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How busy-ness culture negatively impacts our ability to deliver value
by Adam Yuret, http://www.contextdrivenagility.com
What did you do yesterday?
What will you do today?
What’s getting in your way?
Three questions commonly asked at Daily Scrum meetings that imply that doing things is the purpose of work. Rarely have I encountered organizations where these following answers were acceptable:
Yesterday I read a book at work.
Today I intend to start no new work and make myself available to help others learn.
Being too busy is getting in my way and I need some slack.
The above may seem exaggerated but aren't; each one is an example of a behavior someone engaged in that helped deliver value to the customer. Slack, learning and play enhance our ability to deliver business and customer value.
Come join Adam Yuret to have a discussion about how a focus on resource efficiency impedes flow while creating mountains of failure demand and fracturing our organization into competing silos. Also learn some ideas about humanistic ways to mitigate these issues and bring flow back to our organizations.
Discuss how the relentless pursuit of
productivity is constraining our ability to
effectively deliver value to our customers and
Discuss some alternatives to this approach of
optimizing for busyness.
Traditional management thinking treats all
demand as equal. There is work to be done
and people who do the work. Failure Demand
is demand that originates from a failure to
have done something right in the first place.
Not all productivity is desirable.
Agile team produces growing velocity but, as
they speed features out the door, bugs are
introduced. When bugs come into the
backlog they’re assigned velocity points. It is
theoretically possible, therefore, to have a
team producing zero value demand while
increasing velocity fixing bugs.
In order to keep developers typing at maximum
utilization, we create teams to absorb the failure
demand caused by developers typing at maximum
utilization. These teams often have unlimited WIP and
must consume an unending stream of demand. This
also hides the problems from the people
Value Trumps Flow
In general, reliability is the ability of a person or system to perform
and maintain its functions in routine circumstances as well as in
hostile or unexpected circumstances. In the case of emergency
services, reliability looks at actual incident history data to measure
historical performance in accordance with adopted performance
A unit unavailable for response provides no service to the community.
The unit may be out of service for a multitude of reasons including;
another emergency response, training, maintenance, etc. If a unit is
not available 80% of the time, it is not reasonable to expect the unit to
perform at the 80th percentile.
…. Poor availability negatively influences response times.
“Limiting our work in progress so we focused on
completion was a big deal for us. It felt better to have
1 story than 5 tasks in progress.”
“Development was very helpful with testing,
volunteering to clear impediments and helping us
test during the sprint.” –Lead Tester
“The team is excited and helping each other out
during stand-up and working together in the War