Collaboration Part 7: Chop Up the Work

by Chance Smith

Thin-Slices is chopping up work to where you’re sharing progress in the smallest-sized deliverables possible. These tiny tasks expose progress and invite others to agree and weigh in.

I can’t say I came up with this method, but I’m happy to take credit for the naming. 🤷‍♂️ Thin-Slices comes from the Elephant Carpaccio exercise by Henrik Keniberb and Alistair Cockburn. Their exercise is to practice finely chopping up a vast body of work.

What does Thin-Slicing solve?

Less work stays on the proverbial island. Team members can only horde a little work if they deliver changes often. Gain confidence along the way. When you ship usually, you’ll get feedback that affirms your progress. Reduce the wait, worry, and wonder (3Ws). Small deliverables give others insight into how progress is going.

You might scale up and down how thin you slice up your work, but know collaboration is improved when others can see what’s going on behind the wall.

When should I use Thin-Slices?

Let’s keep it simple if you’re doing something big, unknown, or risky. That is when you want to slice up the work.

The point is

Collaboration done well is keeping others in the loop. Others will only know what you’re doing or what you want unless you communicate it. You’ll need to communicate these frequently.

Chopping up your work into smaller deliverables is a method of communication.

This is a post of many on Collaboration. Continue Reading.