We need more people with an end-to-end mindset 💪
How to reduce lead time and increase the quality of your software products
In most companies, we have a large number of specialists who are only responsible for a very small part of the work along the value chain. As the work moves from one expert/silo to another, the handovers cause an incredible amount of overhead.
I have personally witnessed projects where time was spent like this:
45% discussing concept, trying to perfect everything
45% fixing all the shit from communication issues, concept issues, etc
Tickets went back and forth several times between specialists and as a result, we had lead times of weeks and months. A very time-consuming and nerve-wracking process. This is crazy!
The solution 🧁
There are two ways to tackle this:
- Improving handovers by improving communication (e.g. by being co-located or using better remote tools such as tandem and miro)
- Eliminating handovers altogether.
As a lean thinker I always prefer to tackle the root-cause, which in this case means eliminating handovers. In recent years, I have experimented with different approaches and found these 6 ways to work very well:
6 ways to get rid of handovers
- Enable your team with better infrastructure. E.g. enable PMs to change copy completely on their own, enable developers to create new UI based on design systems + pre-defined components, enable marketeers to create landing pages with no-code-tools such as webflow.
- Create shared ownership & establish clear rules. Ask for apology not permission. Pull-request mindset. Everyone in the team is responsible for good design & good product.
- Limit team WIP to something like n+2. E.g. for a team of 5, you might not work on more than 7 tickets in parallel.
- Eliminate steps on the Kanban board. Too many steps foster silo thinking.
- Increase pairing a lot. Depending on your context, you might want to go as extreme as 50%.
- Push your mindset. Accept that you operate outside of your mastery and achieve an end-to-end mindset: Anyone can do anything.
Eliminating handovers helped me and my teams to achieve lead times of days and weeks, increase overall quality and deeper engagement. And it was more fun.
Let me know what you think 🤔 and share your experience on how you got rid of handovers.