Why you only need 2 hours to discover your impediments when you understand Flow

20 years ago, when we didn’t understand why Agile works as well as we do now, it made sense to discover impediments by attempting to get code completed within a 4 week sprint. But now it should only take you a couple of hours. How? By understanding Flow

Virtually all impediments are caused by a delay in the workflow, work being too big or too much work in process (WIP). Let’s see why this is true – here are some common impediments:

  1. incomplete stores at the end of a sprint (usually caused by large stories or because test lags coding or too many stories were started)
  2. unclear requirements (time from getting a requirement until verifying it is long)

What’s more, however, delays in workflow, large stories, and too much WIP virtually always cause impediments (try to find a case where they don’t)

So, next time you’re going to start Scrum, before you do, get a headstart by attending to delays, batch size and WIP. Once started you can continue to improve by changing your workflow to further reduce these. Of course, you always have to do retrospections to make sure you’re really getting improvement.

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