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Regular ranking and prioritization with Cost of Delay and WSJF for scaling agile

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Knowing the business priorities and implications of the stuff you do is essential for lean and agile development. Without that knowledge economic decisions and re-planning cannot be delegated into the organization. In spite of that there are very few organizations where development teams can base their decisions on business priorities. For this Cost of Delay is the most important economic factor in development and basis for prioritization (D. Reinertsen, The Principles of Product Development Flow). Ranking and prioritization should be based solely on economics and use a Weighted Shortest Job First (WSJF) algorithm. Scaled Agile Framework takes on and simplifies this WSJF.
In this talk I will present the principles behind WSJF prioritization, the simplification suggested in SAFe and how it can be applied practically outside of a SAFe context. I will also show a suggestion for even simpler WSJF ranking based on relative comparison only, which is easy to keep up to date in the daily work. As I see it, this simplification leads to slightly less accurate rankings, but will be kept up to date and performed more often, which should lead to better overall prioritization results. A discussion about the pros and cons will conclude the session.

Published in: Engineering, Technology, Business
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Regular ranking and prioritization with Cost of Delay and WSJF for scaling agile

  1. 1. Ranking and prioritization as regularRanking and prioritization as regular activity and prerequisite to scaling agileactivity and prerequisite to scaling agile Erik Schumann Erik.schumann@sellegi.se @Schumann_Erik http://sellegi.se
  2. 2. The economic system consists of interconnected variables ”We are like the drunk under the lamppost looking for his keys where the light is best, instead of where he dropped them.” Don Reinertsen, The Principles of Product Development Flow Cycle TimeCycle Time Product CostProduct Cost Product ValueProduct Value Development Expense Development Expense RiskRisk
  3. 3. We focus on cycle time! Why? ”Developers measure development cycle time and seek to make it shorter. However, when you ask them how much life-cycle profit will decrease due to a week of delay they don’t know” Don Reinertsen, The Principles of Product Development Flow Cycle TimeCycle Time Product CostProduct Cost Product ValueProduct Value Development Expense Development Expense RiskRisk
  4. 4. While you may ignore economics, it won’t ignore you. ”If you only quantify one thing, quantify the cost of delay” Don Reinertsen, The Principles of Product Development Flow Cycle TimeCycle Time Product CostProduct Cost Product ValueProduct Value Development Expense Development Expense RiskRisk
  5. 5. Estimated Variable Parameters Restrictive Fixed Parameters Set of requirements Working featuresCost Delivery timeCost Delivery time Agile development Predictive development Agile development turns the world around
  6. 6. Prioritization: Fixed Cost of Delay and variable duration
  7. 7. Prioritization: Fastest delivery of business value with WSJF Focus on remaining duration! Do not consider money already spent.
  8. 8. Cost of Delay / WSJF according to SAFe User|Business Value + Time Criticality + RR|OE Value WSJF = Job Size SAFe Suggestion: Use the relative fibonacci scale for each variable
  9. 9. Simplified WSJF: Relative prioritization with stacked ranking High Low
  10. 10. Simplified WSJF: Relative prioritization with stacked ranking High Low
  11. 11. Simplified WSJF: Relative prioritization with stacked ranking High Low
  12. 12. Simplified WSJF: Relative prioritization with stacked ranking High Low
  13. 13. Simplified WSJF: Relative prioritization with stacked ranking High Low
  14. 14. Simplified WSJF: Relative prioritization with stacked ranking High Low
  15. 15. Summary • If you only quantify one thing, quantify the cost of delay • Prioritization is based on estimates and guesses • Prioritization is a dynamic activity. Do it regularly • Prioritization can be simplified using relative, stacked ranking

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