Tuesday 19 March 2013

London Lean Kanban Day March 2013 Part 5

I've already spoken to folks about the way Spotify work with teams, but Anders Iversson added a little depth to what I'd already read.
You can download a similar presentation from here.

This then segued in to the keynote speech from David J Anderson.
The talk generally centred around the ideas in this earlier presentation
Not that I like the idea of measuring how Kanban we are, but you could get team members to identify where we are in our journey, and compare notes to see where we need to strengthen.

London Lean Kanban Day March 2013 Part 4

Dan Brown is a bit of a NASA fan, but his talk did help focus on why incremental delivery is a good idea. Imagine if the moon landing was a "Big Bang" release?. Frightening. We need to try things, and we need to fail. Failure at a small level is manageable. Failure at the end of a large project could be catastrophic. This ties in a bit with Dave Snowdens talk on complexity. We need tasks that are "safe to fail", to ensure that we are going in the right direction.

Dan also showed us some maths.

Now, I'm going to take the formulae from here, as everybody knows I'm rubbish at maths.

The team is averaging delivery of about 12 stories per week.

We don't limit WIP seriously enough.

Lead Time is the time between the initiation and delivery of a work item. Currently LT=10.7 days
Cycle Time is the time between two successive deliveries. Currently, CT =0.4 days
Throughput is the rate at which items are passing through the system. Currently TP=2.4 stories a day
WIP – Work in progress; the number of work items in the system. Work that has been started, but not yet completed

And the question is how many stories do we have in progress at any one time?

WIP = Throughput x Average Lead Time
25.68 = 2.4 x 10.7

Therefore, as there is no cap on WIP we are working on 26.68 stories at any one time.

What happens to Lead Time, if I introduce a WIP limit of 4?

Average Lead Time = WIP x Average Cycle Time
Average Lead Time = 4 x 0.4

Therefore, Average Lead Time = 1.6 days


The formulas used on both solutions are equivalent:

WIP = Throughtput x Lead time
Lead Time = WIP x Cycle Time

This is an application of Little's Law, which I mentioned in a previous post. As I said, I'm crap at maths, so I'd love someone to have a go at this as well.

London Lean Kanban Day March 2013 Part 3

On a rather less Earth shaking note than Dave Snowden, Pawel Brodzinski has been working on how to use Kanban visualisation to manage programmes. It is a nice concept, and one I will be chatting about with my programme manager. It certainly resonated with me, as sometimes we don't really grasp the whole scope of how projects interact across the organisation.

London Lean Kanban Day March 2013 Part 2

As I settled in to prepare for more on WIP limits and how wonderful we all are because we call ourselves Lean Kanban types, Dave Snowden woke me up. Now, I had heard of Cognitive Edge, but I didn't know what it was about. Frankly, I still don't. Dave is a chap who will happily walk into the Pentagon (Therefore think what he's like in front of a bunch of wimpy geeks) and tell them that they know nothing and their thinking is completely wrong. Throw away all your cards and stickies. They won't help you because, by the time you have your stickies on the board, you've probably made your mind up about requirements, and you're probably wrong. I'm really not qualified to rabbit on about what he said, so here's his blog post on the talk.

London Lean Kanban Day March 2013 Part 1

Well, it makes a change for me to get out and listen to the great and the good of the Lean thinking world. The first Lean Kanban day in London, provided me with a good opportunity. The line up was impressive, and I have to say I enjoyed the speakers and came away with some renewed vigour. I will endeavour to cover the main points I found interesting in these posts. I'm going to to a post per speaker, and then maybe do a round up. That said, I may well change my mind half way through! First up was Mike Burrows with a general take on getting started with Kanban. This was the start of the "Big Thing" that I would be taking away. Understanding queuing, and the affect this has on our throughput. Whilst I have paid "lip-service" to WIP Limits, I have to say, I have struggled to convince people of the effectiveness. Perhaps that's because I hadn't been convinced enough to stick firmly to them, and therefore haven't been effective in convincing others. Mike referred to Little's Law. Sorry it's a link to Wikipedia, but it's a place to start. Now, I haven't read up on this fully yet, but there seems to be some mathematical truth kicking about here. I've had WIP limits demonstrated by playing manufacturing games, but that isn't software development. However, there were some other arguments in store for me. Slides are here