Patrick Steyaert is founder of Okaloa. As a creator of Okaloa Flowlab, he teaches and coaches agile thinking (before methods) by making use of business simulations. With his work on upstream, customer and discovery kanban he helps organizations to look at the end-to-end flow (from suspected to satisfied need). He is the author of the Essential Upstream Kanban guide, a regular speaker at international conferences, and recipient of the 2015 Brickell Key award for outstanding contribution to the Kanban community.
Enterprise Flow, an exciting new pathway to Business Agility
Enterprise flow – together with organizational autonomy and learning – is a cornerstone of scaling agility across businesses that find themselves in a volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous (VUCA) business environment. Enterprise flow is only achieved when capabilities are improved so that uncertain, fluctuating demand with uncertain or ambiguous priorities can be fulfilled. At the same time, it requires that we shape demand so that we can make optimal use of constrained capabilities. Rather than thinking of these challenges as, well …, challenges, we see in them an exciting opportunity to shed a new light on business agility and explore a radically new way of dealing with an agile portfolio. We show the beginnings of a token-based marketplace where the needs of diverse customers with conflicting priorities are matched with a heterogeneous capability. We use insights from system dynamics to show how feedback loops and delays lead to fluctuation and the role of triage in a portfolio where not all demand can be judged by the same standards. Taken together, the different techniques that are presented, open new and exciting ways to run an agile business.