Stop Doing What Isn’t Important

Today is a great day to focus on what is important and stop doing what isn’t. This sounds so very simple yet, in practice, it is one of the most difficult ideas and concepts to implement.

First let’s look at the business aspect. As most agilists know, over 45% of software features are never used. And part of what we attempt to do in agile is to increase the amount of work “not done” on our software development projects. But what if, just as a hypothetical concept, 45% of your business processes, management workflow, manufacturing processes, or materiels management were NEVER used? What if it was even 25%? That would mean one could gain efficiency just from NOT doing something. The issue is that most of these workflows, processes, etc. are not designed to create transparency. Increase transparency, learn to adapt, and be open to inspection and, as a business, we could save money and increase NET profit. Even from a entrepreneurial standpoint, is there overhead I have dragged from a previous employer that brings no value? Why do I have to expect to have x number of non-billable hours each week?

Now the personal. What if I were to quantify how much time I spend typing an email that could be taken care of in a fraction of the time if I walked to an office or picked up the phone? Would it be time that I wouldn’t have to spend at the office and could spend with my family? Or what if I could eliminate/bypass mindless company processes so that I could actually become more productive AND eliminate overtime? Is the way one shops taking precious minutes that could be spent with a child? Is an adherence to an old way or tradition actually getting in the way of relationships?

Focus on eliminating things that simply do not carry value. . . I think we could be amazed to see what actually gets in the way of life if we took a moment to just look at it.

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