Here is today’s episode of the “Campfire Talks with Herbie”.

TameFlow Community Member: Mario Latreille

Mario Latreille

Name (and Company/Affiliation if desired)

Mario Latreille

Who are you?

Mario Latreille brings a mix of experience and theoretical knowledge through 20+ years of large-scale delivery leadership on an international stage. He is a SAFe, PMI and Tameflow Kanban certified practitioner, and has over 10 years of training and coaching experience.

Mr. Latreille thrives on disrupting the status quo for improving performance, with a focus on outcomes and the bottom line. He maintains a fresh perspective on delivery by continuously complementing his senior management coaching and mentoring experience with team-level facilitation.

How did you get involved with Agile, Coaching, Organizational Performance - and in particular with TameFlow?

Very early in my career I worked in wireless telecoms, which was inherently agile in that MVx was a standard modus operandus. Building new networks that had to generate revenue ASAP required such an approach. In 1998 I took a course that favoured individual accountability, business objectives and satisfaction of all stakeholders, including the delivery teams. In 2007 I joined forces with the small consultancy that had developed this lean project delivery approach, coaching and mentoring client organizations with a “show & tell” method - i.e. delivering with the new approach.

My leadership style is naturally aligned with coaching; I saw an immediate fit.

As time went on, I progressively added more formal, lean-agile framework-specific pieces that would fit my context, naturally adopting a DAD evolutionary methodology.

Tameflow was introduced to me by Daniel Doiron. It came at a time when I was beginning to search for more advanced methods and tools; something that could help me take organizations to the next level. It struck an immediate chord!

Are you currently (or do you intend) making a living in this sector? And with TameFlow?

I’ve been making a living in this sector for about 13 years. With my CTT certification, I intend to begin conducting formal training in the near to mid-term.

Give us a typical day in your life!

These days I get up around 4am and immediately jump on calls with my overseas clients. My regular coaching and delivery facilitation day ends relatively early in my North American timezone, allowing me to workout in the afternoon, before I get back to continuous learning…

What makes you happy at the end of a day?

Honestly, making a different in the lives of others, be it professionally or personally. On the work front, I live to see incremental improvements in the speed and quality of what people can deliver.

What’s the most important skill or insight you’ve developed while getting involved with this industry?

Patience; the ability to let things take their course. It takes time to build a solid foundation

What are the greatest challenges on your path to using/improving the techniques you favor in this sector? Where do you see TameFlow in this?

Simply put: multi-tasking and treating everything as urgent. The principles espoused in Tameflow including new unconvention and sometime counter-intuitive mental models - more specifically, Throughput Accounting, focusing on the Constraint, limiting Work in Process, and even the obvious Wait Time reduction.

What are the greatest rewards you’ve had (personally or professionally) or would like to receive in this industry?

Simply put: delivering value in a timely manner. In fact, this is my definition of agility

What do you want to learn from a community of peers, like the one here TameFlow Community site?

Real world experience - what works and what is more challenging…and why?

What question(s) would you like to ask Steve, or what topics would you like him to develop ( in relation to the TameFlow Approach)?

How to promote Throughput Accounting in large, cost-focused organizations, in the knowledge work industries

If other TameFlow enthusiasts want to reach out to you, where do they find you? And what is your TameFlow Community handle?

My LinkedIn profile is the best place to start: https://www.linkedin.com/in/mariolatreille/

The community handle is mario.

Herbie talks about… How to bring Throughput Accounting to the attention of executive management

In answer to Mario’s question, if we are facing a situation where we are not in a condition to realize Pattern 1 - Leave No One Behind as described in chapter 21 “Patterns to Get Started!” in the Tame your Work Flow book, we need to resort to some tactics. As a reminder, the “Leave No One Behind” means literally that. In particular it means that even the CEO must be activey brought onboard any TameFlow initiative.

Full Kitting

The tactic is performed during the Full Kitting phase. While, as normally expected, the engineering side is presumed to provide time estimates - or better use probabilistic forecasting - for the work to be done, the new twist is that with the TameFlow Approach we expect the business side to estimate an explicit value (in hard $$$) of the work to be done.

Without such a value estimate the prioritization and selection techniques described in chapter 13 “Portfolio Prioritization and Selection in PEST Environments” (always in the Tame your Work Flow book) cannot be exercised.

With engineer providing a time estimate, and business providing a value estimate, it is possible to prioritize using Cost of Delay as the prioritizing criteria. An even more refined way is to use Financial Throughput Rate. But the key point is: in either the business side must provide value estimates.

Now if the business side is unable or unwilling to provide such estimates, then that is reason to escalate the issue to top management. It is not reasonable to hold engineering accountable for time estimates (which translate to cost estimates in a traditional Cost Accounting driven company), while at the same time business is not doing their part. One would ask the CEO if they are comfortable sustaining the costs of engineering without knowing what value they would get in return. Often that is enough for the CEO to demand that the business side figures out how to provide such value estimates.

Of course, in this interaction with the CEO the topics of Throughput Accounting, Cost of Delay, and Financial Throughput Rate will be introduced; and the CEO can be made aware of how the TameFlow Approach can have a tremendous impact on the bottom line.


If you found the topics in the “Campfire Talks with Herbie” interesting, there is much more to learn about them in the Tame your Work Flow, How Dr. Goldratt of “The Goal” would apply the Theory of Constraints to rethink knowledge-work management book.


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