Why would Waypoint allow to add tasks with a maximum of 8 hours only? After all, in many organizations, it’s quite common to work more than 8 hours on a single task, or to have longer working days… One way to describe Waypoint is as a standardized work method for Lean and Agile Project Management. As such, we try to provide one best way to do a project. Best, obviously according to the Lean and Agile philosophy: Delivering the most value for your customer at the lowest cost in shortest lead times.
Early on in the development of Lean, Taichi Ohno discovered a falacy in mass production:
“… insufficient standardization and rationalization creates waste (muda), inconsistency (mura), and unreasonableness (muri) in work procedures and work hours that eventually lead to the production of defective products.” (Toyota Production System; Beyond Large-Scale Production by Taichi Ohno).
This falacy is in fact systemic: Uneven production (mura) leads to stress and burnout (muri), which leads to defects and waste (muda).
So, if we adopt a habit of doing too much overtime, team members will eventually get stressed and possibly even burnt out. If people get stressed, they will easily be making mistakes and they will deliver defective products. Which will then lead to rework and fixing, which increases the workload even more and may again pile up more stress for team members. Etcetera.
An organization that’s serious about it’s Lean and Agile Project Management, and wishes to have team members becoming real good performers for their projects, for many years to come, wants to learn to organize the work in bits of no more than one day, say 8 hours of work. That’s one major reason for us to maximize the amount of estimated hours for tasks to only 8.
Yet, there’s another reason why in Lean and Agile Project Management we do tasks with a maximum of 8 hours only. That reason is that we know that it’s best for project teams to have daily standup meetings or iterations to monitor progress, to discuss issues and to look ahead for the day to come. Making use of daily standups or scrums, you don’t want tasks of more than 8 hours. You wouldn’t be able to complete a task in the mimimum amount of time available…
With Waypoint, we invite you all to think long term, to avoid overtime, uneven production, stress and waste -and to iterate on a daily basis-. And therefor, we invite you to estimate your tasks at a maximum of 8 hours only. You’ll still be able to do more than one task per day -if you really want-.