Getting Bang for Your Buck

December 24, 2012 Andy Powell

Donald Reinertsen talks about the concept of Weighted Shortest Job First in his book, The Principles of Product Development Flow.  To summarize, it says work on the item that has the biggest bang for your buck.  Let’s look at how to apply this concept at the agile portfolio level in VersionOne.

Assume that your company has agreed on the following “bang” attributes for new business initiatives:

  • User Value–value delivered through better support of the user activities.
  • Time Value–how the timing of the delivery will impact the value delivered. (First to market, customer commitments, etc.)
  • Learning Value–value delivered through getting feedback about the market fit for your solution

VersionOne can help you capture the key variables of “bang” and “buck” and create a simple model to determine which items should get worked on first.  Here are the steps:

  1. If needed, create custom fields on the Epic asset and capture all of your “bang” attributes.  Consider making the relative values as opposed to absolute values and then creating an environment where the business collaborates on the values.  Note that Epics come with attribute of Value Scale for a lightweight implementation of “bang.”
  2. Use the existing SWAG to capture your “buck.”
  3. Create a report in Analytics to calculate the largest “bang” for your “buck.” See the screenshot for an example.
  4. Ensure that your portfolio backlog is prioritized to match it!

WSJF Scoring


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