Using the Intake Process to Educate Leadership

Most executives are interested in:

  • mitigating risk
  • having a plan they can count on
  • knowing they will get value from their investments
  • having a resilient system so they can get some degree of predictability

Explaining the purpose of the intake process is one of the best ways to get buy in from executives on a Lean approach. Let’s see how we’d do this.

Mitigating Risk

The biggest risk in developing software is that value is not delivered. Risk takes two forms – building the wrong thing, have the delivery of what we’re building be delayed. Having an intake process that sequences the most valuable work while encouraging small batches mitigates the risk of both of these. Small batches can be done faster than large ones. Limiting how much work is getting to technology to not exceed their capacity increases technology’s efficiency.

Having a Plan That They Can Count On

Planning in Agile is important. It’s just you don’t stick to the plan when you have new information. We also don’t want to overplan. But companies have to make commitments and commitments always have a time factor to them. Lean-Agile allows for reasonably planning work. More importantly it, suggests we don’t trust our plan and continuously check to see if we are on plan so we can make corrections. The point of an Agile plan is not to keep to it, but to see when we’re off plan and adjust.

Knowing They Will Get Value From Their Investments

Executives are ultimately in charge of the investments the company makes. They know it’s not always possible to make good investments. But when bad ones are made, they want to course correct quickly. Lean-Agile’s ability to provide feedback quickly can be a major competitive business advantage when used.

Having a Resilient System So They Can Get Some Degree of Predictability

Small changes should not cause major problems. Systems need to be resilient to changes both within the organization and to events outside of it. This requires people who are close to the work being able to make decisions.

Understanding Helps Execs Get Behind Lean-Agile

Executives often get behind Lean-Agile when they understand that it’s not just a team thing, but a business driver. Speaking in their terms and their goals is a better way to go than just talking about how Agile makes teams better.