The power of pull

Lean and Agile methods promote a way of working based on the principle of ‘pull’. This means that instead of planning and pushing work into different teams and people, work is presented in a way so that people pull the next work item when they have availability and are ready to work on it. There are a number of advantages in this approach:

  • Pull systems are more sustainable
  • Pull systems don’t overburden people
  • Pull systems are more productive
  • Pull systems let people know what’s important
  • Pull systems help create better relationships and purpose

In order for a pull system to work well, it’s important that work is visualized, people understand the vision/purpose/goal, and the priorities are transparent. It’s similar to the conditions required to create a high-performing team.


How is work treated today in your team? Is it pushed at you or are you doing the pushing? How might you improve the visibility of work, priorities and goals to help those around you engage more productively?

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