Priorities based on the economics view of flow

Priorities based on the economics view of flow

One of the biggest issues we find in agile teams is how the priorities arrive to the them. By that, I am not talking about the Product Owner prioritising the backlog for the upcoming sprints but how the priorities are defined at the Epic/Feature level. 

There is a lot that has been written about how to manage priorities in a company at the Portfolio and Program level but one technique we have found really effective is Weighted Shortest Job First (WSJF). Don Reinertsen described this model in his book 'The Principles of Product Development Flow: Second Generation Lean Product Development' (Read the first chapter FREE). 

The concepts behind WSJF are easy to understand but it takes time and discipline to really master and see the benefits behind it. It should be applied at the Epic/Feature level. Please don't try to apply WSJF to the story level as this process will be overkilling. 

The figure below exemplifies the WSJF analysis for three features.

As you can see in the figure, again what most companies would do, Feature A should be done before Feature B even though the second one will produce more Business Value. In this case, we can see a good example of the importance behind the concept of reducing Cost of Delay (CoD). Applying this model in your organisation will focus your teams on the features which really matter first. Remember is all about increase earlier business value by optimising the flow across your system.

The Great Wall

The Great Wall

Streamline your Delivery Pipeline by Empowering DevOps Culture

Streamline your Delivery Pipeline by Empowering DevOps Culture