Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Practical System Thinking, Brooks's Law, Theory of Constraints, Agile, and Lean

Wow! that is a heck of a title!

The topic of Brooks's Law came up the other day.  You probably know it as 9 women can't have a baby in a month.  Brooks's law was made famous in The Mythical Man Month.  Brooks's Law basically states that if you have a effort that is complex that adding too many people to the effort will cause the delivery to take longer.  In complex systems, adding people requires additional coordination and communication.  If you add too many people, the tax eventually causes the effort to take longer than it would have if you didn't add people.

As I was researching the topic, I started thinking about how this relates to the Theory of Constraints (The Goal), Agile, and Lean Management.

My goal was how can I help people understand all of this.  Much to my surprise,  I discovered a pretty good summary of it all at Big Visible Solutions.  Tom Looy put together a series of blog post to explain it all.  The best part is that the blog posts contain a short video explaining it all.  Each of the blog post build upon each other so watch them in order.

Practical Systems Thinking: An Appreciation of the System

Practical Systems Thinking: Identify the Constraint

Practical Systems Thinking: Exploit the Constraint

Practical Systems Thinking: Subordinate to the Constraint

Practical Systems Thinking: Elevate the Constraint

Practical Systems Thinking: Don't Let Inertia Become the Constraint

I would like to thank Tom for taking the time to put this information together and encourage you to take a look.