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Let's Do Fewer Things

We look at realigning priorities to accomplish more with doing less.
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Many times when an organization decides to “make the transition” to agile it’s for the following reasons:

  • We need to get more done
  • We want to go to market faster
  • The executives said so (my least favorite)

This morning a quote inspired me – “My goal is no longer to get more done, but rather to have less to do.” It was shared by a friend posted on a popular social network, originally written by Francei Jay – and I’m sure much more intended to be about personal life than business life – really struck a chord. Too often I hear from clients their desire to get more done, be more efficient, have fewer meetings, and on and on.

What about Principle 10?!?

We so often focus on getting work done – whether in an agile organization or a traditional organization. How often do we stop to ask ourselves “Am I doing the right thing?” Additionally how often do we ask ourselves “What’s Right?”

In a 2015 Article on this topic titled The Art of Maximizing Work Not Done, Ledalla Madhavi said “The more you maximize the “work not done” bucket, the closer you get to nailing down the few truly valuable features that deliver the highest business value.”

What Do Your Customers Value?

So how do we know what’s of value to our customers – we can start by talking to them, running some experiments and learning to eliminate what isn’t adding value to focus on what is – thereby doing less, and maybe even achieving higher ROI for our organization and higher value for all stakeholders inside and out.

Where to Begin?

When you get to the office today or tomorrow start with a simple question on the very next request that lands on your desk or in your queue – “What value is this providing to our customer?” And be relentless about that question – seek to understand – be genuinely curious.

What’s in it for Me?

It’s summertime – and we all want to spend less time on heroics at work – doing “things” instead of adding “value.” Find the passion to be ruthless about prioritizing what’s valuable and important – the rest will work itself out.

Adapted from original LinkedIn post.