Everyday Kanban

Discussing Management, Teams, Agile, Lean, Kanban & more

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Flow Efficiency: A great metric you probably aren’t using


How efficient is your flow?

One of the questions that working professionals get asked the most is “When will my request be completed?” In order to answer, we often look at lead time metrics to give a predictable answer. Looking at lead times over a period of time can give us a pretty high confidence level in setting delivery expectations. It is a strategy for predictability.

When we look at improving those lead times, we often focus on how to improve the active work we do for the requests we receive. We might improve test automation, implement code review process and/or continuous delivery pipelines. Those are all great endeavors. However, too many teams are not aware that the biggest way to improve the lead times for our work may actually be focusing on reducing the time we spend NOT working on our requests.

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First, decide what not to do

Surrender to backlog

We spend our days feeling as if we are buried under a mountain of expectations. When I was a manager in enterprise companies, I frequently saw teams with multi-year backlogs, not accounting for projects or new requests!  I’m confident in saying that this is an extremely common situation in companies of all sizes.

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DevOps Days Portland 2016: Defending against Chaos-Driven Delivery

In my effort to hit more and more conferences in the pacific northwest, I applied to speak at DevOps Days Portland. Happy to be accepted, I wanted to find a topic that would let me talk about good work management but speak to the tech folk in the room. So, a talk was born that looks to see how Operating Systems manage work and what we can take from them and apply to managing human work systems.

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