Weighted Shortest Job First (WSJF) is a prioritization model used to sequence jobs (eg., Features, Capabilities, and Epics) to produce maximum economic benefit. In SAFe, WSJF is estimated as the Cost of Delay (CoD) divided by job size. WSJF is used to prioritize backlogs by calculating the relative CoD and job size.
The formula is simply the Cost of Delay divided by Job Duration (or Size).
Cost of Delay in the WSJF framework is three components:
Value to the business and/or user
Risk reduction and/or opportunity enablement
To calculate the Cost of Delay, you have to create a scale for each component (for example, 1-10) and add them up.
Now we have to define the Job Duration for the calculation. Suppose we work in a scrum methodology where the unit, the story point, is given. However, you can use any unit to represent the duration, like size, time, etc.
The final step is to divide your Cost of Delay by Job Duration for each initiative on your list. Prioritize tasks with based on the calculated WSJF score. The highest the score, the more important the task is.
You can easily implement WSJF scoring with Issue Score.
Create the “Value to the business and/or user”, “Time criticality”, “Risk reduction and/or opportunity enablement” custom fields as number field or Key-Value fields (if you defined a discrete scale).
Create your WSJF Issue Score field and configure the formula.
Apply these field to your Scrum project where you want to use the WSJF scoring.
You can also arbitrarily define ranges for results if you are using discrete values to visually differentiate between scores on your backlog.
That’s it! Now you can sort your backlog item based on the calculated WSJF score with drag and drop, or with a custom ordering JQL.
If you enjoyed this article, try out Issue Score now!
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