Julia Wester wears a lot of hats but leads Actionable Agile as well as her other company 55 Degrees. We kick things off really jumping into why we care about flow anyway? More done less stress!
The difficulty of a dynamically changing team and the ability to forecast into the future. When using data to forecast the conditions needs to be roughly the same and when you’re trying to apply that data to look forward.
If you look at a long enough period of time then this pattern of craziness is representative of next year’s pattern of craziness.
It’s the two questions that you’re trying to answer: When will this work get done, or, what can get done within a certain amount of time.
How do you articulate what flow is? How effectively and efficiently work moves through any process. Is it smooth, does it start and stop a lot, is there a way to get more to move through? When thinking about flow there is an underlying assumption that the work flowing through is valuable. Probably worth introducing other value metrics to validate that assumption.
Remember that debate with Julie? Which is more important? Deliver or Value? It’s definitely an AND conversation. We visit Roman Pichler’s GO Product Roadmap as well as Hypothesis Driven Development to help build alignment on what we’re trying to achieve. Both great tools to get focus on both the outcomes and the deliver metrics. Anything that makes you stop and think what do I think will happen if I do this is great.
Rub a little science on it!
When we are talking about collecting data the whole point is to drive better discussions to help make better decisions. Start with the basic data of how long it takes you to get from point A to point B. How many things you get to point B in a certain amount of time.
We talk a bit about Flow Efficiency or Process Efficiency. It is a fit for purpose metric that may or may not provide value.
The magic of Work Item Age. Probably the most important metric to be looking at when trying to establish flow… or just trying to get shit done! The more we start focusing on age the more that will start leading us to do all the other things we need to do to get work completed. If you only do 2 things, pay attention to your Work Item Age and limit your Work In Progress.
A discussion about Flow Debt. The time that something gets pushed out of the way (the extra time your incurring by allowing something to age unnaturally). Maybe take a look at TWIP game. Think about when you pay to have your package at UPS expedited to a destination. You’re paying not only for your package to move quicker, but also other packages to move slower.
A couple of book plugs in this episode:
Try out Actionable Agile!
Check out Lean Agile Global.