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Agile Glossary 101: Bottleneck


What is a Bottleneck?

The bottleneck is a type of stoppage or impediment in the development process during agile/kanban software engineering. It is caused by a limited resource or process step, meaning the entire workflow cannot proceed until it is addressed. Moreover, it can be any part of a process that holds back progress or creates a slowdown.

How to Detect Process Bottlenecks?

To avoid process bottlenecks, you must be proactive and identify them before they happen. To help you do that, here are three things that you can put into practice.

Create process map: Creating a process map helps identify potential bottlenecks in the workflow. It gives you an overview of what processes take and how long each one takes, allowing you to see where the delays could be happening.

Monitor performance: You should also look closely at performance metrics such as cycle time, throughput, and velocity. Any drops in these metrics can indicate a bottleneck in the process.

Look for clues: Observing the team’s behavior is another useful way of detecting bottlenecks. For example, spending too much time on a task or appearing stressed can signal a bottleneck.

Benefits of Addressing Bottlenecks in Agile/Kanban

Addressing bottlenecks in agile/kanban software engineering helps to ensure that projects are completed on time and within budget. In addition, by reducing the time to develop products and services, you can get them to market faster and stay ahead of your competition.

Additionally, eliminating bottlenecks increases team morale and productivity by streamlining the workflow. Ultimately, this will result in a better product or service for your customers and improved profitability for your business.


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