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Use SAFe® WSJF — weighted shortest job first — prioritization to sequence your items for maximum economic impact. Prioritize the items according to a weighted score that accounts for the cost of delay and the development effort.


Ignore sunk costs

Take an economic perspective

Quantify the Cost of Delay

Objective prioritization

Prioritize Financial Impact

Calculate each of your items according to the cost of delay divided by its job size (the amount of time it’ll take to develop). Prioritize items with the highest score to ensure that you’re working on the items that will generate the most financial value with minimal costs. Leverage this agile framework to benefit from an objective, economic-focused prioritization method that has proven its worth time and time again.

Why should I use SAFe® WSJF Prioritization?

Use this view to quantify the cost of delay so that you can understand the financial impact of not developing the task.

How should I use SAFe® WSJF Prioritization?

Allocate a score from 1-10 for each of the 4 metrics in the calculation — Value, Time Criticality, Risk Reduction and Job Duration. Now add the scores of value, time criticality, risk reduction and divide the amount by the job duration to get your WSJF score. Items with higher scores should be prioritized above other items as the cost for not developing, or developing them later, is greater than that of the other items.

Who are the relevant stakeholders for this view?

Product leaders planning their next release as well as executive management who are interested in understanding why certain items were prioritized over others.

What outcomes should I expect from this view

This view will make it very your prioritization decisions much easier. The cost of not developing items with high SAFe® WSJF scores will be greater than those with low scores.

What’s the origin of SAFe® WSJF Prioritization?

This prioritization method is based on Shortest Job First which was invented in the 70s when computing resources were scarce and expensive. The Weighted aspect of the calculation was added by Don Reinstern as a way of making the most out of software teams’ efforts.

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