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Priority Lists Don't Work - FlowConf 2021

19d30421b4d54d3e621f04e44a0aeda5?s=47 SquirrelNorth
December 06, 2021

Priority Lists Don't Work - FlowConf 2021

Presented at Flow Conf 2021.
Lists are a snapshot of the output of some more robust criteria. They represent a 1-dimensional view of multiple dimensional problems. This makes them fragile. The good news is, Kanban helps you manage it all in a more robust way.

19d30421b4d54d3e621f04e44a0aeda5?s=128

SquirrelNorth

December 06, 2021
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  1. s q u i r r e l n o

    r t h . c o m SquirrelNorth s q u i r r e l n o r t h . c o m SquirrelNorth PRIORITY LISTS DON’T WORK SquirrelNorth MARTIN AZIZ martin@squirrelnorth.com
  2. s q u i r r e l n o

    r t h . c o m SquirrelNorth s q u i r r e l n o r t h . c o m SquirrelNorth THE FIRST PRIORITY LIST *Possibly
  3. s q u i r r e l n o

    r t h . c o m SquirrelNorth s q u i r r e l n o r t h . c o m SquirrelNorth Born: September 15, 1984 PRINCE HARRY
  4. s q u i r r e l n o

    r t h . c o m SquirrelNorth s q u i r r e l n o r t h . c o m SquirrelNorth Prince Harry British Line of Succession on 15 September 1984 (the priority list) Prince Andrew Prince William Prince Charles Prince Edward 1 2 4 5 3
  5. s q u i r r e l n o

    r t h . c o m SquirrelNorth s q u i r r e l n o r t h . c o m SquirrelNorth Prince Harry 2013 (bye-bye Prince Edward) Prince Andrew Prince William Prince Charles 1 2 3 5 4 Prince George
  6. s q u i r r e l n o

    r t h . c o m SquirrelNorth s q u i r r e l n o r t h . c o m SquirrelNorth Prince Harry 2015 (the priority list says bye-bye Prince Andrew) Princess Charlotte Prince William Prince Charles 1 2 3 4 5 Prince George
  7. s q u i r r e l n o

    r t h . c o m SquirrelNorth s q u i r r e l n o r t h . c o m SquirrelNorth Prince Harry (and Meghan Markle) 2018-2021 (lets make this top 6 now!) Princess Charlotte Prince William Prince Charles 1 2 3 4 6 Prince George 5 Prince Louis
  8. s q u i r r e l n o

    r t h . c o m SquirrelNorth s q u i r r e l n o r t h . c o m SquirrelNorth Prince Harry (and Meghan Markle) Princess Charlotte Prince William Prince Charles 1 2 3 4 6 Prince George 5 Prince Louis top 2 More Stable Spots. Is there value past 3?
  9. s q u i r r e l n o

    r t h . c o m SquirrelNorth s q u i r r e l n o r t h . c o m SquirrelNorth LISTS 1984 2013 2015 2018 The line of Succession List Changed every 2 to 29 years Prince Harry 1 2 4 5 3 Prince Harry 1 2 3 5 4 Prince Harry 1 2 3 4 5 Prince Harry (and Meghan Markle) 1 2 3 4 6 5
  10. s q u i r r e l n o

    r t h . c o m SquirrelNorth s q u i r r e l n o r t h . c o m SquirrelNorth LISTS 1984 2013 2015 2018 1701 Act of Settlement Bill of Rights 1689 Criteria for British Succession Unchanged 300+ Years The line of Succession List Changed every 2 to 29 years CRITERIA Prince Harry 1 2 4 5 3 Prince Harry 1 2 3 5 4 Prince Harry 1 2 3 4 5 Prince Harry (and Meghan Markle) 1 2 3 4 6 5
  11. s q u i r r e l n o

    r t h . c o m SquirrelNorth s q u i r r e l n o r t h . c o m SquirrelNorth LISTS 1984 2013 2015 2018 1701 Act of Settlement Bill of Rights 1689 Criteria for British Succession Unchanged 300+ Years The line of Succession List Changed every 2 to 29 years CRITERIA ARE ROBUST Prince Harry 1 2 4 5 3 Prince Harry 1 2 3 5 4 Prince Harry 1 2 3 4 5 Prince Harry (and Meghan Markle) 1 2 3 4 6 5
  12. s q u i r r e l n o

    r t h . c o m SquirrelNorth s q u i r r e l n o r t h . c o m SquirrelNorth LISTS ARE FRAGILE 1984 2013 2015 2018 1701 Act of Settlement Bill of Rights 1689 Criteria for British Succession Unchanged 300+ Years The line of Succession List Changed every 2 to 29 years CRITERIA ARE ROBUST Prince Harry 1 2 4 5 3 Prince Harry 1 2 3 5 4 Prince Harry 1 2 3 4 5 Prince Harry (and Meghan Markle) 1 2 3 4 6 5
  13. s q u i r r e l n o

    r t h . c o m SquirrelNorth s q u i r r e l n o r t h . c o m SquirrelNorth PRIORITY LISTS ARE FRAGILE PRIORITY LIST Lists are a snapshot of the output of some more robust criteria. Priority lists are a 1- dimensional solution to a multi-dimensional problem. It’s like a soup. We need to look at the ingredients list.
  14. s q u i r r e l n o

    r t h . c o m SquirrelNorth s q u i r r e l n o r t h . c o m SquirrelNorth 4 REASONs PRIORITY LISTS ARE FRAGILE PRIORITY LIST #1 Optionality
  15. s q u i r r e l n o

    r t h . c o m SquirrelNorth s q u i r r e l n o r t h . c o m SquirrelNorth “Have you ever created a list of priorities of approved items to be worked on, only to later discover that many of the items lower on the list never seem to get started?” 1 Never gets done. Likely to get done. Likely to get done. Optionality
  16. s q u i r r e l n o

    r t h . c o m SquirrelNorth s q u i r r e l n o r t h . c o m SquirrelNorth OPTIONALITY If this was a hospital emergency department. Someone with a high fever is a good option to treat, as well as someone who has a headache. Someone with a toothache is a poor option and is best advised to seek a dentist instead.
  17. s q u i r r e l n o

    r t h . c o m SquirrelNorth s q u i r r e l n o r t h . c o m SquirrelNorth OPTIONALITY ALL APPROVED Poor option. Great option. Good option. Everything on the priority list is assumed to be approved. Even things we will likely never do. They are unlikely to make it to the top of the list. Can we make them optional? S E E N A S A L I S T S E E N A S A O P T I O N S
  18. s q u i r r e l n o

    r t h . c o m SquirrelNorth s q u i r r e l n o r t h . c o m SquirrelNorth OPTIONALITY In Kanban we replace the priority list with a funneling system designed to develop and martial options. We sometimes call this system “Upstream Kanban,” some also referred to as “Discovery Kanban” DOWNSTREAM DELIVERY BOTTLENECK SELECTION CRITERIA COMMITMENT POINT
  19. s q u i r r e l n o

    r t h . c o m SquirrelNorth s q u i r r e l n o r t h . c o m SquirrelNorth OPTIONALITY The best options make it the furthest to the right. SELECTION CRITERIA COMMITMENT POINT Finding the best options is about assessing to risk categories: 1. Market Risks 2. Technical (implementation) Risks
  20. s q u i r r e l n o

    r t h . c o m SquirrelNorth s q u i r r e l n o r t h . c o m SquirrelNorth OPTIONALITY We can visualize our upstream process on a Kanban Board.
  21. s q u i r r e l n o

    r t h . c o m SquirrelNorth s q u i r r e l n o r t h . c o m SquirrelNorth 4 REASONS PRIORITY LISTS ARE FRAGILE PRIORITY LIST #2 COMMITMENT TO START
  22. s q u i r r e l n o

    r t h . c o m SquirrelNorth s q u i r r e l n o r t h . c o m SquirrelNorth “You’ve identified a few good options. But we have more good options than resources to allocate to all the options.” This means we will need to look at our options and figure out which to start working on now, and which can wait. 2 CAPACITY TO DO Good option. Good option. Good option. Good option. Good option. CAPACITY TO DO ALL GOOD OPTIONS COMMITMENT TO START
  23. s q u i r r e l n o

    r t h . c o m SquirrelNorth s q u i r r e l n o r t h . c o m SquirrelNorth COMMITMENT TO START Back at the hospital, this may mean we need to make some patients wait. We commit to start working on the fever patient before the headache patient. Waiting on the fever patient holds more delay risk. NOW LATER
  24. s q u i r r e l n o

    r t h . c o m SquirrelNorth s q u i r r e l n o r t h . c o m SquirrelNorth We need a system to distinguish between good options and commitments to start. We need to develop criteria to select options to commit to. The criteria needs to manage delay risk. DOWNSTREAM DELIVERY BOTTLENECK SELECTION CRITERIA COMMITMENT POINT COMMITMENT TO START COMMITMENT POINT
  25. s q u i r r e l n o

    r t h . c o m SquirrelNorth s q u i r r e l n o r t h . c o m SquirrelNorth We can visualize our commitment point on a Kanban Board. We can develop Explicit Policies that fulfill our selection criteria. We can determine the cadence at which we commit. We call this Replenishment. COMMITMENT TO START
  26. s q u i r r e l n o

    r t h . c o m SquirrelNorth s q u i r r e l n o r t h . c o m SquirrelNorth 4 REASONS PRIORITY LISTS ARE FRAGILE PRIORITY LIST #3 CLASS OF SERVICE
  27. s q u i r r e l n o

    r t h . c o m SquirrelNorth s q u i r r e l n o r t h . c o m SquirrelNorth “Once we start working on something, does all work get the same access to resources?” CLASS OF SERVICE OPTIONS DOING All same priority? 3
  28. s q u i r r e l n o

    r t h . c o m SquirrelNorth s q u i r r e l n o r t h . c o m SquirrelNorth CLASS OF SERVICE At the hospital, while our fever patient has begun treatment, someone suffering from a stroke has arrived by ambulance. The fever patient, now that they are stable, will have to wait for further treatment as the hospital’s focus shifts to the heart attack patient. PAUSE FOCUS Both patients are admitted, but they have different delay risk.
  29. s q u i r r e l n o

    r t h . c o m SquirrelNorth s q u i r r e l n o r t h . c o m SquirrelNorth CLASS OF SERVICE PAUSE FOCUS We pause or slow down work that can handle delays. We give the type of work that can not handle delay extra attention and more resources
  30. s q u i r r e l n o

    r t h . c o m SquirrelNorth s q u i r r e l n o r t h . c o m SquirrelNorth CLASS OF SERVICE DOWNSTREAM DELIVERY BOTTLENECK SELECTION CRITERIA COMMITMENT POINT We need to identify options in our backlog that can not wait. We need to know when we need to expedite commitment. We need to understand existing delivery commitments and whether they require expedited delivery.
  31. s q u i r r e l n o

    r t h . c o m SquirrelNorth s q u i r r e l n o r t h . c o m SquirrelNorth With Kanban we can formalize different classes of service that are available and visualize them on our boards. In this example colour is used to denote that a special class of service is being applied to these tickets. CLASS OF SERVICE EXPEDITE COMMITMENT EXPEDITE DELIVERY
  32. s q u i r r e l n o

    r t h . c o m SquirrelNorth s q u i r r e l n o r t h . c o m SquirrelNorth 4 REASONS PRIORITY LISTS ARE FRAGILE PRIORITY LIST #4 Capacity Allocation
  33. s q u i r r e l n o

    r t h . c o m SquirrelNorth s q u i r r e l n o r t h . c o m SquirrelNorth Not all items on a priority list impact the organization in the same way. For example we consider developing new functions to be more important vs improving existing functions. Do we ever make time to do the 2nd category of work? Capacity Allocation 4 Improvement never gets done. New function usually gets done.
  34. s q u i r r e l n o

    r t h . c o m SquirrelNorth s q u i r r e l n o r t h . c o m SquirrelNorth Capacity Allocation At the hospital, we know that treating a critical patient is more urgent in comparison to keeping the floors clean. However, both are important in order for the hospital to operate. The hospital has carved out separate capacity allocations to meet both of those needs.
  35. s q u i r r e l n o

    r t h . c o m SquirrelNorth s q u i r r e l n o r t h . c o m SquirrelNorth Capacity Allocation STILL NEEDED CRITICAL It may mean that there is a certain percentage of staff that are devoted to cleaning rather than treating patients.
  36. s q u i r r e l n o

    r t h . c o m SquirrelNorth s q u i r r e l n o r t h . c o m SquirrelNorth Your organization has a variety of needs. All required, but not equally important. They all need attention, but not at the same level. Capacity Allocation IMPORTANCE CLASIFICATION
  37. s q u i r r e l n o

    r t h . c o m SquirrelNorth s q u i r r e l n o r t h . c o m SquirrelNorth In Kanban we leverage Work in Process Limits, to operate and visualize our capacity allocation strategy. Capacity Allocation
  38. s q u i r r e l n o

    r t h . c o m SquirrelNorth s q u i r r e l n o r t h . c o m SquirrelNorth 4 REASONS PRIORITY LISTS ARE FRAGILE
  39. s q u i r r e l n o

    r t h . c o m SquirrelNorth s q u i r r e l n o r t h . c o m SquirrelNorth PRIORITY LISTS ARE FRAGILE Priority lists are a 1-dimensional solution to a multi-dimensional problem. Kanban helps you manage it all.
  40. s q u i r r e l n o

    r t h . c o m SquirrelNorth s q u i r r e l n o r t h . c o m SquirrelNorth PRIORITY LISTS DON’T WORK SquirrelNorth THANK YOU! …AND REMEMBER PRINCE HARRY. MARTIN AZIZ martin@squirrelnorth.com