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How Scoring Mince Pies Helped Us Understand Prioritisation Better

Last year, prior to Toni and I joining Radtac, our colleague and Head of Training Alex Gray wrote a blog about “How to Prioritise Using Mince Pies”, which you can view here before reading on. So, inspired by the previous year, we went on to maintain this new-found tradition while also learning more about prioritisation ourselves.

Radtac Planning Poker CardsSo, at the end of November we bought our first pack, a box of M&S Star Mince Pies but had to decide on how to rank them. We agreed that we would use the same scoring system as the previous year, the story point/Fibonacci sequence – 1,2,3,5,8,13,20 - 1 being terrible and 20 being excellent, and all the pies would be scored on: Overall Flavour, Filling, Pastry, Freshness, Presentation and Price.


Now don’t get me wrong, the M&S Star Mince pies were good but they were not quite what we had hoped for from Marks & Spencer. Which is why they ended up getting what would turn out to be an only slightly below average score, especially let down by the pastry and price. However, this gave us a benchmark for the rest of the pies to live up to, or hopefully exceed.

Frangipane Mince Pies Box

But Scoring would seem more difficult as the pies diversified. Mince pies can take a multitude of forms and by using the rule that if the box says it’s a mince pie, then it’s a mince pie, we opened ourselves up for quite a few varieties, like Waitrose Heston’s or M&S’ Frangipane mince pies (which may I say, despite the score were defiantly the best). Fortunately for us we managed to avoid some of the weirder types such as Aldi’s Chocolate Orange or Salted Caramel mince pies.

 

After a month of tasting and excessive amounts of calories we finally had our scores.

Brand

Overall Flavour

Filling

Pastry

Freshness

Presentation

Price

Total

M&S

5

8

3

5

8

£2.00

3

32

Waitrose

3

3

1

2

5

£1.80

5

19

M&S Fragipane

13

5

13

13

8

£2.70

5

57

Waitrose Selection

8

5

13

5

8

£3.00

2

41

Tesco’s finest

13

20

13

13

13

£2.00

13

85

Tescos Regular

8

5

8

13

8

£1.00

13

55

Heston Waitrose

13

5

8

5

3

£3.00

3

37

Sainsbury’s Deep filled

5

8

2

3

8

£1.50

8

34

Iceland

13

13

13

8

20

£1.85

13

80

Aldi

3

3

1

2

3

£0.79

13

25

Lidl

8

13

5

8

13

£1.75

13

60

ASDA

13

13

8

13

8

£1.75

13

68

M&S Puff

13

13

8

8

8

£2.70

3

53



The results above show that Tesco’s Finest were the best mince pies for us, with Iceland in a not-so-distant second. But with a clear winner there was nothing more we needed to do, as opposed to last year when the results ended as a draw.

  

Selection Of Mince Pies Collage

 

For Toni and me, as we have recently joined Radtac and had no prior knowledge of Agile, I found this a particularly helpful way to further understand the Story Point Sequence and its uses in more of a practical scenario; for example it can help when prioritising requirements. In our case it helped us prioritise requirements like freshness, cost and filling, which in a business scenario could translate to what matters to the business such as revenue, time and importance.


Want to learn more about story points, prioritisation, relative scoring? Check out our BCS Agile Foundations course.

View BCS Agile Foundations courses

Author

Kieran Clark

Kieran Clark

Kieran is a motivated and young individual with a passion for excellence. After finishing school and studying media for a year in college, he is now excited to learn and develop in his new Marketing & PR role. While at Radtac, Kieran is excited to learn more about everything concerning marketing and Agile, and broadening his horizons for the future. Read more