Single Piece Flow in Scrum Teams
Here is an easy to apply tip to improve your velocity: Focus on the User Story with the highest priority using Single Piece Flow (aka One Piece Flow) on a team level.
How it works
Single piece flow means that the whole team works at one User Story at any given point in time. Only when the whole User Story is done the team moves to the next User Story.
Single Piece Flow works due to several positive effects:
- Single Piece Flow forces the whole team to cooperate continuously.
- This ensures that every team member is informed about state and progress of each User Story. Furthermore the team members learn from each other through intense cooperation.
- On this basis it is easy for team members to help each other.
- Point 3 together with the fact that a team generally is faster in implementing a User Story leads to a shorter lead time of the User Story.
- Shorter lead time and reduced Work-in-Progress means for the team that it has to remember only few things for a short period of time. And this fact reduces the number of bugs and decreases the time needed for bug fixing.
You may doubt what I wrote. Perhaps Single Piece Flow reduces the lead time per User Story. But does it enhance overall throughput or does it lead to under utilization of the team members and higher costs?
Maybe… Luckily it is easy to check. Just try it for one Sprint and then inspect&adapt. You are welcome to share your findings in the comments of this blog article.