Pursuing Lagom: Finding Balance Between Extremes

1100c19690e8eb006da7a35a6b17be97?s=47 Julia Wester
February 26, 2019

Pursuing Lagom: Finding Balance Between Extremes

These days it is not uncommon to feel overwhelmed by the sheer amount of, well… everything. We seem to tackle our daily problems by adding more processes, more policies, more systems, and more work-in-process. This ends up accumulating disappointment instead of success when we don’t stop to understand what gets in our way. We don’t consider that, at least some of the time, more isn’t always better.

It’s time to bring a little balance to the workforce with the concept of lagom (lah-gom). This tiny Swedish word represents the powerful concept of “not too much, not too little, just right.” At first, the concept can seem paradoxical. How can anything other than more of those processes, policies, systems, etc. result in more desirable outcomes? But, once you give it a try, a lagom approach to work can be liberating and allow us to achieve more than we ever could through the relentless pursuit of “more.”

1100c19690e8eb006da7a35a6b17be97?s=128

Julia Wester

February 26, 2019
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  1. @everydaykanban | @TeamLagom Pursuing Lagom Finding Balance Between Extremes #LeanAgileUS19

    Julia Wester
 Co-Founder, Lagom Solutions
 LeanAgile US, February 2019
  2. @everydaykanban | @TeamLagom !2 #LeanAgileUS19 Pretty much a normal day?

  3. @everydaykanban | @TeamLagom !3 #LeanAgileUS19

  4. @everydaykanban | @TeamLagom !4 #LeanAgileUS19

  5. @everydaykanban | @TeamLagom !5 #LeanAgileUS19 Inattentional Blindness

  6. Understanding how unintended consequences come about and give us some

    insight into what to do differently. @everydaykanban | @TeamLagom !6 #LeanAgileUS19 Systems Thinking https://john-lewis-artist.deviantart.com/
  7. @everydaykanban | @TeamLagom !7 #LeanAgileUS19 most most negative outcomes Let’s

    consider consequences on a spectrum… fewest fewer fewer where we should operate Start everything ASAP Only 1 item in progress not ideal not ideal
  8. @everydaykanban | @TeamLagom !8 #LeanAgileUS19

  9. @everydaykanban | @TeamLagom !9 #LeanAgileUS19 I’ll tell you when I’ve

    had enough
  10. @everydaykanban | @TeamLagom !10 #LeanAgileUS19

  11. @everydaykanban | @TeamLagom !11 #LeanAgileUS19 most most extreme extreme negative

    outcomes Lagom is somewhere in a spectrum between extremes, but not always in the middle… fewest fewer fewer lagom
  12. https://www.engadget.com/2014/04/02/spotifys-quest-for-balanced-design/ The guiding philosophy was that of “lagom” … A

    balance between being distinctly new and modern, but not unfamiliar; feature rich, but not overwhelming; beautiful, but not over-designed. @everydaykanban | @TeamLagom !12 #LeanAgileUS19 on redesigning the user experience
  13. The Agile Manifesto @everydaykanban | @TeamLagom !13 http://agilemanifesto.org #LeanAgileUS19

  14. @everydaykanban | @TeamLagom !14 where should you operate? Spectrum-Thinking is

    crucial to understanding Agile Extreme Extreme ✅ ⚠ ⚠ No Documentation working software is our documentation Comprehensive Documentation Manifesto says left of center… #LeanAgileUS19
  15. @everydaykanban | @TeamLagom !15 #LeanAgileUS19 Finding Lagom: An art and

    a science
  16. @everydaykanban | @TeamLagom !16 #LeanAgileUS19 #YesAnotherCanvas (Version 1.0) First, Discovery

  17. @everydaykanban | @TeamLagom !17 #LeanAgileUS19 Decision What decision are you

    trying to make?
  18. @everydaykanban | @TeamLagom !18 #LeanAgileUS19 How much work should we

    have in process at once?
  19. @everydaykanban | @TeamLagom Too Little Too Much What consequences occur

    when you operate at this extreme? What consequences occur when you operate at this extreme? #LeanAgileUS19 !19 Think about the positive and negative!
  20. @everydaykanban | @TeamLagom !20 #LeanAgileUS19 Lagom What ideal outcomes will

    happen if we have a well-balanced approach for this decision?
  21. Finding Lagom on a Spectrum @everydaykanban | @TeamLagom !21 Extreme

    Extreme Signals you’re operating in the “Lagom Zone” • • • • Early Warning Signs of being too close to extreme ⚠ ⚠ Early Warning Signs of being too close to extreme • • • • • • • • Negative results at the extreme Negative results at the extreme Positive results from focusing on this extreme Positive results from focusing on this extreme ✅ ✅ • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • #LeanAgileUS19 adapted from worksheet from Troy Magennis
  22. @everydaykanban | @TeamLagom !22 #LeanAgileUS19 How much work should we

    have in process at once? • Fast delivery ✔ • Keeping pace ✔ • Bored People • Mediocre quality • Seen as overstaffed • Slow delivery • Not Keeping Pace • Team Burnout • Poor quality • No time for improvement • Fast delivery • Keeping pace • Team challenged, not overwhelmed • Low # of bugs / High Customer Satisfaction scores
  23. @everydaykanban | @TeamLagom !23 #LeanAgileUS19 Natural Tendency If left unmanaged,

    would you operate at lagom, too little, or too much?
  24. @everydaykanban | @TeamLagom !24 #LeanAgileUS19 How much work should we

    have in process at once? ✔ • Fast delivery ✔ • Keeping pace ✔ • Bored People • Mediocre quality • Seen as overstaffed • Slow delivery • Not Keeping Pace • Team Burnout • Poor quality • No time for improvement • Fast delivery • Keeping pace • Team challenged, not overwhelmed • Low # of bugs / High Customer Satisfaction scores
  25. @everydaykanban | @TeamLagom !25 #LeanAgileUS19 How much work should we

    have in process at once? ✔ Now, PDSA • Fast delivery ✔ • Keeping pace ✔ • Bored People • Mediocre quality • Seen as overstaffed • Slow delivery • Not Keeping Pace • Team Burnout • Poor quality • No time for improvement • Fast delivery • Keeping pace • Team challenged, not overwhelmed • Low # of bugs / High Customer Satisfaction scores
  26. @everydaykanban | @TeamLagom !26 #LeanAgileUS19 Hypothesis! What could you do

    to push away from your natural tendency towards lagom?
  27. @everydaykanban | @TeamLagom !27 #LeanAgileUS19 How much work should we

    have in process at once? • Fast delivery ✔ • Keeping pace ✔ • Bored People • Mediocre quality • Seen as overstaffed • Slow delivery • Not Keeping Pace • Team Burnout • Poor quality • No time for improvement • Fast delivery • Keeping pace • Team challenged, not overwhelmed • Low # of bugs / High Customer Satisfaction scores ✔ Introducing a WiP limit of 20 items for the team as a whole will provide more lagom outcomes.
  28. @everydaykanban | @TeamLagom !28 #LeanAgileUS19 How will you test your

    hypothesis? What steps will you take? How will you know if you are closer to lagom? When will you review? Plan - Do - Study - Act
  29. @everydaykanban | @TeamLagom !29 #LeanAgileUS19 How much work should we

    have in process at once? • Fast delivery ✔ • Keeping pace ✔ • Bored People • Mediocre quality • Seen as overstaffed • Slow delivery • Not Keeping Pace • Team Burnout • Poor quality • No time for improvement • Fast delivery • Keeping pace • Team challenged, not overwhelmed • Low # of bugs / High Customer Satisfaction scores ✔ Introducing a WiP limit of 20 items for the team as a whole will provide more lagom outcomes. • 20 Item Limit; exceed only for stop the line events • Monthly metrics review: Flow Efficiency, Throughput, Cycle Time, Quality, Team Satisfaction.
  30. @everydaykanban | @TeamLagom !30 #LeanAgileUS19 What do your success metrics

    tell you? Are you closer to lagom, farther away or the same distance? Plan - Do - Study - Act
  31. @everydaykanban | @TeamLagom !31 #LeanAgileUS19 How much work should we

    have in process at once? • Fast delivery ✔ • Keeping pace ✔ • Bored People • Mediocre quality • Seen as overstaffed • Slow delivery • Not Keeping Pace • Team Burnout • Poor quality • No time for improvement • Fast delivery • Keeping pace • Team challenged, not overwhelmed • Low # of bugs / High Customer Satisfaction scores ✔ Introducing a WiP limit of 20 items for the team as a whole will provide more lagom outcomes. • 20 Item Limit; exceed only for stop the line events • Monthly metrics review: Flow Efficiency, Throughput, Cycle Time, Quality, Team Satisfaction. Keeping better pace with requests and reducing burnout. Quality is static. Adhered to WIP limit 60% of time. on the right track
  32. @everydaykanban | @TeamLagom !32 #LeanAgileUS19 Do you need to tweak

    the plan & continue or make a new hypothesis? Plan - Do - Study - Act
  33. @everydaykanban | @TeamLagom !33 #LeanAgileUS19 How much work should we

    have in process at once? • Fast delivery ✔ • Keeping pace ✔ • Bored People • Mediocre quality • Seen as overstaffed • Slow delivery • Not Keeping Pace • Team Burnout • Poor quality • No time for improvement • Fast delivery • Keeping pace • Team challenged, not overwhelmed • Low # of bugs / High Customer Satisfaction scores ✔ Introducing a WiP limit of 20 items for the team as a whole will provide more lagom outcomes. • 20 Item Limit; exceed only for stop the line events • Monthly metrics review: Flow Efficiency, Throughput, Cycle Time, Quality, Team Satisfaction. Keeping better pace with requests and reducing burnout. Quality is static. Adhered to WIP limit 60% of time. on the right track Reduce WiP Limit to 15 until we can reduce stop the line events. Check in 30d.
  34. @everydaykanban | @TeamLagom !34 #LeanAgileUS19 Celebrate!

  35. @everydaykanban | @TeamLagom !35 #LeanAgileUS19 Work to maintain Lagom

  36. @everydaykanban | @TeamLagom !36 #LeanAgileUS19 Bringing it all together

  37. Drucker’s Law You will achieve the greatest results in business

    and career if you 
 drop the word “achievement” 
 from your vocabulary and 
 replace it with “contribution”. @everydaykanban | @TeamLagom !37 #LeanAgileUS19
  38. @everydaykanban | @TeamLagom !38 #LeanAgileUS19 julia@lagom.solutions @everydaykanban & @TeamLagom https://lagom.solutions

    http://everydaykanban.com https://www.linkedin.com/in/juliawester/ Contact me to talk more