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Busy People vs. Finished Work

You get what you’re optimizing for. Deming has already said, “Every system is perfectly designed to get the results it gets.” If we build a work system in which it is important that everyone is working at 100% capacity, then we will get exactly such a system. And now the important point: This does NOT mean that work is finished quickly!

If we want work systems in which work is finished quickly, we must – surprise, surprise – finish work. Therefore, the work in the system must be limited so that the focus shifts from starting to finishing. And now comes the disappointment for full utilization fetishists: That is not possible with 100% utilization!

When we make plans with 100% utilization we have to be aware that work is getting done slowly and that we will not meet deadlines.


Inflow vs. Outflow

Whenever agile methods are introduced into organizations, discussions about “prioritization meetings” revolve quite quickly. Replenishment, planning, grooming, blooming, zooming and whatever they’re all called. It must be made sure as soon as possible how new work gets into the system.

My experience says that the subject of “replenishment” can be initially neglected. I’ve never seen (and I use the words “never” and “always” very rarely) a system that wasn’t clogged at the beginning. It makes absolutely no sense to discuss replenishment until the clogged system is cleaned.

We need to shift the focus of prioritization: Priority must be given to which work is to be completed and not which is to be started.


TWiG Speaks Russian

TWiG – The WiP Game is now available in Russian. Many thanks to Ivan Dubrovin and Aleksei Pimenov for the translation. To be honest, I only see a string of funny symbols when I look at the translation, but I’m sure Ivan and Aleksei did a great job 😉

If someone else wants to translate TWiG into another language, please contact me.

By the way, TWiG V1.5 is already in the making. There are really cool ideas from the community, which will be discussed on Slack and integrated into the simulation in the summer. Thank you for your efforts around TWiG!

On a Conference Diet

How many times during the past conference season have I told you that I gave my presentation somewhere on “Why agile teams have nothing to do with business agility”? A lot, huh? That’s exactly how it feels right now: The last few months have been awesome, but now I’m pretty tired from conferencing. That’s why I will be on a conference diet for the coming season.

The feedback on “Why agile teams have nothing to do with business agility” was absolutely sensational. In 100 percent of the cases people came to me after the talk because they completely found themselves and their company in what I said. In addition to keynotes at Lean Kanban North America, Scrum Gathering in Cape Town, London Lean Kanban Days and Agile Central Europe, most recently in Krakow, I gave many keynote speeches in companies, which very often gave the opportunity for further workshops to deal with improving their business agility. Of course, all of this plays together with my model of Flight Levels, which is very well received internationally at the moment. I’m surprised, I’m honored and I’m grateful that people in companies are using my input to find out how things could go better. Many realize that a ready-made framework does not help them in improving their business agility, but that every organization needs individual solutions. Thanks to the Enterprise Kanban Coach training program, there are now also a number of professionally outstanding people who approach their work with the right attitude and know how to apply the flight-level model in a meaningful way.

I will definitely continue to work on these topics and that is also the plan for the coming year: work through the experiences and think ahead based on them. I am of course still available for in-house talks and workshops

But I still have one more: On November 20, 2018 I will give the keynote at the Agile Leadership Nuremberg. I’ll be happy when I see you there!

Thanks to Oliver Finker for this awesome picture of me speaking at ACE Conference in Krakow.