Why look at this
When workload exceeds capacity people tend to multi-task. This:
- makes people less effective
- causes delays in the workflow and in getting feedback which creates waste
- delays the realization of value
- makes it difficult to collaborate
Symptoms that work load is beyond capacity
- People are working on too many projects
- Work takes much longer than it should
- Projects being worked on by many people part time
What causes this
Common causes are:
- there is no controlled intake process. Note that the intake process includes how work waiting to be started is sized and sequenced.
- product managers tell teams what they have to work on
- no list of work in process across the development organization is being maintained
- the work to be started is larger than it needs to be
- MVPs are being used improperly
What we want to achieve
Work being pulled by the teams when they have the capacity to do the work.
The intake process is usually the weak point when teams are overloaded. It is the first place to look for improvement. Reasons for this include that this can be done with minimal reorganization of the value streams. It also has the greatest impact on the value streams since it sets up how much and what people work on.
- Create visibility on all work in the system
- Right-size the work waiting to be started using MVPs, MBIs, and MVRs appropriately
- Sequence work to be pulled
- Create a focus on finishing
Other simplicity factors that are directly related to this one
- efficiency of the value streams. Inefficient value streams will bog down and lower our capacity to do work.
- batch size. Small work items will be completed quicker. Small batches make it easier to manage the relationship between workload an capacity.
- level of collaboration
- management method
- how planning is done
- quality of the product