Planning epics with WSJF in SAFe (benefit-weight ratio)
- SAFe (Scaled Agile Framework) has the concept of WSJF: https://www.scaledagileframework.com/wsjf/.
- This is essentially quantifying the value you get from implementing a feature, compared with the cost of it. The idea is that teams should work on features with these high bang-for-buck metrics first.
- The "bang" is the value you get from implementing a feature. In GitLab, we will do this at the epic level. In SAFe, it is separated into three components:
- User-business value: Revenue impact on business. Direct user benefit.
- Time criticality: Urgency of implementing the feature sooner versus later.
- Risk reduction-opportunity enablement value: Other benefits to the business/product that this feature brings.
- In this first iteration, we will have one field to represent this in GitLab, simply called
benefit. This will be a field that you can enter any positive number in, similar to weight. So users can aggregate the three values per their own particular process, and scale accordingly.
- The "buck" is the cost. In GitLab, since we are at the epic level, we will use the rolled up weight of the epic, coming from the issues themselves.
- We will present this information in the epic, as well as allow users to sort on this benefit-weight ratio (WSJF) in the epics list view, so that users can choose to work on these epics first.