Notes inspired by The Phoenix Project

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I’ve just read The Phoenix Project as research into my own change project. A few initial observations:

We need to eliminate anything that doesn’t add value to the customer and anything that represents dead time. Using Lean principles to eliminate waste should lead to greater productivity and customer satisfaction.

It requires taking a step back from the process to be able to differentiate between order and chaos.

There are 4 types of work – business projects, IT projects, changes and unplanned work. There are also 4 states of work – not started, doing, blocked and done. We should be working on planned work as often as possible, and work should either be in the “doing” or “done” stages. Anything else doesn’t add value, and anything unplanned only diverts from the planned work. But if we do get unplanned work, then we need to move it to the “done ” state as quickly as possible to we can get back to the planned work.

I’d like to try asking myself “what am I going to achieve?” at the start of each day, and then monitor and evaluate the eventual outputs of the day to see how it went. I should also start making a note of things that block me (interruptions, unplanned work, procrastination).

Some people need half a day a week just to do things that are not urgent, but that add value in other ways. How do we work this in? Ideas could be the 36+ hour week where people are around for longer, but only have to devote 36 hours to core work. Only really works with people who are not paid by-the-hour. I’ve done this in a few ways before – coming in early, lunchtime projects, and calculating when 36 hours is reached and doing different work after that point. Are these sorts of ideas feasible?