A3 & Kaizen: Here's How
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A3 & Kaizen: Here's How

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This is a slide deck I originally presented at ALE2011 in Berlin about A3 thinking and Kaizen in the context of a large Lean & Agile enterprise transition. ...

This is a slide deck I originally presented at ALE2011 in Berlin about A3 thinking and Kaizen in the context of a large Lean & Agile enterprise transition.
At LESS2011 in Stockholm a few weeks later, it was even awarded as overall "best session of the conference" (in addition to "best in the Organisation Transformations category".
(also presented at SDC12 and lssc12)

Nov 2011: I want to humbly dedicate this work to Grant (PG) Rule, who suddenly left this world due to a tragic accident.

Mar 2013: Latest News: As a follow-up to the presentation, I created an iPhone/iPad app (called A3 Thinker)!!. It's a set of brainstorming cards to help people create substantially better A3s. see http://a3thinker.com for details. A set of physical cards will soon follow.

24 July 2013: ...and yesterday I released the Android version on Google Play!

Sep 2013: finally! The formidable A3 Thinker action deck is live! http://a3thinker.com/deck

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110 of 41 Post a comment

  • Full Name Full Name Comment goes here.
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  • In case you missed the announcement, the formidable A3 Thinker's Action Deck is live at http://a3thinker.com/deck . Enjoy!
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  • Hello,

    Good day..

    This is a very good presentation... Can you share me a copy of this presentation and send it to jjcmarlon@yahoo.com?

    Thanks and Best Regards,

    Marlon
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  • really nice can i get ppt copy my mail is hamuni81@yahoo.co.uk
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  • clear, concise & to the point - great stuff
    would really appreciate a copy thanks srl01@tiscali.co.uk
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  • Great presentation - the information is first class! I'm a Continuous Improvement Manager and would like to have a copy if that's possible. Thanks for such great ideas! John C. Please send to:

    jccarete@aol.com
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A3 & Kaizen: Here's How A3 & Kaizen: Here's How Presentation Transcript

  • @agilesensei After reading this, introduce yourself to a person seated next to you. Tell this person why you are here and what you want to learn. written, illustrated and performed by Claudio Perrone
  • There is a war Going on…
  • Most large organizations I know are stuck into firefighting and command & control Is Yours?
  • The traditional organization model seems inadequate to cope with today’s corporate challenges Organization chart Blame flow Rule makers Controllers Enforcers Losers …
  • But if organizations are more like organisms (i.e. complex adaptive systems)...
  • ... How can we encourage and support everyone to be responsible for change?
  • I looked for clues when I attempted to...
  • 1 Leverage and celebrate everyone’s improvement ideas
  • Who are the heroes in a firefighting company?
  • It all started when I launched a kaizen system as part of a major Lean & Agile transition Kaizen memo: Kaizen Memos Before improvement: We didn’t trace the small, continuous improvements to our work Action taken: Created “Kaizen memos” to post on an “implemented ideas” board Effect: Team members trace and celebrate every implemented idea, even the smallest! Submitted by: Claudio Perrone Date:
  • One of the teams was going through a delicate storming phase
  • Things improved sharply as we began to celebrate the completion of each story
  • ... leading me to my first kaizen idea! Kaizen memo: Ready for Celebration Before improvement: Story completion was taken for granted Action taken: Created an explicit “Ready for Celebration” step in our workflow Effect: Team proudly celebrates completion of stories at standup meetings Submitted by: Claudio Perrone Date:
  • Backlog Selected Development Testing 4 2 4 Ready for celebration Done Done
  • In the early days, loud-voiced celebration was not for everyone, however...
  • ... So, we introduced a celebration volume Kaizen memo: Celebration Volume Before improvement: Action taken: Some team members were Created a “celebration “too modest” to celebrate volume” icon to be crossed with a resounding applause on the Kaizen memo Effect: Members can choose to celebrate quietly (e.g. shake of hands, pat on the back, gimme 5, ..) Submitted by: Claudio Perrone Date:
  • People began implementing simple ideas such as improving their working environment... Before… … AFTEr
  • ... Experimented with different forms of visualization (e.g. prisoner metrics, dj check sheets), scripts, and so on
  • What would your first kaizen idea look like?
  • Write it down! Kaizen memo: Before improvement: We had this problem Effect: Action taken: We did this It became a little better Submitted by: You Today Date:
  • Unfortunately, Management’s initial reaction wasn’t exactly what I expected...
  • “Seeds of a revolution? Yeah right.” Who can yawn the loudest?
  • But as the transition progressed, massive impediments raised dramatically to the surface
  • Like never before, we badly needed to develop our ability to...
  • 2 Systematically solve problems
  • What do You know about A3 thinking?
  • Copies of my preliminary A3 were lying on the table…
  • It was a hell of a good way to kick start a transition
  • I followed that same approach to tackle problems at team level
  • a "problem" is the difference between the "current situation" and the "standard/expectation" Gap = Problem Standard Current Situation
  • So the first step I took with a team was to clarify & breakdown the problem… Theme: Problem Situation: Target(s): Cause Analysis: Countermeasure(s): Implementation: Follow-up:
  • Theme:   Background   Team is looking at improving its internal feedback loop to reduce cost of delay, particularly when rework is involved. Why are we talking about it? Current Situation   Lead-time of reworked stories: 14.6 days Processing time: 2.8 days Current State Map Where do things stand today?
  • What should be happening? Problem Statement   Expectation:   Lead-time of reworked stories: 10d Expectation – Current Situation Discrepancy:   Team takes 4.6d longer to deliver a reworked story Extent:   The problem affects about 15% of all stories Rationale:   If no action is taken, customers will continue to suffer delays Importance? Urgency? Tendency? When? How often? Where? How Long? What is effected?
  • WE THEN SET A TARGET TO STIMULATE IMPROVEMENT Theme: Problem Situation: Target(s): Cause Analysis: Countermeasure(s): Implementation: Follow-up:
  • Extent: The problem affects about 15% of all stories Rationale: If no action is taken, customers will continue to suffer delays what? Target   Reduce lead-time of reworked items from 14.6d to 10d by July 31st 2011 how much? by when?
  • Theme: Then, we wrote the theme Reduce lead-time of reworked items from 14.6d to 10d Background   Team is looking at improving its internal feedback loop to reduce cost of delay, particularly when rework is involved. what? how much? Current Situation   Lead-time of reworked stories: 14.6 days Processing time: 2.8 days
  • What prevents us from reaching our target Condition? Analysis   Facts, not opinions Cause Analysis: Push system Lead time > 10d Tasks Functional accumulate in test Why?   large batches Why?   performed on Deploy once a week stage Why?   Verify “why” logic with “therefore” in reverse official (test) Why?   builds are installed weekly Actionable root causes! No dedicated tester Nightly build setup/configuration takes 0.5d
  • Only then we identified a set of potential countermeasures… Theme: Problem Situation: Target(s): Cause Analysis: Countermeasure(s): Implementation: Follow-up:
  • June 10, 2011 C.Perrone Countermeasures   Cause A Countermeasure Description Benefit Limit WIP/Pull Limit how many stories team can start in parallel Effecti veness Feasibility Impact -improve flow -encourage small stories + ++ 0 - ++ -- B Hire tester Hire dedicated internal tester eliminate dependency on external people and spend more time on testing B Do system Test internally Devs that don’t work on feature can test someone else’s work Reduces testing bottlenecks, improves knowledge sharing + + - SLAs with external testers Create service level agreements between team and external testes -more predictable flow -clear expectations -no “begging” -closer collaboration ++ + - Skip setup Test the latest version of a subset of component files skipping the full product setup Don’t need to wait for daily/weekly builds, reduce feedback delay between dev/test ++ + - B C
  • With the proposed countermeasures the future would look like this Future State Map
  • In the implementation section, we created & shared an action plan Theme: Problem Situation: Target(s): Cause Analysis: Countermeasure(s): Implementation: Follow-up:
  • Action Plan   What Who Where How Proj. Compl etion Actual complet ion Vsm Stef./ Claudio Team Room Post-its 10/6 10/6 Trace prisoner metrics Paola Whiteboard Mark at each standup 15/7 N/A Adopt skip-setup procedure Team Team room Agree policy 10/7 10/7 Limit WIP Team Whiteboard Agree policy 27/6 27/6 Hire tester Stef. Meeting room Begging Mgmt :D Never 29/6 Agree internal testing policy Team Meeting Room Retrospec tive 10/7 10/7 SLAs with external testers Claudio/ Elena/ Stef. Meeting Room Agree policy 10/7 15/7
  • Finally the follow-up section… Theme: Problem Situation: Target(s): Cause Analysis: Countermeasure(s): Implementation: Follow-up:
  • Indicators   Item Initial 15/7 31/7 Leadtime nonreworked items 7.8d 5d 5d Leadtime reworked items 14.6d 6d 5d 15 5 6 WIP Follow-up   IF THEN Countermeasure plan failed Begin A3 process to identify root cause of failed plan Target achieved but problem could recur Identify other root causes and find new countermeasures Target achieved and problem won’t recur Share findings, standardize countermeasures, begin A3 process to reduce percentage of reworked items
  • We posted the A3 on the wall, right beside the kanban board
  • the team became 3 times faster, with less rework
  • The new state became the new "baseline for improvement”
  • We shared our findings with our communities of practice to let the acquired knowledge spread “laterally”
  • What problems would you tackle?
  • More importantly, management saw what it means to "remove impediments”
  • … making me realize that I had chance to...
  • 3 Turn the leadership triangle upside-down
  • At this point of the transition we were falling into chaos Satir Change Model Performance Late Status Quo Foreign Element (transition begins) New Status Quo Integration Time Resistance Chaos Transforming Idea
  • The leadership triangle was actually broken
  • To turn the leadership triangle upside down, we didn’t need enforcers, “easy going” or absent managers… we needed problem solvers!
  • So I began to tackle problems by pairing up with one promising manager
  • … Then I began practicing quick coaching cycles What do you mean by it? (Clarity) Is it always the case? (Assumptions) How do you know? (Evidence) What are you implying by that? (Implications) Would that necessarily happen? (consequences) Do anyone see it another way? (Alternative Point of views)    
  • Today more managers , are beginning their a3 thinking journey
  • So, I released a family of thinking tools… www.a3thinker.com  
  • To help them change the world. one problem at a time. www.a3thinker.com/deck  
  • Final Thoughts
  • “ If you want 1 year of prosperity, grow seeds. If you want 10 years of prosperity, grow trees. If you want 100 years of prosperity, grow people. -- Chinese proverb
  • Thank You! Claudio  Perrone   claudio@agilesensei.com   www.agilesensei.com   www.a3thinker.com   www.twi<er.com/agilesensei