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January 4, 2024

Finally, a Management Playbook for the Age of Complexity

By IT Revolution

In today’s volatile and complex business environment, transformation efforts often stall. Why? Silos, misalignments, unclear priorities, and hidden constraints across teams freeze progress. Legacy frameworks fall short; new practices are needed to cut through noise and complexity to elevate performance. 

That’s why we’re thrilled about the upcoming release of Flow Engineering: From Value Stream Mapping to Effective Action, written by Value Stream Mapping experts Steve Pereira and Andrew Davis. 

In this revolutionary approach, the authors provide a lightweight and iterative practice to build the value, clarity, and flow required for effective collaboration and collective action. Drawing on proven practices from Value Stream Management, cybernetics, and the Toyota Production System, they walk through facilitating collaborative workshops to visualize current workflows. These “flow conversations” surface tangled dependencies, assumptions, and priorities that are causing delays across departments.  

The result? A shared roadmap that is owned by people doing the work to optimize critical workflows like hiring, product launches, and enterprise coordination. And the best thing is, it’s so easy that anyone who can host a board game can start mapping with these techniques. 

The book guides readers through five key mapping techniques:

  • Outcome Mapping: Clarifies a valuable target outcome and potential obstacles for a team. Focuses efforts and builds alignment.  
  • Value Stream Mapping: Reveals constraints and waste in current workflows. Identifies the most impactful bottlenecks.
  • Dependency Mapping: Uncovers hidden factors contributing to workflow constraints. Digs deeper into root causes.   
  • Future State Mapping: Envisions an improved workflow that addresses constraints and obstacles. Sets a target vision of flow.
  • Flow Roadmapping: Translates insights into a prioritized, measurable action plan with clear ownership.

Beyond technical depictions, Flow Engineering is written as a guidebook for effecting change. With step-by-step instructions, leaders at any level can rapidly apply constraints mapping to meet their organization’s unique needs. It’s providing today’s change agents the right questions to ask, not prescriptive answers.

Key lessons to take away include:

  • How to facilitate fast-paced visual mapping workshops using simple materials 
  • Techniques to uncover the unspoken “invisible” factors limiting team effectiveness 
  • The fundamentals of systems thinking required to address modern management complexity

For leaders exhausted by stalled transformations, Flow Engineering offers a refreshing people-centered approach. Rather than change frameworks, processes, or culture from the top down, start by mapping the colossal challenges already facing your teams. Help employees visualize current constraints and co-construct new solutions. 

The ability to navigate business complexity will only grow more crucial. Flow Engineering puts power where it belongs – in the hands of your people. This book delivers the collaborative clarity needed to finally accelerate flow. Learn more about the release from Andrew and Steve’s site here.

To get a taste of what you’ll learn in the book, check out this presentation from the authors at 2021’s DevOps Enterprise Summit (now renamed Enterprise Technology Leadership Summit).

- About The Authors
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IT Revolution

Trusted by technology leaders worldwide. Since publishing The Phoenix Project in 2013, and launching DevOps Enterprise Summit in 2014, we’ve been assembling guidance from industry experts and top practitioners.

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