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Lukasz Szyrmer is an author, an award-winning public speaker, a mentor, teacher, and community activist. He enjoys the challenge of distilling complex technical and organizational ideas down to their essence, so that others can benefit. He has previously inspired many people to systematic self-improvement. With a background in economics and finance, he currently develops multithreaded, real-time financial software for hedge funds in C++ and C#, and also contributes to product management. Lukasz is a DZone MVB and is not an employee of DZone and has posted 7 posts at DZone. You can read more from them at their website. View Full User Profile

Not Sure About Priorities? Clear Your Big Bottleneck

04.10.2014
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There is a simple heuristic, which you can use to determine the top priority activity you can engage in-at any given moment. It comes out of the “lean manufacturing” camp. It can apply to a business as a whole, a specific product and its backlog. Your developers typically apply it, when improving software performance. Now you can use it in the context of your product development process.

Your biggest priority at any given moment is clearing your biggest bottleneck. This will give the largest non-linear jump forwards in system productivity, because of the Herbie problem . This includes business productivity (read profit). Cycle time goes down. You reduce “friction” around production.

Once you clear a bottleneck, you create another one (a relatively smaller one) elsewhere. This is the nature of this game. Then clearing that bottleneck will give you the highest possible non-linear improvement in the output of the business as a whole. In that context, if you aren’t releasing your software to production automagically with every check-in, you have bottlenecks to clear. :)

The end game of clearing bottlenecks is simple. You become a “pull-based” organization. You can respond immediately to customer requests, if you want to, if you need to, or if it tickles your fancy. That’s a pretty valuable place to be.

Published at DZone with permission of Lukasz Szyrmer, author and DZone MVB. (source)

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