Disciplined Agile

Simplicity Factor: How Workload Relates To Capacity

Why Look at This

When workload exceeds capacity, people tend to multi-task. This creates may problems.

  • People become less effective
  • There are delays in the workflow and delays in getting feedback… and this creates waste
  • There are delays the realization of value
  • People cannot / do not collaborate 

Symptoms That Work Load Is Beyond Capacity

  • People are working on too many projects
  • Work takes much longer than it should
  • Projects being worked on by many people part time

What Causes This

Common causes are:

  • There is no controlled intake process. Note that the intake process includes how work waiting to be started is sized and sequenced.
  • Product managers tell teams what they have to work on
  • No list of work in process across the development organization is being maintained
  • The work to be started is larger than it needs to be
  • MVPs are being used improperly

What We Want To Achieve

Work being pulled by the teams when they have the capacity to do the work.

Common Solutions

The intake process is usually the weak point when teams are overloaded. It is the first place to look for improvement. Reasons for this include that this can be done with minimal reorganization of the value streams. It also has the greatest impact on the value streams since it sets up how much and what people work on.

  • Create visibility on all work in the system
  • Right-size the work waiting to be started using MVPs and MBIs appropriately
  • Sequence work to be pulled
  • Create a focus on finishing

Additional Factors that Influence Workflow and Capacity