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Jira Tutorial: WSJF Score Formula Calculation with Examples

Step-by-step guide on how to set up WSJF prioritization at Jira with Cost of Delay calculations and WSJF scoring using Jira’s custom fields, and Jira Automation.

Add WSJF Score to Jira Backlog with Ducalis.io

It’s effortless to implement WSJF scoring for your Jira backlog.

Approximate implementation time ~ less than 2 minutes.

1. Apply the WSJF framework from our library. It will include all predefined settings as described in WSJF Guide.

2. Connect Jira to sync your backlog.

Sync Jira Backlog for Prioritization at Ducalis.io

3. Edit the sync filter to choose what part of your backlog you want to evaluate. Then, every time an issue meets that filter parameter, it will immediately appear in Ducalis.

Ducalis-Jira backlog sync filter

4. That’s all. You’re ready to evaluate your backlog.

Jira Backlog is ready for WSJF scoring

Results Under 2 Minutes

Watch the video recording of setting up the WSJF score prioritization model for your Jira backlog for 1 minute and 58 seconds (actual time). That video has no edit:

How to sort Jira Backlog with Ducalis.io

Add-on #1. Check the criteria section if you’d like to edit any criteria description, formula, etc. It’s all here:

Customize WSJF Framework

Add-on #2. Set up a priority back-sync from Ducalis to Jira.

Jira Ducalis 2-way Sync WSJF Scoring for priority ranking

Add WSJF Score to Jira Backlog with Built-in tools

It’s not the most convenient way, but you can set up Jira Calculated Custom Fields: automation rules which can give you a priority score.

Approximate implementation time ~ 1 hour.


  • Built-in ‘free’ Jira tools.


  • Hard to set up and maintain.
  • Anybody can brake it.
  • It’s just formula calculation, not a prioritization process.

Read about 8 ideas on how to Improve Jira Backlog Order by Priority.

Guide’s Goals

  1. Getting WSJF Score on the Jira Right Panel
  2. Add WSJF Score to Jira backlog and sprint views
  3. Sorting backlog items by WSJF Score

1. Create Custom Fields for each WSJF criterion

There are two steps to get for WSJF score:

  • Cost of Delay (CoD) = Business Value + Time Criticality + Risk Reduction
  • WSJF Score = CoD / Job Size

We have to create 6 new fields:

  • Time Criticality (editable)
  • Business Value (editable)
  • Risk Reduction (editable)
  • Job Size (editable)
  • Cost Of Delay (calculated)
  • WSJF Score (calculated)

2. Create Editable Custom Fields

For WSJF evaluation we use the Fibonacci Sequence with a predefined list of values to avoid any accidental editing.

Go to Custom fields settings:

Jira Edit Issue Custom Field Settings

Choose Field Type ‘Select List (single choice)’. Set the name and the Fibonacci Sequence for the evaluation.

Jira Select List - Single Choice Custom Field

Set the name and the Fibonacci Sequence for the evaluation.

Jira Custom Field Select List Single Choice Fibonacci Sequence

Add them to your necessary Jira Screens. This may vary depending on your Jira Environment settings, but the most popular are:

  • Default Screen
  • Workflow Screen
  • All screens with the project keys from your board filter
Jira Screens

3. Create Calculated Jira Custom Fields

For calculated fields, as ‘Cost Of Delay’ and ‘WSJF Score’ must be Number Fields, we store our final calculations there.

Jira Number Custom Field

Check the visibility. Open an issue and, on the right panel, find all the brand-new fields created for the WSJF prioritization implementation.

Set visibility and the order. Click on the ‘Configure Fields’ link if you need to change the order

Jira Custom Fields Configuration

Re-order the fields as you need them.

Jira Reorder Custom Fields

4. Cost of Delay calculation with Jira Automation

Now it’s time to add calculations. We’ll use some Jira Automation rules.

How to turn on Jira Automation

Create a new Automation Rule. Create a Trigger.

  • Fields to monitor for changes: Business Value, Time Criticality, Risk Reduction.
  • Change type: Any changes to the field value.
Jira Automation How to Set Condition

Then: add an action—Edit issue. Choose fields to set: Cost of Delay.

Jira Automation Set Action

For that file, add the current formula:

{{#=}}{{Issue.Time Criticality|0}} + {{Issue.Business Value|0}} + {{Issue.Risk Reduction|0}}{{/}}

This works as a sum of all three values. If any value is empty, count it as zero.

Jira Automation Adding Formula

Hit ‘Publish rule.’

5. WSJF score calculation with Jira Automation

Now we have to repeat the same process for the final WSJF score calculationю

Create a new automation rule for a field the value changed trigger for Job Size update:

Jira Automation Trigger for WSJF Score Calculation

Create an action Edit issue: for our WSJF Score field:

Jira Automation WSJF score Custom Field

And add a calculation formula:

{{#=}}{{Cost Of Delay|0}}/{{Job Size|1}}{{/}}

This means ‘Cost Of Delay’ divided by ‘Job Size’. If we don’t have any ‘Job Size’ value, use 1.

Jira Automation WSJF score Formula Calculation

6. Testing WSJF calculations with Jira Custom Fields

Now let’s test out our automation. First, open an issue and fill in all the necessary fields. Then, after refreshing the window, you can see the result:

Example: WSJF score: (2 + 5 + 21) / 2 = 14

Updated on February 22, 2023

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