The Myth of Multitasking: Why IT Operations Needs WIP Limits

WIP Limits IT Ops

It may sound hard to believe, but multitasking is an effective way to get less done. Juggling multiple tasks at once interrupts your focus, which can cause you to spend more time on each task than if you had completed them one at a time.

While research proves the harmful effects of multitasking on productivity, many of us still approach our work with an attitude of “do all the things, and do them right now.” It’s especially true for IT Operations teams that are overloaded with handling new requests and keeping production stable. In our experience, that describes every IT Operations team we’ve ever worked with.

Kanban seeks to minimize multitasking by employing work-in-process (WIP) limits at strategic points in a team’s process or workflow. True to its name, a WIP limit is a tool for limiting how much work can be in process at one time, thereby helping to expose bottlenecks and improve the flow of work. Here’s what IT Operations teams can learn about using WIP limits to get more of the right work done at the right time.

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What’s New: Increased Visibility with New Integrations


Our new integrations help you deliver value faster by enabling you to create a single, virtual system that optimizes your value stream. LeanKit Integrations provide a powerful way of enabling each team to work in their tool of choice while maintaining a single source of visibility into work details and status.

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Why Lean IT Operations is Business Critical


In the modern enterprise, success is determined by an organization’s ability to adapt to a rapidly changing marketplace — a concept known as business agility. Without the ability to deliver up-to-date, relevant information where it’s needed most, organizations are unable to respond to internal and external opportunities and threats as they appear.

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Us vs. Them: The IT/Business Divide

The IT/Business Divide - LeanKit

I’ve worked in many organizations where the IT and business sides of the house just can’t seem to get along — a phenomena I refer to as the “IT/business divide.” If you’re unsure whether there’s a divide in your organization, ask yourself when IT is brought into the decision-making process.

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Can “Bad” IT Metrics Ever Be Good?


In my last post here on the LeanKit blog, I wrote about the hidden dangers of vanity metrics. Vanity metrics are those metrics that make us feel good about what we are doing and provide interesting information, but don’t pass the “So What?” test. A common characteristic is that they measure activity instead of progress.

In this blog post, I will dive deeper into the topic of vanity metrics. Specifically, I will answer the question: Can vanity metrics, or any other “bad” IT metrics, ever be used for good?

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Why Vanity Metrics are Dangerous: Holding a Mirror Up to Your Measures of Success


What are Vanity Metrics?

Vanity, as an adjective, means “produced as a showcase for one’s talents” — i.e., a vanity production. When we showcase our own talents, we choose what makes us look good and ignore what doesn’t.

In this post, we’ll look at an IT Operations team that is caught in an interesting, though not uncommon, situation involving vanity metrics. Then, I’ll discuss the dangers of vanity metrics, and present a quick test you can to do to evaluate your own success measures.

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