If we let the person who’s best at performing the “specify” function handle more of that work, then we may also need to coordinate handoffs between ourselves. Adding the specify-complete column communicates to the team that a work item which was previously in the specify state is now ready to be pulled by anyone who wants to move it to the execute state. Work that is still in the specify state is not eligible to be pulled yet. If the owner of a ticket in the specify state wants to hand it off, he can put it in the complete buffer. If he doesn’t want to hand it off, he can move it directly into the execute state as long as capacity is available. It might be that the execute state is full, and the only eligible work is to pull another ticket from the ready queue into specify.
Taking control in a changing environment
Quantification is the foundation of any science-based approach. When we try to optimize our processes we always encounter situations where some measures of performance improve as others get worse. Overall performance is a U curve function. We can only deal with these problems with the aid of quantification. Moreover, by quantifying tradeoffs we can rationally adjust our tradeoffs as our economic context changes. This transparent logical relationship between our choices and our environment is critical in a world where the environment constantly changes. Finally, grounding our choices on economics is key to gaining the support of management. Management has the legal duty to pay attention to the economic consequences of its choices. Management always has surplus of good ideas to spend money on. When we package our choices within an economic framework we enable management to choose between these ideas quickly and correctly. When we use qualitative and “faith-based” arguments we make it much harder for management to support us.”
Team communication meetings should happen often, but be very short in duration, typically 10 to 20 minutes. A standing room environment during these meetings will help encourage a fast tempo, productive meeting. Using visual project boards, presenters can quickly give status updates and highlight any problem areas. Once the issue(s) and related action(s) are captured, the meeting should move to a close. By keeping on point and resolving the issues outside of the communication meeting, resources, including staff time, will be effectively used. While these issues are being resolved, continue to provide updates to the entire team to keep everyone engaged and up-to-date. These streamlined communication meetings are important for cross-functional team involvement.