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WSJF Prioritization

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Level 1

Hello All!

Our marketing team is implementing Agile practices to manage enhancement requests. We are looking to use WSJF as the prioritization method.

  • Does anyone have a good recommendation on a scale for time criticality?
  • Do you typically guesstimate the ranking or do you use a scale with defined rules? i.e. Story will yield high savings ($1MM+) in a short amount of time (2 months) so it is assigned a 9
  • Do you use a 1-10 scale for ranking or Fibonacci (1, 3, 5, 8...) I have seen references to both in various articles.

Any thoughts on the above would be appreciated.

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5 Replies

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Level 3

Hi @Ellen Saltmarsh‚ - great question! Thanks for asking it here. I've used WSJF in several organizations, and what I have found is that it's best to start with the relative sizing method first.

So basically something like this:

  • Create 5 buckets: XS, S, M, L, XL - this can apply to all the factors (value, cost, etc.).
  • Then lay out the things you are trying to prioritize for the timebox (maybe you're trying to plan out a quarter's worth of work?), making sure they are big enough so that you're not trying to size 200 items against each other.
  • Do the relative sizing, and mark the cards for value, then do again for cost, etc.
  • If you need numbers, apply the Fibonacci scale, such as: 1, 2, 3, 5, 8
  • I personally use the Value/Effort quadrant in this exercise, either in conjunction, or instead of, just to get the feel for how it's done.

I would give it a try before you really need to do it - a test run, and then also know that you won't get it right the first time. That's ok! Adjusting is part of the process.

Does this help at all? Please let us know what happens or if you have any follow up questions...

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Level 1

Thank you very much for the information @Melissa Pickering‚ . That is a helpful example.

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Not applicable

Hi Ellen,

This is a great question! @Melissa Pickering‚ has some great ideas!

I love to hear a bit more on how you are implementing WSJF. Are you having the requestor fill out a form containing custom calculated fields? Or this happening after the request is submitted and the team is scoping requests as they come in?

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Level 1

Hello @Brian Toplicar - inactive‚,

Our team is incorporating WSJF into our enhancement backlog prioritization in order to help us more accurately rank requests. I have added fields in our Admin Custom Form where our team can assign values to the components of the WSJF calculation. Then Workfront is calculating the WSJF value based on those fields.

Currently, our team is discussing the assigned values in our grooming call as requests come in, but I'm open to recommendations on that process. Being virtual makes it difficult to all vote on values quickly and without the team seeing other votes before they share their own.

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Not applicable

Thank you for your reply! This is great. I think we are all feeling that pain right now - I will do some research and see if I can come up with some work arounds.