- File Size: 10758 KB
- Print Length: 241 pages
- Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1942788150
- Publisher: IT Revolution Press; 1 edition (November 14, 2017)
- Publication Date: November 14, 2017
- Sold by: Amazon.com Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B076BYZ6VN
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Not Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #70,546 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
|Digital List Price:||$21.99|
|Print List Price:||$21.99|
Save $12.00 (55%)
Making Work Visible: Exposing Time Theft to Optimize Work & Flow Kindle Edition
Customers reported quality issues in this eBook. This eBook has: Typos.
The publisher has been notified to correct these issues.
Quality issues reported
|Length: 241 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||
Switch back and forth between reading the Kindle book and listening to the Audible book with Whispersync for Voice. Add the Audible book for a reduced price of $7.49 when you buy the Kindle book.
- Due to its large file size, this book may take longer to download
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Customers who bought this item also bought
I love this book! Dominica DeGrandis talks about the chronic problems we all have in knowledge work and technology work in a way that is breezy, familiar,and often irreverent, but also shows off decades of learnings and concrete techniques we can quickly adopt, both at work and at home. Also wonderfully rewarding is when DeGrandis describes the theory of why these practices work,in a way that is accessible and enlightening -- Gene Kim
The most practical book I've seen on making processes lean. Dominica's deep experience coaching companies is fully on display as she walks the reader through a series of exercises to find waste and eliminate it―or, in her terms,to catch those sneaky "time thieves" in the act. Read this on a Sunday and you'll want to start trying out the exercises on Monday! -- Mark Schwartz
Many of us wear our busyness as a badge of honor. In Making Work Visible,Dominica DeGrandis shows us how we can make hidden work-in-process visible, to clearly see the effect it has on our ability to get things done. Once we can see it, she dives deep into the hidden aspects of our WIP that steal our time, energy, and productivity, along with strategies for combating each of them. Making Work Visible helps us to take a step back from all that busyness and really see. -- Chris Hafley, Chief Revenue Officer, Retrium --This text refers to the paperback edition.
About the Author
--This text refers to the paperback edition.
Would you like to tell us about a lower price?
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
Why It Mattered To Me
I was two months into my journey as a manager for a small technical team whose primary responsibility was to manage an overwhelmingly active queue of support requests.
I was struggling with two major tensions:
1. "How do I know the work we're doing is the right work for the right time?"
2. "How do I ensure we're able to be effective?"
I wanted to increase our internal customers' velocity and happiness by decreasing the request resolution time without increasing risk (production systems) or hours at work.
I was uncertain (and lacked confidence) of how to best visualize the team's work to uncover our constraints (what Making Work Visible calls Time Thieves).
Making Work Visible equipped me with tools to ask the right questions to find clarity about my tensions and overcome my lack of confidence. In the short amount of time between finishing the book and now, my team has made a number of small changes to help us expose the 5 time thieves. In the past two weeks, I've received feedback that these changes have made our internal customers feel better supported and engaged, given back our sibling teams time to spend on planned work without increasing headcount or the amount of hours my team is working (my next goal is to reduce the amount of hours we spend on this work).
Setup a workflow system to do five things:
The solution is to design and use a workflow system that does the following five things: Make work visible. Limit work-in-progress (WIP). Measure and manage the flow of work. Prioritize effectively (this one may be a challenge, but stay with me—I’ll show you how). Make adjustments based on learnings from feedback and metrics.
Exposing The 5 Time Thieves
Making Work Visible has a number of exercises to try out with teams to expose the time thieves. The ones that resonated with me to start with were "Explore the Five Reasons Why We Take on More WIP" & "Demand Analysis".
How Is Work Prioritized
There's the way you want work to be prioritized and the way it is prioritized. Creating a label for who asks for a task, tracking whether it's planned or unplanned, and how compelled we are to get it done will enable us to determine how the work is truly prioritized. If we can be aware of how work is expected to be prioritized, we can have a deeper discussion with the person who asks for that work to help us increase visibility into the things they're going to ask for with more notice.
"Lean Coffee"—a meeting format created by Jim Benson:
Lean Coffee turns traditional, one-direction management meetings on its head by helping teams uncover the most important topics to the majority of people, by allowing everyone to hear and to be heard, and by providing real-time feedback.
I've always disliked agenda-less meetings, but the idea of a meeting that's purpose is to determine what the important topics are and talk about those topics? That's a meeting format I can get behind. I'm excited to try this style of meeting out with my team (as well as a few non-work meetings I'm a part of) to uncover what's really important and needs to be talked about and talking about those topics.
Other Topics I Learned About:
- 5 Time Thieves
- Flow time
- Operations Reviews
- Queueing Theory
Some Favorite Highlights
We allow the chaos of modern work coupled with an often paralyzing number of options at our disposal to overload us, to distract us, to stealthily steal our time and focus and ultimately impede our effectiveness.
All it takes is a shift from haphazardly saying yes to everything to deliberately saying yes to only the most important thing at that time. And to do it visually.
Indeed, time is sacred. Treat it as such. Visualize your work. Limit the amount of work you take on. Pay attention to its flow. Build thoughtful work systems to reflect what really matters. To breathe. To think. To learn. To grow. To play. To love. To live. For it is in working well that we can live well.
Book recommendations abound. There were at least 4 other books that Dominica mentioned that caught my attention and are now on my list of books to read.
Quotes. Every chapter starts with a quote and I found myself highlighting almost every one.
Who Should Read It?
If someone has asked you "how are you doing?" and you responded with, "I'm (SO,TOO,VERY) busy!" or "I'm working way too much.", read this book.
If you are on a team where no one knows what anyone else is doing, read this book.
If you know you could be completing (operative word) more work in less time but can't determine why you're unable to do it, read this book.
If you find yourself with a million things to do and you suffer from deciding where to start, read this book.
This book doesn't encourage overwork or hero mentality, rather it gives you the tools to ask, "how can I be more effective without spending an insane amount of hours working?"
There are a ton of great Agile books out there. Jeff Sutherland's work on Scrum is fantastic as is Tobias Meyers. There's also Eric Reis and Mike Rother's books on Lean Methodology and the Toyota production method. If you are in IT I would add people like Gene Kim and Jez Humble. You should read all of these books - all of them - but not before you read Making Work Visible by Dominica Degrandis. Making work visible is the agile book we never knew we needed. It's the agile book for those of us who are reading these books because we are swimming in the soup of dysfunctional process and monolithic applications that are their own chaos monkeys.
She starts with identifying the five "thieves of time" - the soul sucking, productivity evaporating problems that make life miserable. However, in addition to naming the thieves she gives several exercises where you can identify the impact of each of the time thieves in your organization. She then moves on to ways that you can continue to do battle with those time thieves and limit their impact on your organization. She concludes with several loosely connected but nevertheless important ideas around how to handle meetings, do metrics and eliminate costly and ineffective bureaucratic methods which really add no value at all.
It should be said that the author of the book is a proponent of the Kanban methodology. Full disclosure, I am also a proponent of this methodology. That said, this book is pretty adaptable whatever your chosen methodology is.
A suggestion to the author and (and her publisher) why not follow this up with a companion workbook? It would be a great way to give organizations a working method of processing the fantastic ideas in the book. All in all this extremely practical, extremely helpful book will go on to occupy an essential spot on the bookshelf of anyone who is trying to improve their organizations.
Tell you what I won't do: get a physical board and stick postit notes on it. That's what she's proposing. I'm sorry, but I won't do that. It's very easy for these consultants, while on their workshops, to get out big whiteboards and stick postit notes on them.
Vert romantic, but wrong. I'm working with JIRA at work, and am limited by it. I won't change from JIRA to postits, because JIRA has a lot of benefits, mostly regarding communication with stakeholders from other offices.
Then regarding the time thieves however, I think there are good ideas there. Mostly I got the argument that when there's too much WIP, stuff gets done slower, mostly because of context switches, then because of failure demand, which can lead to more hurrying up, which will lead to technical debt, which leads to invisible work...so yes, bad team patterns amplify each other - that argument makes sense.
What this book lacks completely is some kind of numeric support. There are no published reports of what happens when a certain strategy (limiting WIP for example) was used. There's absolutely nothing else in this book except for arguments which sound ok in principle, and stuff to try out, and see if it helps. Now that's perfectly fine, but it's also the reason why for me this book only gets 3 stars.
I wouldn't recommend this book to people who want concrete solutions to team problems. Except for "limit WIP" there isn't much I got.
This book feelsnvery much like "preaching to the choir". If you already agreed with her conclusions, her arguments might seem compelling. That's a human bias though, and if you look at the actual arguments on their own, there's really not much convincing power in this book.
Top international reviews
I had the pleasure of meeting Dominica when she was referred to me as the best Lean-Agile Operations focused individual around. A referral I treasure and this book substantiates why. Simple, focused, Theory followed by experience followed by examples and helpful exercises. What a great way to learn how to create conversations that matter around the work you are expected to do, are doing, have delivered or want to improve.
Parts are sometimes repetitive. Sometimes preachy. But useful.