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Boost Your Team's Performance with the Right Mix of Red Work and Blue Work
Understanding the balance between the two is critical for achieving high performance in your teams.
Welcome to another insightful exploration into the world of business leadership. Today, we delve into the 'Red Work' and 'Blue Work' dichotomy. They represent two distinct types of work that exist in any business environment.
Understanding the balance between the two is critical for achieving high team performance.
'Red Work' refers to the actual work that gets stuff done. It's where value is created. It’s the doing. This could be coding, testing, designing, or any other value-creating activity. On the other hand, 'Blue Work' refers to the discussions and meetings about getting the work done but not doing it. This is sometimes referred tp as ‘thinking’ work; this could include planning, refining, or any form of strategizing.
The concept of balancing Red Work and Blue Work is not new. It is deeply embedded in models like Scrum, where there's a conscious effort to limit the amount of Blue Work to ensure more time is spent on Red Work. However, a common pitfall many organizations fall into is allowing Blue Work to overshadow Red Work. This can lead to inefficiencies, productivity loss, and overall dissatisfaction among team members.
Ensuring the right balance between Red Work and Blue Work requires understanding the different needs and working styles of makers (creators) and managers.
Makers thrive on long, uninterrupted periods of focus, ideal for Red Work. Conversely, managers are used to context-switching and may impose this style onto the makers, disrupting their flow and productivity.
To address this, creating a structure that respects and accommodates these different working styles is vital. For instance, time-boxing meetings and planning sessions can help ensure Blue Work doesn't spill over into the makers' time. Additionally, facilitating these meetings to be productive and efficient can prevent unnecessary expansion of Blue Work.
Understanding the balance between Red Work and Blue Work is crucial for high team performance.
Red Work is the actual work that creates value, while Blue Work involves discussions about the work.
Makers and managers have different working styles, and it's essential to respect and accommodate these differences.
Timeboxing and efficient facilitation of meetings can help ensure Blue Work doesn't overshadow Red Work.
The right balance of Red Work and Blue Work can lead to improved productivity and team satisfaction.
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