Book cover: Tame your Work Flow

Tame your Work Flow

Chapter 15 of Tame your Work Flow, introduces the concept of a MOVE, which stands for Minimal Outcome-Value Effort. Steve and Daniel use the construct to help define an atomic level of value delivery that is both minimalistic and sufficient. MOVE, while not replacing the myriad Mxx acronyms (e.g. minimal viable product or minimal marketable product), provides a mental model for defining items in your portfolio backlog that is focused on throughput accounting. (more…)

Book cover: Tame your Work Flow

Tame your Work Flow

Those that control work entry, control the health of a team, and at a product level, the health of the organization. Messrs. Tendon and Doiron discuss portfolio and work entry in Chapter 13 of  Tame your Work Flow. Putting my biases on the table I believe that Reinertsen (Product Development Flow) and Leffingwell et al. (Scaled Agile Framework Enterprise) have advanced the discussion of portfolio prioritization immensely with the concept of the Cost of Delay. That said, Steve and Daniel, advance the ball even further. The sad part of the conversation is that most organizations that I have insight into leverage brute force politics to prioritize portfolios and are subject to suboptimization within silos. (more…)

Book cover: Tame your Work Flow

Tame your Work Flow

Today, we re-read chapter 12 titled Drum-Buffer-Rope (DBR). The concept of DBR is critical to using the Theory of Constraints in real-world environments. There are a couple of important premises that DBR scheduling is built upon that bear remarking on before we dive into the nuances of chapter 12 of Tame Your Work Flow. The first is that you need to know where your constraint is at all times. This means that someone needs to pay attention to the flow and pace of work. This infers a degree of discipline that can be problematic. As we have noted the constraint can move based on the kind of work in the pipeline and where we are in the cycle of finding, exploiting, and improving the constraint. While this might sound onerous, in order to maximize the flow of value through a value stream or value network it is imperative. The second is the discipline of the queue. DBR has an expectation that if there is more than one project or piece of work and product owner, jumping the turnstile is not acceptable behavior. In other words, work is done in the agreed-on order based on priority the organization agrees on upfront. The discipline of the queue is often a problem because of individual incentives.  (more…)

Book cover: Tame your Work Flow

Tame your Work Flow

This week we tackle two chapters in Steve Tendon and Daniel Doiron’s  Tame your Work Flow. Chapters ten and eleven put our understanding of workflow and process-flow into action in more complex environments. I have been dealing with pests all week; a swarm of yellow jackets made my garden their home. It is a complex and potentially painful situation, but not nearly as difficult as dealing with the common organizational failings. Chapter 9 introduced the concept of dealing with the chaos that can be found in most organizations using the acronym PEST, which stands for scenarios that have:  (more…)

Book cover: Tame your Work Flow

Tame your Work Flow

Today we transition to Part 4: Maximizing Business Value in Knowledge-Work in Steve Tendon and Daniel Doiron’s  Tame your Work Flow. We are currently 40% through the book according to the Kindle App on my laptop.  (Side note: I would like to talk with anyone in the audience that uses a Kindle to read non-fiction books that they will later use for reference; I am working on a buying decision).

Chapter 9, Constraints in the Work Flow and in the Work Process, makes the transition away from the manufacturing world—where lean and Kanban have been prevalent approaches—and slams us into the topsy turvy world of knowledge work.  Steve and Daniel invoke two acronyms to help characterize the world most of us find ourselves in.  The first is VUCA (Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity, Ambiguity) and the second is PEST. PEST stands for: (more…)

Book cover: Tame your Work Flow

Tame your Work Flow

This week we tackle Chapters 7 and 8 of Tame your Work Flow. These two chapters represent and story-based case study (as noted in the past, I am not fond of business novels) that takes the readers through the use of throughput management boards and how to identify the constraint by adding average flow time to each column. The authors again make the point that decision making without regard to the constraint yields erratic results. Most of the readers of this blog will have fallen into the trap (once) of making what appears to be the right process change only to find that the change is effective as advertised because we were not affecting the constraint. Remember Goldratt’s Five Focusing factors:  (more…)

Book cover: Tame your Work Flow

Tame your Work Flow

Self-knowledge is valuable to keep yourself reigned in, I really think Little’s Law is important. This week I needed to make sure I did not go overboard in discussing the ramifications of the theorem (I will include links at the end of this week’s re-read for those who want to go into depth). Chapter 3 of Tame your Work Flow is incredibly important for understanding the overall book. In your re-read spend the time needed understanding how the themes noted in the chapter title Flow Efficiency, Little’s Law and Economic Impact inter-relate. (more…)

Book cover: Tame your Work Flow

Tame your Work Flow

Re-read Saturday, Tame you Work Flow Week 3:  Chapter 2—Postpone Commitment and Limit Work in Process

Today we tackle Chapter 2 in our re-read of Tame your Work Flow by Steve Tendon and Daniel Doiron. The chapter is titled Postpone Commitment and Limit Work in Process. Last we mentioned multitasking, this week we make a full assault on the topic. (more…)

Book cover: Tame your Work Flow

Tame your Work Flow

Today we tackle Chapter 1 in our re-read of Tame your Work Flow by Steve Tendon and Daniel Doiron. Chapter 1 lays out the four flows which the book explores in detail and begins a deep dive into the power of mental models. The Chapter also touches on one of the great evils of modern times — multitasking (I say that with no attempt at hyperbole).   (more…)

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SPaMCAST 599 will feature my conversation with Steve Tendon. Steve and I talked about his Tameflow books, the genesis of the framework, the Theory of Constraints, and of course Herbie. Steve provides several profound pieces of wisdom for increasing value. (more…)