As a first step towards dealing with an over-loaded development team, we showed an organization how to visualize their work by representing work items with Post-its on the wall, flowing from to-do, to in progress, testing and done. The organization quickly catched the idea, and soon priorities were respected, deliveries became more predictable, and developers had a process to improve.
Which is what they did, and after some time we saw a new work pattern emerge:
- A product owner identifies a need and wants a designer to work on the details
- The designer grabs the task and sketches out a solution
- Developer tasks can now be defined, and they go into a special planning column, which gradually started to increase in size
Things are finally happening
Although tasks are completed at this point, the need is still not solved. Nevertheless, the message becomes: “Hold on tight everyone, things are finally happening now,” and while waiting for it, the product owner may start working on even more needs, which creates even more work for the designers, and subsequently even more tasks for the developers.
Which is what they did.