog. If they feel good about it, they are more likely to continue using the tool and to use it for other tasks.

When a new tool or way of working is introduced, everyone experiences some resistance. Completing simple tasks and achieving early success in the tool is one method for reducing psychological resistance. Thus, taking on small tasks is a great first step, and team members can also gain confidence in using Backlog.

Step 2: Plan how to use Backlog for your team’s work

After completing small tasks on Backlog, if enough team members like Backlog and believe that it will help improve the work process, the time has come to incorporate Backlog into your actual work.

Rather than a hands-off approach for other team members to use Backlog naturally by themselves, we find that a deliberate and planned process will help the team avoid confusion.

Design the team’s usage of Backlog

  • Organize Backlog issues by setting the issue types, categories, and milestones for the project.
  • Determine rules such as issue management flow and status definition.

What is issue management flow?

This refers to the team’s workflow, their process of working on a task/issue from start to end, and the respective members involved.

For example, to create a landing page for a website, we’ll need a designer and writer to first create the copy and visual design of the webpage. Followed by a developer to build the webpage using code. Then followed by deploying/releasing the webpage on the web server by the same developer or another developer.

When team members are aware of the workflow and their contributions at each stage of the work process, they can communicate and work better together.

What is status definition?

This refers to how the team defines the status of the issue or task. Do you consider “Resolved” as “Closed”? Besides the preset statuses available in Backlog, consider if you wish to use custom statuses to better define the workflow. E.g. custom statuses like In Review , Pending QC , “Testing”, etc.

For task management and collaboration between members, it’s important to organize how the team will use Backlog for work and establish a common definition on task statuses at the beginning.

:bulb: Tips for planning your Backlog usage

  • Start by designing or documenting the basic operation/usage rules for team members.
  • You don’t need long or over-detailed rules. Even just summarizing the rules into short bullet points will have a great effect on organizing your Backlog usage.
  • Backlog usage rules can be placed in the project Wiki page, together with embedded Cacoo diagrams, so that members can easily access the information and continue to update it in the future.

Measure work performance and make improvements

We’ll never know if we’re improving unless we’re measuring ourselves.

  • Quantitative: Is the time spent on tasks/collaboration shorter? Did you accomplish more of your KPIs or OKRs?
  • Qualitative: Is the work process or communication smoother and easier? Where are the trouble spots or bottlenecks while using Backlog?

Measure your team performance at regular intervals and consider what is effective and what needs to be corrected. If you’re not getting the desired results, try figuring out where the problem lies.

Then, make adjustments and revise your usage/operation of Backlog accordingly. By doing so, your team can optimize work processes and become more productive.

However, two points to note:

  1. Avoid sudden and drastic changes, like replacing your entire work process in Backlog or changing everything you’ve done so far. As with step 1, taking small steps is the rule. It’s important to learn through small mistakes, accumulate and build upon small successes, and gradually acquire confidence and mastery along the way.

  2. There are always teething problems when using a new tool and people are forced to change their work habits. So, performance is bound to take a hit in the early stages. It’s important to bear this in mind as you or your team members may unexpectedly feel frustrated or disappointed at not achieving the desired results yet.

Step 3: Spread Backlog to other teams

When your team has settled in on Backlog and has optimized your work, other teams or departments in your organization may be interested in your results. This is your opportunity to inform them about Backlog, thereby sparking a productive transformation within your organization.

Share your Backlog experience:

  • Share about your team’s experience, including the good and bad.
  • Summarize how your team used Backlog, operation rules, and workflow.

These resources will encourage other teams and departments to consider how they can increase work efficiency using Backlog, and for a team facing similar challenges, learning about your team’s accomplishments can be extremely beneficial.

Documenting these will also allow you to quickly share your team’s experiences with other managers when asked to report on or justify the use of Backlog.

:stop_sign: What you should not do

Finally, here’s what you should not do when you’re starting out in Backlog:


  • Try to change everything immediately
  • Expect dramatic results from the very beginning
  • Give up on change

We tend to be ambitious and have far-reaching visions when striving to improve, but reality frequently differs from our aspirations. Organizational change typically meets more resistance and takes more effort than expected.

Furthermore, the larger the change, the greater the risk and cost of implementing it. And we may not maintain our momentum or achieve the spectacular results we expected right away, and thus return disappointed.

The key to effecting change is to start small, fail small, and build small successes. There is no magic spell that can bring about change overnight, so we must take small and steady steps.

We hope that the ideas presented here will be helpful in getting you started with Backlog! :slightly_smiling_face: