Everywhere I go, people are suffering from overload. Information, workload, emotional load, political load … all above capacity.
People, probably you as well, start sentence with, “If only I had time to…” or “If I could just…” or “If I were in charge I’d….”
We all feel stretched to the point of snapping.
In the office, this overload means missed deadlines, unnecessary meetings, unnecessary production, and over commitment. All of those things add up to unhappy workers, attrition, and delay.
Delay in that last sentence is misleading. This is not “Harold is a little delayed and will be here in five minutes,” No no no … Delay here means millions of dollars wasted, products not delivered, and careers ruined.
Delay here also means punitive measure to get projects on track, that usually lead to even more delays.
We respond to delays with demands, which is like drinking your way out of drowning.
The only way to finish more work is to only take on as much as your organization can process.
When your work-in-process rises, your rate of completion lowers. It’s very simple math.
Our new book, Why Limit WIP, takes this problem head-on. The book follows the movements of Eldred, our office everyman, as he is valued, overloaded, devalued, and then later rescued. Eldred shows us how people, teams, and organizations react to overload … and what to do about it.
Right now, I’d be willing to bet your company is doing too much work and creating too little value. As businesses, we don’t survive without creating value … funny thing … the same is true for us as individuals.