Agile: Priorities

Agile .. priorities…

what are they?

The product owner or people driving your features/bugs/issues of your scrum team need to set priorities of your stories. How do they do that? Simple:


Now here is where it gets crazy. People always ask: What is high? What is low. Stupid question.

1 is low. 5 is high. numbers just work out that way. I find it funny going into a project or team or whatever and they are like, it is priority 1!!!!! really? so 1 is higher than 5? What crazy math are you using? 5 is higher than 1. Always. Just do it.

Anyways, the product owner set’s the priority. 5, 4 – you pretty much always score/do first. 3/2, get to when you can, and 1, well, those are wishlist/nice to haves, and you get to whenever. They usually sit in the backlog forever.

What happens when you have multiple product owners or you do stories for multiple product owners? Well, they set the priorities of the stories. If there is someone above them, they might over rule. There might be a “steering” committee meeting or prioritization meeting to set priorities of all the stories in the backlog.

The team/scrum master shouldn’t be guessing on what to do, the priorities need to come from somewhere above or someone driving the project from a business perspective.



Whatever you choose, your stories need to have priorities, and they need to be set by the right person.

By Steve Novoselac

Director of Digital Technology @TrekBikes, Father, Musician, Cyclist, Homebrewer

One reply on “Agile: Priorities”

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