American Pickers is a TV show on the History Channel. Mike and Frank “earn a living by restoring forgotten relics to their former glory, transforming one person’s trash into another’s treasure.” They will go to a hoarders place and see something they really really want (high value). Usually Mike spots a vintage bicycle or motorcycle from early 1900’s. However the guys realize, in order to break they ice, they must go after lower priority items like old toys and oil can first. This tactic builds some trust with the collector, so after a full day of buying up toys, oil cans and signs they try their luck with their number 1 priority. Sometimes they are able to get the motorcycle, but other times they build that relationship so one day down the road they may be able to purchase the item.
This is a real life example of understanding top priorities but not going after the top priority right away. It sure is easy to say to go after high priority first, but sometimes the real world gets in the way. Doug and Jack talk about some reasons why Agile teams don’t always go after the high priority Roadmap items from the get go. Come check out our new episode, Value is in the eye of the beholder, that identifies why companies and teams don’t always tackle the highest listed Roadmap items right away.