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Is Your Workflow Holding You Back?

April 22, 2024

Reflecting upon my own experiences, the journey to refining our workflow has been both enlightening and challenging. In the realm of agile development, we often find ourselves caught in the rhythm of managing tasks and visualising our work without pausing to question the efficacy of the underlying system. It's a gradual realisation that despite our best efforts, inefficiencies and blockages within our processes can severely hamper our progress and the value we deliver.

This understanding came to me not as a sudden epiphany but as a series of observations and adjustments. It became evident that the key to a truly efficient workflow lies not only in managing work in progress but in actively seeking out and addressing those silent yet significant hurdles that disrupt the flow of work.

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One particularly striking example was the challenge posed by dependencies, especially in the form of an approval process. It's a common scenario where tasks are completed only to be held up awaiting approval, creating a bottleneck that affects the entire workflow. The revelation came when we decided to make these delays visible, not just as a number but as a tangible cost to the project. By placing these costs directly on our Kanban board, we confronted not just the reality of these delays but their impact on our bottom line.

The effect was transformative. What was once an accepted inconvenience became a critical issue to be addressed. This visibility led to a change in behaviour, with more frequent checks and approvals, drastically improving the flow of work through the system. It's a potent reminder that sometimes, the most effective solutions come from a shift in perspective.

As we navigated through these challenges, several key themes emerged:

  • The importance of a proactive approach to workflow management
  • The value of visibility in driving behavioural change
  • The critical role of addressing inefficiencies for overall productivity
  • The power of simple, visual cues in catalysing significant improvements
  • The ongoing need for adaptability and continuous improvement in our processes

These experiences underscore the philosophy that in the pursuit of agility, our focus must always extend beyond the mere execution of tasks to the continual refinement of the systems that underpin our work.

How have you addressed workflow inefficiencies in your own context? Comment below!

NKDAgility can help! Are you grappling with the intricacies of refining your workflow or eliminating bottlenecks within your Kanban system? At NKDAgility, we're committed to guiding you through these challenges. Our mentorship programs are designed to deepen your philosophical understanding of agile principles and inspire actionable change within your organisation. Through a combination of expert training, coaching, and the innovative NKDAgility Insights tool, we'll help you unlock the full potential of your team and processes.

Discover how we can transform your workflow

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