Three ways to get the WIP under control
Updated: Oct 9, 2019
Does your list of projects in progress resemble a subway at rush hour? Are your projects being delayed as they compete against each other for the same resources? Then you need to get a handle on your Work In Progress (WIP)? Here are three simple, but not easy ways to control the WIP.
1) Stop starting and start finishing. Delay the kick off for a new project until an existing project finishes.
2) Formalize a process for ending or pausing existing projects. Most organizations wait too long to cancel projects that are troubled or no longer align with the current strategic vision. At least twice a year the governance team needs to evaluate the active project list to identify those that need to be canceled, ended early, or paused to free up resources to focus on finishing higher value projects faster.
3) Prioritize smaller projects over large ones. Modify your project scoring methodology to cause smaller projects to move to the front of the queue.
This approach is not easy and requires significant discipline from the governance team. But without such discipline, the governance team becomes merely score keepers and they fail they duties as stewards of organizational resources.