Thursday, October 13, 2016

Identifying and Eliminating Bottlenecks

"Don't be irreplaceable, if you can't be replaced, you can't be promoted." (from Dilbert's Laws of Work)

The easiest way to identify a bottleneck is to see what happens when time is a factor. If someone (or something) is critical to an operation, then things don't happen. That is obviously a less-than-ideal way to find where a bottleneck is.

Bottlenecks usually present themselves long before a crisis, but aren't seen as critical at the time. They are usually things that only occasionally matter, so general availability is usually enough.

Unusual situations aren't unavoidable situations. Taking steps to eliminate the bottleneck is sensible risk management. It is much better than the alternatives, such as cancelling leave or letting deadlines slip.

For those bottlenecks that are part of everyday development, they should be mitigated and eliminated as quickly as possible. In our team, only a few people had the ability to do deploys. This was liveable until those people went on leave. So we implemented automated deploys from Jenkins so that would never be a problem again.

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