Patrick Steyaert

Patrick is a Lean agile coach, trainer and founder of Okaloa. He’s passionate about knowledge work. As an Accredited Kanban Trainer and Kanban Coaching Professional he is a regular speaker at international conferences. In 2015 Patrick won the Brickell Key Award.

Abstract: Enterprise flow – Creating value through meaningful work

As most organisations have had their share of experience with Agile development they are now looking at how they can make their entire business agile. Business Agility differs from Agile development in that it necessitates the involvement of the entire organisation and ultimately, the customer. More than just pull of work, it requires customer pull. On top of collaboration in teams it also requires co-creation with the customer and other partners (making them part of the team). It requires driving change not just responding to change. Today we find ourselves in an Cambrian explosion of Lean and Agile models and practices. But how do you find your way in this multitude? And, more importantly, how do you make Business Agility stick and enduring, not just in little islands, but in the entire organisation?

In this presentation we will explore Flow systems and the underlying Flow thinking as a foundation for Sustained Business Agility. Starting with the simplest Stocks and Flows model, we will show how Flow thinking allows agility to emerge rather than (the unsustainable) enforcing of Agile routines and rituals. Building on that, we will explain the new metaphor of flow systems based on Stocks and Flows models, constraints, impedance, feedback and uncommon sense. We will then see how flow thinking scales up to the enterprise level (cross-team flow) and across the entire value stream (end-to-end flow from suspected to satisfied need), acting as a bridge builder between the islands of agility in your organisation. At the end of the presentation the audience should walk away with a deeper understanding of flow systems and their importance in creating an agile mindset. Next to new organisational forms that foster self-organisation (e.g. Holacracy, Sociocracy, Teal organisation, …) it is our strong belief that Flow systems and Flow thinking will prove to be one of the fundamental organising principles for the 21st century organisation.