Figure 4. A formula for relative WSJF

Updates to WSJF

News SAFe Framework Updates

In the spirit of relentless improvement, the Framework team at Scaled Agile releases periodic improvements to the articles in SAFe. If you have been following this blog, you will have seen many such updates over the course of 2022. Today we are excited to announce our next improvement to SAFe guidance: a much-improved discussion of Weighted Shortest Job First (WSJF).

WSJF is a powerful and practical tool in SAFe that supports Principle #1 – Take an Economic View, built on the concepts from Don Reinertsen’s book Principles of Product Development Flow. WSJF in SAFe helps ARTs, Solution Trains, and Portfolios quickly make difficult and complex prioritization decisions using relative estimation to calculate the Cost of Delay for Features, Capabilities, and Epics.

Figure 4. A formula for relative WSJF
Figure 4. A formula for relative WSJF

In this update to WSJF in SAFe 5.1, we have made changes based on customer feedback to improve clarity. We have also added new guidance, such as where and when WSJF is applicable (and when it is less effective).We hope you enjoy this refreshed discussion of WSJF and find that it helps your understanding of this powerful technique!

—Be SAFe!

Author Info

Steve Mayner

comment (2)

  1. Dr. Koti

    29 Jan 2023 - 7:08 pm

    This is what we informally used to explain when people asks why we should not apply at the user story level.

    Also, i think we are saying the use of WSJF inside the portfolio kanban steps under review and analysis and it is not mentioned as an image in the big picture at portfolio which also confuses to people. May be this update would address that as well.

    This formal update will be helpful for many practitioners

    Thank you for the updates and it is a great update to bring clarity on the concepts.

    • harry

      02 Feb 2023 - 2:52 pm

      Hi Dr. Koti. Thanks for the callout. We hope this guidance provides new clarity too. While WSJF applies to portions of the Portfolio Kanban, it is not sufficient by itself. Thus it’s not at the portfolio level. Thanks for the suggestion and keep them coming!

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