Friday, March 14, 2014

Not all work "flows"

I've written elsewhere that it's key to focus attention on "Work that Flows" (see Clearvision's blog). That is, work that has a beginning, middle and end (delivery) and some tangible value as the outcome. The thing is not all work does flow. A lot of our time is dedicated to tasks that are simply "overhead". They might be waste - they add no value and serve no useful purpose - but equally they might be necessary activity within the context of how you deliver your work, yet not actually attached to delivery. Project management for example will need to be done for as long as the project lasts - it is not something can be completed independently from the delivery tasks. Sometimes overhead tasks can be removed if the process is changed, but  more often they are a pretty-much immovable feature of the way we work.

I just want to make one point about this - you should know the difference between work that flows and work that doesn't - i.e. overhead work. Don't put overhead tasks on your Scrum or Kanban boards for example. Focus on the work that flows. Whenever you can, eliminate (or minimise) the overhead tasks!