Flow over Load.
The performance of an R&D organization is measured by throughput:
How many projects can it complete with good quality per year.
In Agile Pipeline Management, we manage this with metrics that respond to flow, as opposed to traditional workload planning.
It’s like being on the highway: 100% utilization is not what we all want.
When high utilization is expected, you want the congestion somewhere where it doesn’t reduce maximum flow. E.g., as in block clearance at large tunnels.
Front loading alone does not help.
In complex projects, I can’t eliminate disruptions by massive front-loading alone, no matter how much effort I put into it. I am confronted with the unpredictable along the way.
If I maximize the organization’s capacity in this situation, what happens?
Employees leave work that has been started. Each time they resume the work, motivation is down compared to the first time, not to mention the mental set-up time.
Conflicts between work packages increase, employees from different areas have different priorities. More and more energy is put into negotiating priorities. Only to have them challenged again.
At interfaces, multitasking leads to waiting time because the partner is busy with another project. This leads to missing deliveries. The team cannot really finish the tasks and gets even more into multitasking… A downward spiral from which there is a way out with AGILE Pipeline Management.
Complexity and flow?
At most, we have complicated products, not complex ones. Therefore, we do not need AGILE . You hear that sometimes…
Complexity also comes from the need for many people to work together in a synchronized manner. AGILE addresses this “organizationally” caused complexity in a simple way and ensures flow even under these conditions.
How many projects are optimal?
As a rule of thumb: As many projects as the organization is able to keep on course – and keeping on course requires constant steering, just like sailing.
Therefore, in Agile Pipeline Management, it is important to have signals with an “early warning function” as to whether the projects are on course. We provide these signals as part of “flow optimization“.
Teams with a clear focus, have a higher throughput. AGILEPRODUCT DEVELOPMENT brings this focus “built-in”, so to speak.