Create Visibility

One of the first things we both can and should do is create visibility of our work. At this stage we are not trying to change anything, just be clear about what’s happening. Value stream mapping is a very useful method of doing this.

When we talk about ‘visibility’ we mean:

  • The work being done. This includes:
    • Whether the items are waiting or being worked on
    • The size of the items
    • Any dependencies between one item and others
  • The agreements your people have made as to how they do their work (this is not to be set in stone but rather represents the best known way at the time that people are doing)
  • The queues that represent items waiting to be worked on
  • Any blockages to the work

The intent of visibility is:

  • People can see their work
  • They can see work coming their way
  • They can ensure people downstream from them can see what they will be generating
  • Dependencies between items being worked on
  • The amount of work in process
  • Where work is waiting
  • The rate at which work flows and or waits

Creating line of sight to Business Value

Creating ‘line of sight’ means to ensure that everyone working on something understands the business value of it. To accomplish this requires the decomposition of MBIs into features which are then decomposed into stories while maintaining an audit rail of this decomposition.