We need more people with an end-to-end mindset 💪

How to reduce lead time and increase the quality of your software products

The problem

I have personally witnessed projects where time was spent like this:

45% discussing concept, trying to perfect everything
10% implementation
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 🧁

  1. Improving handovers by improving communication (e.g. by being co-located or using better remote tools such as tandem and miro)
  2. 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

  • 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.

Product Strategist, Founder, UX