Step 3: Incorporate Flow into your way of thinking and focus on the work itself

Quick recap (see earlier posts):

  1. How did Agile get to be so unagile
  2. take a systems thinking point of view. Use Lean to create a great environment
  3. Focus on business agility – the quick realization of value predictably, sustainably and with high quality.

Flow thinking is looking to see how to take an idea to realized value as quickly as possible by working on what will achieve the greatest value, educing delays in workflow, by getting quick feedback, and not creating rework. Lean’s mantra of “just in time” guides us in how to make decisions on when to start work. Its “build quality in” has us stop creating unplanned work due to errors.

But Flow thinking also means we have to attend to the work – not a framework. All too many times people adopt Agile by spending most (all?) of their budget on the framework or relegate how to do the real work to 2nd tier training. Einstein would say this is insane given the patterns of challenge this causes.

Ask yourself when you’re considering an adoption – which is more important to know – the framework or how to do the work? A framework sets the stage for the work, but won’t teach you how to do it directly.

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