Productivity Paradox: Embracing Constraints to Drive 10x Performance

To achieve a 10x productivity revolution, it’s essential to challenge the belief that more resources lead to greater productivity. Not every resource request must feel like a tug of war when you make fewer of them. A focus on the skill level and effective utilisation of your resources make all the difference. Constraints can be helpful, especially when developing a product with undefined scope. By defining a set of constraints, you can keep your product on track to meet your desired outcomes.

The Theory of Constraints is a systematic approach to improving a system’s performance by identifying and addressing its limiting factors. Your organisation’s productivity is limited by its most critical constraint or bottleneck. By identifying and addressing these constraints, you can boost your productivity significantly. For example, in a manufacturing company, optimising the production line constraint can lead to improved overall productivity, knowledge work is not manufacturing to be however.

Another common constraint in many businesses is a key person everyone turns to for specific tasks. This individual may be one of the best on the team, with unique knowledge or the one who knows the process best. However, this can lead to a bottleneck if that individual is overworked or unavailable. Identifying such constraints and addressing them can lead to a significant boost in productivity.

By embracing the theories of constraints and other productivity approaches, like agile, lean, six sigma, design thinking, and systems thinking. You can drive a 10x productivity revolution in your organisation. Join me on my blog for more insights and tips on increasing productivity and achieving more with less. My book will be out in the next few weeks.

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Drive your teams productivity 10x: Why Backlogs are not just for development teams.

If you work as part of a technology team or are a product owner, you’ll be familiar with the concept of a ‘backlog.’ In short, a backlog consists of a list of incomplete work items, ideally in priority order and only containing items you can complete in a reasonable amount of time.

Backlogs are common in development environments and are part of Scrum and Kanban, but don’t just think of them as being exclusive to tech startups or new product development. Backlogs can play an important role in helping any business become more productive.

When I headed the global marketing department at Travelport, we ran the whole department off a set of interconnected Kanban boards. After a lot of initial pushback, the team slowly started to recognise the value of visualizing work, understanding work in progress (WIP) limits, and measuring velocity and gained a basic understanding of the underlying principle behind most agile and lean tools.

With access to automation tools, increased data, and better analytics, the traditional marketing department that once focused on creative is beginning to look and function like a development environment. In a growth hacking oriented environment, managing marketing in this way might be a distinct advantage. Combine that with AI to stimulate ideas and support SEO and blogs and you can deliver a step change in marketing productivity learn more in ‘10x The Productivity Revolution” coming soon!

Unlocking the Secret to Sustainable Future: What Every CEO Needs to Know?

The call for sustainability is growing louder every day, and companies are taking notice. With the number of Chief Sustainability Officers in the Fortune 500 reaching 95 in 2020, it’s clear that organizations are taking this matter seriously.

But, did you know that the key to achieving sustainability lies within productivity? Yes, you heard that right. The concept of “doing more with less” is at the core of sustainability and productivity. And the way to achieve this? By embracing an adaptive agile mindset.

At the heart of every sustainability effort is the need to reduce waste. By approaching sustainability with an adaptive agile constraint-based mindset, organizations can deliver sustainability as a low-cost, high-value outcome. The irony is that as teams grow larger than a few individuals, productivity decreases dramatically. This is why the “2 pizza box” approach to agile software teams holds true.

Constraints drive creativity and innovation. Take Steve Jobs’ famous example with the iPod – he dropped it in water and saw air bubbles coming out, which led him to say, “Those are air bubbles. That means there’s space in there. Make it smaller.” The constraint led to a better product. Similarly, constraints in the software development world, like non-functional requirements, often drive better design, marketecture, and architecture choices. The Blue Ocean strategy canvas even encourages looking at what to remove or reduce to create value.

For business leaders to truly leverage this way of thinking, productivity must hold more weight than growth alone. Private equity-backed businesses may not agree, but they do understand the importance of reducing costs and doing more with less.

Transforming organizations and building sustainable products doesn’t have to come at a higher cost to the business or the environment. And every C-suite executive looking to achieve sustainability within their organization should look to organizational agility and a 10x productivity shift to make this happen.

Would you be ready to lead the charge? Keep an eye out for my new book, 10x Productivity Revolution, where I will guide you on your journey to becoming a sustainable productivity hero in your organization.

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