A bottleneck could easily interrupt flow.
In the Lean Agile Software Factory — also known as ‘The Lean Factory’ or “The Factory”— some examples of this flow, smooth flow, interrupter are:
- Batched SIT testing — yup, a lot of companies do this ‘Batch and Queue’ thingy. Value is delivered in bursts (a bunch of things of value get queued up for batched SIT (System Integrated Testing) instead of a smooth continuous flow of delivery of value via continuous integration and continuous delivery (CI/CD) which is automated.
- The process itself. Believe it or not … SAFe is a big Batch and Queue framework! We batch things up in Planning Intervals … and we queue up Planning Interval Objectives in ART roadmaps. Likewise with Scrum … we batch and queue stories in Sprint Backlog. Kanban — in its purest form — is the embodiment of a process that could achieve uninterrupted flow … but not quite … because … read on…
- People. Sick personnel could become or source of bottleneck. Work could stop if no one can pick up the work… hence cross-training is important to achieve needed T-shaped skilled personnel.
- Policies. Yup… there are policies, regulations, rules that we all must comply to … and these could cause bottleneck… which in turn interrupt flow.