Balance 'Weighted Shortest Job First'

Bart has been in ecommerce for over 20 years, and can't imagine a better job to have. He is interested in all things agile, or anything new to learn.

In Prioritize Weighted Shortest Job First, the virtues of using Weighted Shortest Job First prioritization were discussed. By figuring out the value of a piece of work, feature or product, and dividing by how long it will take to accomplish, it will allow teams to deliver the most value, as fast as possible. It can be a way to use data to handle the prioritization part of creating a prioritized backlog. Using it blindly, however, can lead an organization into a list of priorities that doesn’t quite allow the most important things to wind up at the top.

The concept is very simple, and has a lot of built in advantages. Determine the value of a story or epic, either in current value, future value, or by nature of risk reduction or other measure, factor in how long the story will take to deliver, and those with the highest score will wind up being the highest priorities. This contains many of the things that Agile would like teams to consider: determining value factoring all sources, delivering that value as frequently as possible, and allowing stories to be measured against each other in a relative, rather than absolute, manner.

Even still, using this prioritization method can lead to the wrong thing being prioritized, and while certainly better than not using data at all, using it on its own can lead to a prioritized list that isn’t optimal for the customer or the …

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