Tag: Flow


You’ve got more capacity than you think

Managing a business today means leveraging your existing capability to maximize throughput. Why am I focusing on throughput? If you think about your organizational value stream, you only make money (or realize revenue) when you deliver a product or a service to your customer. Having a large volume of work within your organizational pipe while not delivering anything means your investments are tied up with work-in-progress inventory. The more work-in-progress inventory you have the more investments are needed. How are you going to fund this investment? The faster your deliver, the faster you realize revenue. Hence, the focus on throughput.


Flow in traditional project management process

Traditional project management resembles a PUSH system. A push system is where tasks are planned and scheduled. The time between requirements definition and delivery is so long that things change. Adding to the chaos is estimating, large batch size and requirement for high people utilization (in matrix organizations). Estimates are just that – Guesses. Building a schedule and a forecast based on guesses is a recipe for disaster. Yet this practice is condoned and encouraged.


Implement Kanban: Implement virtuous cycle of ongoing improvement

The hardest thing about implementing the Kanban is the paradigm shift in policies it leads to. “How can just visualizing work and limiting work improve throughput?” It’s so counter-intuitive. However, the very act of visualizing and limiting work highlights bottlenecks as they appear, giving you a chance to fix things before they become big issues. Implementing Kanban enterprise-wide, however, will need the blessing of senior management, specially if organization has been following traditional methods for a very long time. When going about leading the change, chances are that the people actual doing the work would absolutely love it since they get to see what’s within their queue. It is convincing the middle and the senior management that will be challenging. There’s also this perception of relinquishing control by the middle management. A paradigm shift indeed.


Predict project failure using cumulative flow diagrams

One of the biggest challenges I face as a project manager is the ability to predict the project or program’s future. What impact would the change request have on the project? Are we going fast enough to meet the program deadlines? Are the team’s estimates good enough? Assuming the team will meet most of its estimates, what can we do to go faster? Why do I need to wait for 5 months before I can touch and feel the product? These are just a few of the questions that needed answering throughout the project lifecycle. Critical Chain changed all that. I was, at last, able to predict project failure long before projects got off the rails

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