In preparation for a collection of stories to be considered at the PI Planning Event, a prioritization of the Program’s backlog must be completed.
Successful program backlog prioritization relies on a number of techniques:
- Prioritizing a “top ten” list: It’s not necessary to prioritize every actionable item in a backlog at one time. Instead, prioritization exercises should focus on identifying a “top ten” list of key features that should receive more detailed planning consideration, with less important items falling to the bottom of the backlog for future analysis and prioritization.
- Use of relative prioritization techniques: It’s very difficult to accurately estimate effort levels or financial return for specific backlog items, particularly earlier in planning cycles when full decomposition and story-level analysis has not yet been done. Instead, relative prioritization techniques such as the Weighted Shortest Job First method allow program stakeholders to relatively rank stories against each other using size and business value considerations.
- Clearly identifying business and architectural vision: Longer-term business vision and architectural strategy should be clearly articulated to all program participants throughout the program planning process and used as a consideration when ranking items higher in a backlog.
For more information about prioritization utilizing WSJF within the Scaled Agile Framework®, review the following abstract: