Is there a connection between the agile methodology, a project management heavyweight, and the way our cerebrums cunningly categorize chores? This article seeks to uncover these scintillating subjects by scrutinizing the Weighted Shortest Job First (WSJF) process as a prime parallel, comparing it with the task-terminating tactics that our brains employ daily.
The Weighted Shortest Job First (WSJF) Process Unraveled
In agile methodologies, one of the cardinal aims is to unleash value at breakneck speed. The WSJF process, a trusty tool in the agile arsenal, empowers teams to determine the optimal order of tasks for completion. The nimblest yet most noteworthy tasks are awarded top priority. Simply put, tasks with the highest WSJF value are propelled to the front of the queue, ensuring the most value is realized in the shortest possible time.
Formula for WSJF: Mathematics Meets the Mind
The formula for calculating the WSJF value of an assignment is:
WSJF = Cost of Delay / Job Duration
This formula factors in two fundamental components: the prospective penalty for postponing a task and the required tenure for termination. Dividing the cost of delay by the job’s duration provides the WSJF value – the higher this figure, the higher the task’s priority.
Let’s now switch gears and delve into how our brains come preloaded with a prioritization algorithm and whether it mirrors the WSJF process.
The Human Brain: The Supreme Organizer
Brains are renowned for their relentless efficiency when it comes to cataloging and ranking tasks. Even though our conscious thoughts might have a different to-do list, our mind’s unseen underlying mechanics constantly churn away, steering us towards the best course of action or errand.
The Brain’s WSJF-inspired Workflow
Let’s dissect a day-to-day decision in which our brain, unbeknownst to us, performs a WSJF-like operation:
Picture this: you’re down to the wire to deliver a dazzling proposal to a priceless prospect, and suddenly, an email notification pings. Your brain now has to arbitrate whether to persist with the proposal or peruse the email. Your gray matter might make its choice like this:
- Cost of Delay: If the email is evidently trivial, your brain will calculate the cost of delay (CoD) coupled with relinquishing the proposal. Given the high stakes, the CoD is colossal, whereas postponing the email is relatively inconsequential.
- Job Duration: Next, your brain examines how long each task will take to complete. If the proposal has already consumed hours of work and a breather is beckoning, the email could be conquered within a matter of moments.
Given these inputs, your brain rapidly whips up a WSJF-like rank for each errand based on both the CoD and job duration. This never-ending dance of decision-making directs how we handle daily duties.
Adopting the Agile Mindset
By recognizing similarities between the WSJF process and our brain’s inborn knack for chore classification, we can elevate our prowess in professional prioritization. Imitating Mother Nature’s masterful problem-solving protocols, the agile methodology has harnessed the might of the human mind.
Here are a few handy tips for leveraging our findings in real-world scenarios:
- Stay cost-conscious: Periodically ponder the potential pitfalls of procrastinating tasks in both your work and personal realms.
- Master your resources: Evaluate the time and energy essential for errand elimination and divvy them judiciously.
- Enact the agile intellect: When faced with decisions, envision your brain like an agile mechanism, perpetually prioritizing tasks based on value and swiftness of completion.
By dissecting and deploying the WSJF process, and drawing parallels to our brain’s built-in chore-ranking regimen, we can sharpen our decision-making skills and optimize task tackling. Doing so envelops us in the agile mindset, culminating in a more effective and efficient existence.
- ProductPlan – WSJF, a primer for anyone looking for background behind the ideas of what it means to add the WSJF into your development process.
- scagile – How to use WSJF in your process, and an Excel template to try your own WSJF sessions virtually.
- SAFe (Version 5) – WSJF, the definition, usage and background behind this simple concept to prioritize your work effectively.