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Control WIP by Shedding Requirements

When WIP becomes high, you can purge WIP by decreasing the batch size of your jobs. A way to achieve this is to shed the requirements of your jobs.
#cycle-time
Zettelkasten, November 21, 2022.

Notes

"Shedding requirements" means reducing the number of things a job must do before it can be considered complete.

When WIP becomes high, you can purge WIP by decreasing the batch size of your jobs. A way to achieve this is to shed the requirements of your jobs. The underlying logic is that the economic cost of retaining a requirement rises during periods of congestion because the economics of holding WIP changes when queue size changes.

It makes economic sense to drop requirements with marginal economic benefits during such periods. Such requirement relief can bring a high payoff because you're operating on the steep section of the queuing curve, where a small decrease in loading leads to large savings in cycle time.

You relax performance goals by dropping features.

A Few Ideas of What You Can do:

  • Ship a minimum viable product (MVP)
  • Delay features that are not essential to the user's workflow
  • Break up monolithic features into smaller pieces
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