Flight Levels Blog
Manage Flow, Not People – #FlightClub with Rochelle Roos and Mike Freislich

Manage Flow, Not People – #FlightClub with Rochelle Roos and Mike Freislich

Cliff Hazell

Last night we had the fun privilege of talking with Rochelle Roos and Mike Freislich for Flight Club.

Check out the recording

Our conversation covered some of our thinking on this topic, and we mixed in some excellent questions from the Audience.

Below is a short summary of what we discussed

Why not people?

In short… Too often we focus on keeping our people busy as if thats the top priority, when its actually delivering value to our customers.

Being busy doesn’t mean we’re creating customer value.

We say Flow is better, but of what?

“Customer Value” is perhaps too generic, usually this takes the form of a project, or initiative of some kind. The point is more that focusing on individual tasks or stories for example, isn’t as helpful.

We need to complete all the parts of a project before we can deliver it.

What does managing flow look like?

First we need to know whats most important. Specifically having 1 things at the top, not 17. Second we focus on keeping that moving, and not waiting. So not handing off between enormous backlogs, but switching to #1 as soon as it arrives.

So if we need Marketing, and then HR to help with something, we should have number 17 blocking number 1.

How does Flight Levels help in establishing flow?

Usually many teams are required to build something for a customer.

When we build Flight Level 2 Systems, we bring multiple folks from each team together and build a board that visualises all the work across these multiple teams that are needed.

This way we can see what is #1, and through regular syncing keeping #1 moving and upblocked as much as possible.

How would we know if it’s working?

#1 should move more consitently, and faster.

Typically number 17 should move slow. But this is good.

Also, most of us should now be clear on whats #1, and it’s less of an issue if someone doesn’t know what #17 is.

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Cliff Hazell Cliff has made a career out of breaking down the obstacles that stand in the way of great work. He is often challenging the status quo in his quest to develop the right culture and systems for creation of excellent Companies and Products. After a tour of addresses across South Africa, Cliff moved to Stockholm where he led a team of Coaches at Spotify for 4 years. Now having founded Flight Levels Academy, focuses on helping companies establish the Missing Links between Strategy and Operational Agility.

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