thinkpurpose

Think of a canal lock

  • Water is queued on one side of the lock waiting to move to the other side of the lock.
  • It is moved in a batch up or down to the other side of the lock.
  • The water itself does not move either in the lock or on either side of the lock. It is stationary, the only time it moves is when the batch of water, together with the barge, moves from downstream to upstream.
  • The barge and most of the water spend a good deal of time stationary inside the lock without moving.

A person working in a command and control environment will see work in this way. Work is cut up into discrete chunks, queued and sorted into batches. For example, Housing Benefit offices will split work into queues held on databases, staff will be assigned to a queue to process cases in…

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