What is it and when do I use it?
WSJF is short for Weighted Shortest Job First and is an effective technique for the prioritisation of work based on Return On Investment (ROI).
What is it for?
|Takes the emotion out of prioritisation||WSJF facilitates a conversation focusing on elements like Business Value, how time will erode value, how we are removing risk or enabling future value as well as size.|
|Promotes a measured discussion||By focusing on the key elements of WSJF and their relativity to other Backlog items|
|Helps to drive a Backlog of small but valuable deliverables, opposed to large ones, promoting a faster return on investment||Size is a key factor in the position of a Backlog item on the Backlog. Larger items that bake in investment before a return tend to feature towards the end of the Backlog. When these have a high value, WSJF promotes breaking these items into a number of smaller items to release their value earlier|
How do you do it?
Do's & Don'ts
|Do ensure that there is at least one score of 1 within each of the BV, TC and RROE columns||Don’t game the system with everything at 21 points, have a conversation around relative value|
|Do use BV to measure the Business Value||Don’t use BV as a when I want it score, it represents the Return On Investment score for the item|
|Do use TC to understand how BV decays over time||Don’t use TC as a proxy for when I want it. Most items should have a TC of 1. TC comes into effect when there are mandated deadlines like events or regulatory changes|
|Do use RROE to understand how the item is reducing business or operational risk and whether it unlocks future BV||Don’t game the system by overstating future value or the risks reduced|
|Do Decompose items where there is a high CoD but a large size forcing these items lower in the Backlog||Don’t stick to WSJF religiously, it is a starting point to have an honest conversation about where an item sits within a prioritised Backlog. Sometimes the right thing to do is override an item, just be conscious of why you are doing that|
|Do consider using reference scales to drive a scoring, for example with BV;
|Do consider using VMOST as a reference for assessing BV against VMOST Objectives|