Jeff Patton, who defines himself as agile old-timer, UX practitioner, good product evangelist and family guy, presented in his blog the concept of story maps, a replacement for backlogs that helps people see the forest and not only the trees.
The basic idea is that in order to understand your system you need to break it down to user activities. Jeff gives the example of an email system:
If I was building an email system (which I’d never be foolish enough to do) I might have an activity called: “managing email”, and “configuring email servers”, and “setting up out of office responses.”
Then you break those user activities in user tasks:
That story [managing email] breaks down into other stories like “send message,” “read message,” “delete message,” “mark message as spam” – stuff like that. I call these user tasks.
A story map may look something like this:
Some photos of our story maps: