Flow of what?

We talk a lot about optimizing flow in our software teams. Flow of what?

Flow of value to customers? The software takes care of that. Every pageview, data update, or call to our service outputs some value.

The people on the team are busy changing the software, trying to increase the value it outputs. The team’s flow is changes to the flow of value.

Then in our retrospectives, in articles like this one, in books and podcasts and conferences, we try to increase and improve the changes. Our flow right now is changes to the flow of changes to the flow of value.

Yikes, very meta! Very powerful, and very tricky. No wonder we talk about it so much.

(This topic came up when I interviewed the authors of Team Topologies on ArrestedDevOps the other day. Listen to the podcast for more on how to organize teams, improve these flows, and deliver software.)