The age-old notion of resource utilisation stems from the world of machinery, where the more a machine runs, the more value it produces. However, when applied to human beings, especially in agile teams, this concept becomes flawed. People aren’t machines. They need time to think, reflect, and innovate. The idea that every hour should be filled with direct work is not only unrealistic but counterproductive.

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Martin shares a fascinating experiment where the working hours of a team were reduced progressively every sprint. Starting from a 40-hour week, an hour was deducted every subsequent sprint. The intriguing result? The team’s value delivery only began to suffer when they reached a 16-hour week. This experiment underscores the fact that it’s not about how long you work but how effectively you use that time. The remaining hours were spent on ideation, problem-solving, and innovative thinking – aspects that don’t necessarily translate to direct work but are crucial for delivering value.

It’s time we shift our focus from the outdated metric of resource utilisation to the more relevant measure of flow efficiency and value delivery. After all, the ultimate goal is customer satisfaction and return on investment, not merely keeping everyone ‘busy’.

NKDAgility can help!

If you find it hard to strike the right balance between work hours and value delivery, or if you’re unsure about how to measure true productivity, my team at NKDAgility can guide you. We’re here to assist or help you find a consultant, coach, or trainer who can.

Issues that hamper the effectiveness of your value delivery shouldn’t be ignored. Act now, don’t delay.

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