The tea run


It occurred to me today when waiting to use the hot water machine why the ‘tea round’ bothered me so much.

It wasn’t that my introverted self hated the interaction or the reliance on others, it was in fact due to it being anti lean.
Without knowing it the lady in front of me was batching. She was negatively impacting me and others. 

 The tea round ensures her team can remain focused on important work and deliver value as expected. For me and those behind me we remain idle.

She was also inadvertently changing the behaviour of her team. Rather than drink when their own body decided it was right they are locked in this self enforced sustenance batch. 

All tea value comes out at the end. The tea made first gets cold. You will make one first, there is always one person who wants green tea or worse just hot water so that they can put a slice of lemon in it……madness. So quality suffers.

So next time you offer to make the team tea think about the impact on those teams around you, don’t batch, avoid locally optimising. Be aware of others using the tea system and the impact on their lead times.

Maybe I shouldn’t think so much and lighten up? Never. Get lean.

 

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