Is task tracking a waste?

The visual board models the value stream. The stages of the value stream are exhaustive list of possible actions that could be applied on a certain feature card. This regardless whether this feature card represents new feature, client specific enhancement, requirement defect or bug. For me every stage in the value stream has analogy with method which is allowed to operate on certain object (feature card).

This analogy can be particular helpful to unify the understanding on what we could do when we process a certain feature card. Extending the use of the ticketing system to keep creating tasks linked to a ticket (card on visual board) can lead to waste due to micro management through task assignment. Instead confine the ticket to represent a card and use the visual board to:

– Provide common understanding of the value stream

– Ensure uniformity of methods which can operate in a certain card (UX, Graphic design, architecture, development, code review and so forth). This particularly can be helpful to improve the skills of people to better perform those methods. This has direct impact on quality and economy of delivery.

– A corollary to previous point, this analogy can serve to reduce dependency on single point of failure.

– Help to have consistent mapping of status of tickets in the ticketing system to the stage of visual board.

Exploding the ticketing system with tickets can be misleading because we should have business value attached to the ticket. Also, it reduces collaboration as task ticket is assigned by a team leader instead of being pulled by assignee whenever he has capacity. In general I found this creates inconsistencies.

Ticketing system and visual board are complementary. While the ticketing system is excellent for tracking, automating builds and communication with other support groups, it has limited value during the development of the feature card. Feature card development is a different game which requires high collaboration through visualization and having the ball bounces back and force between various stages of the value stream.

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