Home » Agile » Resource Efficiency vs. Flow Efficiency, Part 5: How Flow Changes Everything

About Johanna Rothman

Johanna Rothman
Johanna consults, speaks, and writes about managing product development. She helps managers and leaders do reasonable things that work. You can read more of her writings at jrothman.com.

Resource Efficiency vs. Flow Efficiency, Part 5: How Flow Changes Everything

The discussion to now:

When you move from resource efficiency (experts and handoffs from expert to expert) to flow efficiency (team works together to finish work), everything changes.
 
The system of work changes from the need for experts to shared expertise.

ResourceEfficiency

FlowEfficiency

The time that people spend multitasking should decrease or go to zero because the team works together to finish features. The team will recognize when they are done—really done—with a feature. You don’t have the “It’s all done except for…” problem.

Managers don’t need to manage performance. They manage the system, the environment that makes it possible for people to perform their best. Managers help equip teams to manage their own performance.

The team is accountable, not a person. That increases the likelihood that the team will estimate well and that the team delivers what they promised.

If you are transitioning to agile, and you have not seen these things occur, perform a retrospective. Set aside at least two hours and understand your particular challenges. I like Agile Retrospectives: Making Good Teams GreatGetting Value out of Agile Retrospectives – A Toolbox of Retrospective Exercises, and The Retrospective Handbook: A Guide for Agile Teams for creating a retrospective that will work for you. You have unique challenges. Learn about them so you can address them.

I hope you enjoyed this series. Let me know if you have questions or comments.

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