Scaled WIP and what to do about it

I’m curious about ‘overburden’ in large companies that aspire to be Agile, often working with the Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe). What language do teams and leaders use to discuss ‘too much work-in-process’? What has been tried, and what has worked to reduce WIP? What does SAFe recommend?

I have seen profound resignation regarding managing WIP in the companies I have worked with, and for good reason. Company CFOs consider inventory as an asset from their Cost Accounting viewpoint. And that policy is structural, and it’s impact is so deep and pervasive that it overrides most well-intentioned Lean-Agile-Kanban attempts to ‘reduce WIP.’

TameFlow sees the often-stupendously large upstream backlog AND the appdev swamp of over-committed work as WIP, and all of it is considered to be inventory. TameFlow, with a Throughput Accounting lens, sees inventory as a liability, with profoundly positive implications as regards flow.

What are your experiences with ‘reducing WIP’?

Kudos to @DanielDoiron for his @colemanja John Coleman Orderly Disruption show webinar today (, covering this topic and more Throughout Accounting perspectives.

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