In my previous post, we saw Tarzan swinging alone from one vine to another… and he was amazingly fast! We also saw Michael Phelps… swimming alone, and he was amazingly fast as well.
Two great analogies for Agile Teams that can deliver things of Value by themselves. The Agile Team is self-contained, cross-trained (members are T-shaped skill), self-organizing, self-managing, and they have everything they need to deliver Value.
Same analogy is true for an ART — it has cross-functional members… and, just like the Agile Teams, this team of Agile Teams is also self-organizing and self-managing and has everyone and everything it needs to define, deliver, and operate solutions.
Let us go back to Tarzan. Suppose, Tarzan faces significant dependencies… like the presence of available Vines for him to swing from one place to another. He then needs to stop and think of efficient ways to go from point a to point b with this dependency he is facing. Are there routes that has ample Vines in order to minimize the possibility of fewer number of available Vines? Can he manage to find other available Vines quickly? Can he pre-setup his route so that available Vines are there and totally eliminate the possibility of lack of Vines?
Agile Teams and ART do the same: minimize, manage or eliminate dependencies.
The ART Planning Board (used to be called “Program Board”) is there to help visualize, solve for, and manage dependencies.
Sequencing. Finding the right sequence is key to success. Sometimes, the sequence is built into the system. If that sequence is violated, expectation of everyone following that sequence is violated or not met, then it yields a chain of disastrous consequences.
Consider a busy highway. Early morning. Lots of cars on the highway on all lanes.
Also, early walkers — with their dogs — trying to cross the highway.
The stop light must happen first before the walkers — with their dogs — can cross. Can you imagine if the man in the picture, with his dog alongside him, crosses the highway without waiting for stop sign turn into red color? A chain of disastrous consequence will happen.
BTW, the man and the dog on the picture have dependency between them.
The same is true in our “Factory”. There are policies and rules that would be considered as we sequence our work (that could have a chain of significant dependencies between them)… with our eyes focused on the delivery of Value with the least sustainable Lead Time.