Shrinking budgets and pressure to reduce headcount. How can you maximise productivity in your team to ensure you are still delivering on time?
Agile, Waterfall, Prince 2, PMP. Everyone’s got a view on the best methodology and environment to manage staff to deliver projects successfully and on time.
The 4th installment of Precision Sourcing’s “Change Leadership Group” event was for IT project leaders. A common problem that leaders face in today’s economic climate is shrinking budgets and as a result, reduced headcount. Doing more with less. Precision Sourcing had the pleasure of hosting close to 50 clients in this live interactive workshop. Our guest speaker for the evening was delivery and productivity expert Becci Watson.
Becci hails from the Kanban Accelerated Delivery (KAD) has been in the project environment for over 20 years. Becci has had great success in improving productivity in large companies. A stand out for her career was in a large telco, where she improved productivity by 15% in a team of over 3000. All within 6 months!
The workshop began by identifying that as leaders time management is crucial to be an effective leader. Focusing on developing strategic goals and managing operations and not putting out fires daily. Or putting your time towards whoever’s screaming the loudest.
She went on to talk about the Project Management Triangle also known as the triple constraint, iron triangle or project triangle:
Most leaders identified that the biggest constraint was time and managing the worker. Becci went on to share with us her secret recipe in tackling this issue
- Manage the WORK, not the WORKER
- Reduce Batch Sizes – break down batch sizes to days opposed to weeks
- Measure continuous flow of work with statistically reliable facts
Kanban Boards can be used to implement this methodology of doing work. Kanban boards are also the most used Agile Project Management Tool.
KAD has proven it can get results
In a DevOps team currently dealing with:
1. Poor backlog health with a limited number of items that meet the Definition of Ready (DoR)
2. High levels of work in progress (WIP)
3. Significant variability in the time to complete work items (lead time)
4. External dependencies in the process impeding timely progress
Becci helped the team break down the chunks of work to days and hours as opposed to weeks. Here are the results that they received after 1 month of implementing this way of working.
KAD is how to get an IT DevOps Team to gain a 40% productivity improvement in under 30 days!
· More company-wide Agility than only IT software development using Scrum
· Objective measurements to provide productivity improvements
· Can measure practices and behaviours that demonstrate value
- More company-wide Agility than only IT software development using Scrum
- Objective measurements to provide productivity improvements
- Can measure practices and behaviours that demonstrate value
Best Practice Characteristics for a Way of Working
- Can start with where you’re at, no need for a redesign of organisation hierarchy
- One way of working both business and IT can use
- Can be applied across all functions/departments
- Same terminology, same roles
- Is used for Business as Usual (BAU) operations + Projects (PMO)
- Transparently shows the capacity of all interlinked teams
- Has continuous improvement of the team process built-in
- Progress can be measured with statistical reliability
- Measure behaviours that implement the value
- Easily scalable
- Sets the organisation up to manage flow, not try to ‘fit’ work into batches
What value could this bring to your budget?
Imagine if you implemented this methodology on a team of 10 all on 100k annual salary. 6 months worth of 17% extra productivity = You would be getting an extra 1.7 headcount over the year.
This equates to a ROI of 8.5%
What are your thought and experiences on this subject?
Does any of Becci’s thoughts resonate?