Agile Reading Glasses: Push and Pull


From System Thinking we know that the system of work produces the behavior. We know to major different systems of work that we can call Push System and Pull System.

Push-system: In some cases strict process planning is needed. E.g. in logistics. 
The unwanted effects are: it focuses more on compliance than orienting on the goals. It also produces negative behavior, since the focus is on individuals, compares them and therefore creates competition.

Fact is: under pressure we loose 20% of our iq: „so we are 20% more stupid when we are stressed.“ In the end it results in mediocre performance, where people only try to pass minimum criteria.

Video produced by Benjamin Felis - Graphic Recording & Explanation Movies

But if you want innovation and creative solutions you should implement a pull system. A pull system focuses on collaboration, goal and value orientation. People are more engaged since the whole team is involved in finding a solution and engagement is more important than compliance, if you want to use all the brain power in your organization.

Is it possible to combine the two approaches, since we often have clear expectations from the customer - and on the other hand need to allow the team to work at their own pace, to avoid stress and poor outcomes.

Yes. We need to create a queue or better a funnel to combine the two approaches. And this is what we normally know as Product Backlog.