Tame your Work Flow

TameFlow is directed at knowledge-based organizations, or functions within large organizations, that are under constant pressure to deliver more and more answers to various requests. So, it covers a wide variety of organizations and functions.

TameFlow also challenges the mind of the reader. It raises various mental models, paradigms in my own terminology, which are widely used in such functions and put them under intellectual testing. I think this stretch of the mind is really useful. I truly believe that any person who uses either the traditional way of managing the flow of work or using the Kanban Method, should read the book in order to challenge himself/herself whether the pros and cons of the current way are logically clear.

To my mind the key need for the book is that it tackles a major universal problem causing many organizations to be trapped in a vicious cycle.

Many, probably most, large organizations, certainly corporations, find themselves constrained by their IT department, and the situation is getting worse with the growing flow of new technologies that seem to solve problems, but also cause huge damage. Almost all new technologies and innovative ideas depend on IT. So, organizations whose core capabilities and business are not in IT, are actually constrained by the capacity (sometimes also by lack of the appropriate capability) of their internal IT function. The continuation of a stream of new IT functionality, let it be the Cloud techniques, Artificial Technology (AI), Business Intelligence (BI), cyber protection or massive digitization (Industry 4.0) puts unbearable burden on the IT department to the extent that its performance becomes chaotic. Keep in mind that every IT department has to keep on supporting the users with all the current software and hardware requirements.

I suggest that every organization has to manage at least two critical flows. The first one, The Flow of Value, includes all the parts of the way the organization delivers value to its customers.

The second flow, The Flow of Initiatives, consists of all efforts to improve the Flow of Value in the future. When the IT is a bottleneck it blocks mainly the Flow of Initiatives. It endangers the competitive advantage of the company in the future. All top management of banks would agree to this assertion. All manufacturing organizations are facing a flood of new software functionalities to support Industry 4.0. How much of those can the current IT department implement successfully while continuing to manage all the ongoing requests?

TameFlow offers a combined approach of the Theory of Constraints (TOC) and the Kanban Method, and it challenges the mental models of the reader along the way. When this is directed at the constraint for the growth of the entire organization I rationally conclude that reading the book is a very beneficial start to deal with the source of the pain.