Time & Motion in the Age of Agile
“Measurement is the first step that leads to control and eventually to improvement. If you can’t measure something, you can’t understand it. If you can’t understand it, you can’t control it. If you can’t control it, you can’t improve it.”
H. James Harrington
Velocity Overlooks Measurement
In modern business, there has been an increase in projects that are executed using new development and management methodologies such as agile, lean, and six-sigma. While these new methods have become more widely adopted, we have observed a decline in the adoption of the underlying studies – more traditionally known as Time and Motion or Methods-Time Measurement – that historically have been the foundation for ensuring the most valuable practices are the focus for optimization and automation.
This decline is driven by the perceived rigor required, and associated time, to conduct these studies. Combined, the upsurge of fast-paced agile projects and reduced focus on measured results has created a “get more done faster” mentality and as a consequence has resulted in lower quality products and practices that realize far less value in terms of return on investment (ROI) than projected. To combat this issue, time and motion techniques should not be rejected in today’s high-velocity business landscape, but instead should be adapted to increase the velocity in how these studies are executed. Furthermore, time and motion can enhance agile projects by ensuring ROI is not disregarded in lieu of velocity.
As agile methodologies continue to be adopted by business units in varying functional areas, time and motion studies, if accelerated, can provide product owners and managers the data required to evaluate performance throughout a project and become truly agile. This paper will demonstrate how time and motion studies can be used to enhance lean and agile methods and enable teams to realize the promised value from projects.
About the Authors
John Morris is a Partner and DayBlink’s Business Automation Center of Excellence Lead. John is a U.S. patent holder for a Dynamic Process Measurement and Benchmarking technology and is based in Evanston, Illinois.
Justin Whitaker is a Partner and DayBlink’s Cybersecurity Center of Excellence Lead. Justin is a U.S. patent holder for a Dynamic Process Measurement and Benchmarking technology and is based in the Vienna, Virginia office.
Zachary White is a Consultant within DayBlink’s Business Automation Center of Excellence and is based in the Vienna, Virginia office.