Agile Saturday X – Staff liquidity

Posted on Posted in management

I visited another great event organized by Estonian Agile community – http://agile.ee/. It was pretty much great event with interesting topics. Even though my notes are taken out from the context and include my thoughts also, I still think they might inspire you for new ideas and improvements in your company. I will continue with notes in further posts. Here we go with part 1:

Real Options – Introducing Staff Liquidity
  • Options have value
  • Options expire
  • Never commit early unless you know Why! Commitment kills options
  • Jumping from a cliff. At the very start it’s an option, afterwards it’s a commitment
  • Booking.com monetize options. You get better price if you commit your arrival. If you want to have possibility to cancel the reservation – price is higher
  • When you start doing something it’s a commitment
  • Decision making: 1) everybody wants to be right 2) people are willing to be wrong rather be uncertain
  • Total uncertainty can be “solved” by bounded uncertainty – e.g. let’s try something for one sprint, validate output and make decision afterwards
  • What can we learn from lions? They sleep 20 hours a day and commit only to good options. They don’t rush and run around like insane. Why do we rush than?
  • Decision making: hierarchy alienates people who make decisions from real action
  • Staff liquidity: Give tasks to least able person (just above his possibilities). It will allow most skilled people to find time for teaching and solving critical situations! Counterintuitive, but it makes a lot of sense!
  • Value stream mapping helps to eliminate waste. 2 biggest wastes in development: bugs and delays.
  • Track queues that form in front of the constraint and gaps that form after the bottleneck
  • Staff liquidity: self score the team to identify weak and strong spots of the team
  • TOC: 1) specify the goal 2) find the constraint 3) prioritize “around” the constraint 4) move staff based on decisions above
  • Specify the work and assign value to it. Manage work, not people
  • Move people to work, not the work to the people
  • Focus on flow of work, not people utilization
  • If it’s a commitment – think how to make this an option
  • Scrum is more about commitments, Kanban is more about options

If you find these ideas interesting i believe you can read more about it here – www.commitment-thebook.com

p.s. if you decide to share these notes, please use #agilesaturday hashtag as reference to this event

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