Flow: Systems Thinking

Main idea: Viewing flow of work as one continuous system that can be refined and optimized

  • Emphasize performance of entire system vs just specific silo of work/dept
    • Make work visible
  • Not just inside a project but cross project
  • Can everyone easily see what everyone else is working on?
  • Can one team easily learn from another team?
    • Limiting work in progress
  • Really, minimize multi tasking and context switching
    • Reducing batch sizes: idea behind two week sprints
    • Reducing hand-offs between teams.
  • Tight communication so that hand-off isn’t big deal
    • Identify and remove constraints and waste
  • Test setup, environments, overly tight architecture?
  • Manual work, heroics, context-switching
    • Some outcomes:
      • never passing a known defect to downstream work centers
      • never allowing local optimization to create global degradation
      • always seeking to increase flow
      • always seeking to achieve profound understanding of the system

Flow Metrics