Why does everything take so damn long?!

Why does everything take so damn long?!

For one of my clients - all projects took 36+ months! 🕗
We reduced it by 90% with an approach most consider too simple:

Picture this, 400 projects being worked on by 100 humans.
Only 400, that we knew of. 😵‍💫

Everyone was EXTREMELY busy. 🏃‍♂️

People would work on something and wait weeks before the next person could do their bit.

Often it would get sent back for tweaks.
Meaning all that waiting would happen many times over.
Unsurprisingly most things that got started were paused multiple times.😵

From the perspective of a project, it was mainly waiting and very little moving forward.

To make it worse, the CFO wanted answers.😡
WTF does everything take so damn long?!

It was clear: 🎯 we had to create some focus:

1️⃣ I got one person from each of the 8 teams in a room for half a day.

We built a workflow visualization and filled it with all the active work.
Everything that was paused went into an options queue at the front.

2️⃣ Next, We agreed to cap the concurrent projects at 15, max.
The intent was that finishing would make space for starting something new. 🆕

3️⃣ Lastly, we agree that we'd work on projects from the top down.
Number 1 first, and then on down the list.

People were welcome to move down the list when they were free,
as long as they switch to higher up when needed.

It took us 7months to get this set up and operating smoothly.
And the result blew EVERYONE away. 💥

Instead of waiting 36 months, we finish projects in 8-12 weeks.
The same team, same technology, and same leadership.

I don't know how many people got promoted exactly.
Let's simply say: It was very successful.

The reality is this approach is not rocket science.
Many thought it was too simple to work well.

The hard part isn't the idea.

Facilitating and executing it is a bit of an art. 🎨
You need some empathy for people's fears and concerns.
And some discipline to follow the focus.

I've seen many more achieve this, and I'd like to see more escaping the chaos and delays.

Could something similar help your company? 🤔

PS: If you are wondering, this was the first Coordination (aka Flight Level 2) system I built.

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