Kanban
Creating a Kaizen Culture and evolving
Lean Software Engineering Solutions

David J. Anderson
President, Modus Coop...
What is a kanban system?
Kanban allows us to implement my recipe for
                                  success


    Focus on Quality
    Reduce (o...
Case Study Microsoft 2004/2005


XIT one of Microsoft’s 8 IT departments

XIT Sustained Engineering
  Small team
  Change ...
Dark Days in July 2004
                     Sustained Engineering Supply v Demand


                    90
               ...
Estimation (ROM) was Top Priority

                                                            Open and Read
             ...
Actual effort was miniscule compared to lead time
                                     of 155 days

                   PM ...
Are Estimates muda?
                                                   Only 52% of requests
                              ...
Could it get worse? Expediting
                                PTC
                            Non-
                      ...
State Model                            XIT Change Request


                                                       New    ...
Intervention 1
                                      Pace the Line from Development
                                PTC
  ...
Intervention 2 – Stop Estimating
                                                  ROM activity abandoned
                ...
Throughput and Cost                                                           Zero Backlog
                               ...
Why Lead Time is the best metric

                                             XIT-SE TTR
                                ...
At Corbis in December 2006, we implemented a detailed
               kanban system for sustaining engineering
Kanban limits create a pull system and white board
       provides visualization of flow through to delivery
Kanban Limit ...
Colors are used to designate classes of service
                                 for work items




     Change Requests a...
Quantity of blue tickets on the board is an
immediate indicator of development quality that is
     impeding flow of custo...
Non-customer valued but essential work is
        tracked as a different class of work




IT Maintenance Work –
Technolog...
Expediting – the Silver Bullet




Process allows for a single Silver
Bullet expedite request
Silver bullet is hand carrie...
Quantity of pink issue tickets on board directly
 indicates flow impacting problems that need
                   attention...
Temporary classes of work may be introduced
tactically to maximize exploitation of the system




                        ...
Kanban tickets hold a lot of information that
       enable decentralized control and local decision
         making when ...
Kanban delivers iterationless development


Releases were agreed and planned for every
2nd Wednesday
Prioritization Board ...
Kanban innovates on typical agile/iterative development
     by introducing a late binding release commitment

         Ka...
Look how the board has changed by March! Empirically
  adjusted Kanban limits reacting to industrial engineering
issues. M...
And again in April, more changes to Kanban limits and
 forward extension of the process to business analysis
Waste bin spontaneously introduced by team to visually
   communicate rejected CRs that wasted energy and
                ...
Spontaneous Quality Circles started forming




Kanban board gives visibility into process issues –
ragged flow, transacti...
Other spontaneous quality circle kaizen events




Empirically adjusted kanban limits several times
   E.g. test kanban to...
September 2007 – Business Analysis and Systems
Analysis merged eliminating 25% of lead time consumed
                     ...
And the process is spreading inside Corbis …
And externally at companies like Yahoo! …
… this one on the Mash social network team
And the technique is being introduced to major projects
  with much longer time horizons. This example has a
 monthly “int...
5 months later significant changes are evident
Major project with two-tiered kanban board
Major Project with two-tiered kanban board using swim
                                  lanes for feature sets
Less mature major project in trouble adopts kanban to
 bring a focus to daily routine and visibility to work-in-
         ...
Next Day – Team is maturing quickly and has refactored
         the board with swim lanes for functional areas
Kanban has allowed scaling standup meetings to
   much larger teams than is typical with Scrum




                       ...
Bargaining, Democracy & Collaboration
First 8 weeks prioritization board would
bargain against the available slots and WIP...
The process has shown remarkable robustness to gaming
                                    from the business

          Pri...
Summary


Culture Change
  Trust, empowerment, objective data measurement,
  collaborative team working and focus on quali...
Learn More


Join the Kanbandev Yahoo! Group
Corey Ladas’ Lean Software Eng Blog
  http://leansoftwareengineering.com/
Agi...
Thank you!




       dja@agilemanagement.net
http://www.agilemanagement.net/
About…
David Anderson is a thought leader in
managing effective software teams. He is the
President of Modus Cooperandi, a...
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David Anderson Kanban At Q Con

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David Anderson Kanban At Q Con

  1. 1. Kanban Creating a Kaizen Culture and evolving Lean Software Engineering Solutions David J. Anderson President, Modus Cooperandi, Performance Through Collaboration
  2. 2. What is a kanban system?
  3. 3. Kanban allows us to implement my recipe for success Focus on Quality Reduce (or limit) Work-in-Progress Balance Demand against Throughput Prioritize
  4. 4. Case Study Microsoft 2004/2005 XIT one of Microsoft’s 8 IT departments XIT Sustained Engineering Small team Change requests Supports over 80 applications (and growing) Engineering responsibilities moved from Redmond (Washington, USA) to Hyderabad (India) in 2004 Hyderabad vendor is CMMI Level 5 and uses TSP/PSP Initial quality is very high
  5. 5. Dark Days in July 2004 Sustained Engineering Supply v Demand 90 80 PM Dev Mgr Test Mgr Change 70 Requests 60 50 Change Requests 40 30 20 10 0 Manager resigns end June Jan-04 Apr-04 Jul-04 Supply 2004 – open position Q3 Quarters 2004 Supply Demand Backlog isUser Acceptance Test 80+ and growing about 20 per quarter Demand is outstripping supply and the Product queue is growing Lead time is 155 days Backlog 155 Days Managers Customer satisfaction – lowest in IT department
  6. 6. Estimation (ROM) was Top Priority Open and Read PM Dev Mgr Source Code Test Mgr 3 Developers, Change Requests Read Application Guide 3 Testers Whole process about ROM But… ROM 1 day per developer and tester 80 Applications Estimation was using 33%- 33%-40% of available capacity!!! SLA – 48 hours to return User Acceptance Test a rough order What of magnitude happens?... estimate (ROM) Product All change requests Backlog 155 Days Managers are ROM estimated ROMs are expedited as top priority due to SLA
  7. 7. Actual effort was miniscule compared to lead time of 155 days PM Dev Mgr Test Mgr Change Requests 25 ROM 20 ROM C h a n g e R e q u e s ts 15 Historical data gathered over 9 months showed that a 10 typical change request took User Acceptance Test 5 approx 5 business days to process through 0 development 1 to 2 3 to 5 6 to 10 11 to Dev Test Product Backlog 155 Days > 15 Managers end was 1 day Low 15 Effort in Days High end 15 days
  8. 8. Are Estimates muda? Only 52% of requests were actually ever completed PM Dev Mgr Other 48% Test Mgr Change Requests Too big (bigger than 15 days) Too expensive (low ROM value versus cost) ROM Overtaken by events, application decommissioned before request is processed User Acceptance Test ROMs are taking 40% of capacity but 48% of ROMs represent analysis that is never used beyond estimate, schedule and go/no go decision! Knowledge work is perishable. ROM analysis is done months before work Product Backlog 155 Days Managers is conducted and there is no guarantee that ROM is conducted by same engineer who will code or test. Conclusion – all ROMs are muda
  9. 9. Could it get worse? Expediting PTC Non- Non-code Fix PM Dev Mgr Test Mgr Change Requests ROM ROM User Acceptance Test Production Text Change Product Backlog E.g. Days 155 graphical changes, data changes, Managers anything that didn’t require a developer Must be expedited Need to make formal QA pass
  10. 10. State Model XIT Change Request New New More Info Approved Resolved Backlog Dev Queue Test Queue Info On On Started Started Received Hold Hold Analysis Dev Test Failed Re-opened Passed Virtual Kanban Transferred to Proj Team Resolved UAT Queue limit initially Pending Future Project (needs 8 = WIP + 7 days By Design exception) buffer Duplicate Started Won’t Fix No Repro UAT Failed, Scope Changed Passed Virtual Kanban limit initially Abandoned SOX 8 = WIP + 7 days buffer Complete Released Closed Production Queue
  11. 11. Intervention 1 Pace the Line from Development PTC Expedite Local Mgr PM Change Requests Kanban Kanban 8 cards 8 cards (3 WIP 5 Buffer) Development Kanban Typically enough for WIP + 7 days Test Kanban User Acceptance Test Typically enough for WIP + 7 days Pace line at rate of consumption At times of high expediting levels, kanban insures that line is paced Product from Test not Dev Managers Backlog 25 Days Reduces lead time by insuring single-tasking Focuses customer acutely on selection of highest priority (urgency) requests for insertion into empty buffer slots
  12. 12. Intervention 2 – Stop Estimating ROM activity abandoned Freed up 40% capacity PTC Expedite Instant boost to productivity numbers Mgr Local PM Edge cases Change Requests Too big (take risk, identify once Kanban Kanban development) in 8 cards 8 cards (3 WIP Too expensive (don’t care) 5 Buffer) Following Deming’s advice – manage for the normal and treat exceptions as exceptional Stop cost accounting User Acceptance Test No such thing as a cost of change request Costs are fixed Product FundingBacklog with vendor on 12 month contract and paid out on is spent 25 Days Managers monthly burn rate All changes would be treated equally for cost purposes Based on average of 5 business days through development
  13. 13. Throughput and Cost Zero Backlog achieved Some idle time Lowers metrics $7500 60 Highest Productivity 56 per person 50 40 45 45 30 20 17 10 $2900 $3300 0 Sep-04 Dec-04 Mar-05 Jun-05 Lowest cost Sep-05 Dec-05 Shortest lead time Highest customer satisfaction
  14. 14. Why Lead Time is the best metric XIT-SE TTR From 5 Months To 3 Weeks in 5 Quarters Other Sev TTR Sev 1 180 • New Manager • No More ROMs Zero Backlog 160 • New Prioritization Process 140 • Flow Management Calendar Days 120 Changed dev : test ratio 100 from 3:3 to 4:2 80 Increased dev : test from 60 4:2 to 5:3 40 20 Lowest cost 0 Highest Productivity FY04 Q4 FY05 Q1 FY05 Q2 FY05person per Q3 FY05 Q4 FY06 Q1 FY06 Q2 Quarter Shortest lead time Highest customer satisfaction
  15. 15. At Corbis in December 2006, we implemented a detailed kanban system for sustaining engineering
  16. 16. Kanban limits create a pull system and white board provides visualization of flow through to delivery Kanban Limit – regulates WIP at each stage in the process Pull Flow – from Engineering Ready to Release Ready
  17. 17. Colors are used to designate classes of service for work items Change Requests and Production Bugs – Customer valued and prioritized by governing board
  18. 18. Quantity of blue tickets on the board is an immediate indicator of development quality that is impeding flow of customer valued work and reducing throughput Engineering Defects – direct indicator of quality impact on productivity, linked to yellow sticky, not counted against kanban limit
  19. 19. Non-customer valued but essential work is tracked as a different class of work IT Maintenance Work – Technology department reserving capacity for its own maintenance – difficult to prioritize with business – count against kanban limits
  20. 20. Expediting – the Silver Bullet Process allows for a single Silver Bullet expedite request Silver bullet is hand carried through the system Personal attention from project manager Automatically jumps queues Required specialist resources drop other work in preference to working the silver bullet Release dates may be adjusted to accommodate required delivery date
  21. 21. Quantity of pink issue tickets on board directly indicates flow impacting problems that need attention from management Issues are the exception – attached to work items that are blocked for external reasons and call attention to problems preventing smooth flow
  22. 22. Temporary classes of work may be introduced tactically to maximize exploitation of the system Extra Bug – Special class of production bug, worked by slack developer resources and specially selected not to impact solutions analysis. Tested by developers not testers. Allows maximum exploitation for improved throughput
  23. 23. Kanban tickets hold a lot of information that enable decentralized control and local decision making when deciding priority of items to pull through the system Issue attached to Hard delivery date – Electronic ID number change request – for regulatory, legal, or indicates management strategic reasons attention required Assigned engineer Date Accepted – clock starts on SLA Signifies item that has exceeded SLA – indicates that item should be prioritized if possible
  24. 24. Kanban delivers iterationless development Releases were agreed and planned for every 2nd Wednesday Prioritization Board meetings were held every Monday Release content is bound and published only 5 days prior Prioritization meetings are required only to answer the question, “Which items from the backlog do we want to select this week to fill any empty slots in the input queue?” Prioritization holds change request selection until the last responsible moment It keeps (real) options open
  25. 25. Kanban innovates on typical agile/iterative development by introducing a late binding release commitment Kanban system breaks constraint of typical agile/iterative 2-4 week cycle Requests can take up to 100 days to process but releases still made every 14 days Average item takes 14 days of engineering Input and sizing is decoupled from cadence of releases Decision on content of release made 5 days prior to release No estimation is done on individual items Effort to estimate is turned back to productivity (analysis, coding, testing)
  26. 26. Look how the board has changed by March! Empirically adjusted Kanban limits reacting to industrial engineering issues. Much neater presentation – pride in the process is forming
  27. 27. And again in April, more changes to Kanban limits and forward extension of the process to business analysis
  28. 28. Waste bin spontaneously introduced by team to visually communicate rejected CRs that wasted energy and sucked productivity
  29. 29. Spontaneous Quality Circles started forming Kanban board gives visibility into process issues – ragged flow, transaction costs of releases or transfers through stages in process, bottlenecks Daily standup provides forum for spontaneous association to attack process issues affecting productivity and lead time For example, 3 day freeze on test environment was a transaction cost on release that caused a bottleneck at “build” state. This was reduced to 24 hours after a 3 person quality circle formed to investigate the policies behind the freeze. Result was improved smooth flow resulting in higher throughput and shorter lead time
  30. 30. Other spontaneous quality circle kaizen events Empirically adjusted kanban limits several times E.g. test kanban too small, causing ragged flow UAT state added Prompted by test who were experiencing slack time Expanded kanban limit on Build Ready state, added Test Ready state Introduced to smooth flow post release due to environment outage transaction cost Introduced kanban board, daily standup, colored post-it notes for different classes of service, notations on the post-its Poor requirements causing downstream waste resulted in an upstream inspection to eliminate issues with poorly specified requests
  31. 31. September 2007 – Business Analysis and Systems Analysis merged eliminating 25% of lead time consumed as queuing waste
  32. 32. And the process is spreading inside Corbis …
  33. 33. And externally at companies like Yahoo! …
  34. 34. … this one on the Mash social network team
  35. 35. And the technique is being introduced to major projects with much longer time horizons. This example has a monthly “integration event” rather than a release every two weeks
  36. 36. 5 months later significant changes are evident
  37. 37. Major project with two-tiered kanban board
  38. 38. Major Project with two-tiered kanban board using swim lanes for feature sets
  39. 39. Less mature major project in trouble adopts kanban to bring a focus to daily routine and visibility to work-in- progress to team and management
  40. 40. Next Day – Team is maturing quickly and has refactored the board with swim lanes for functional areas
  41. 41. Kanban has allowed scaling standup meetings to much larger teams than is typical with Scrum In this example more than 40 people attend a standup for a large project with 6 concurrent development teams. The meeting is usually completed in approximately 10 minutes. Never more than 15.
  42. 42. Bargaining, Democracy & Collaboration First 8 weeks prioritization board would bargain against the available slots and WIP limit I’ve got two small requests can you treat them as one? People started to lobby each other and build business cases to get items selected Familiarity with the system led to the consensus decision to adopt a democratic process 3 months later it was evident that democracy didn’t always select the best candidate And it was replaced with a collaborative process based on strategic and current tactical marketing objectives
  43. 43. The process has shown remarkable robustness to gaming from the business Prioritization board consists of VPs from 6 business units Understanding that expediting costs throughput and lead time has resulted in an expectation that only critical items qualify for Silver Bullet status Attempts to game prioritization by setting a delivery date are tightly scrutinized by the board As a result the process is self-regulating with the prioritization board enforcing the anti- gaming rules As a result the Silver Bullet and delivery date options are seldom used
  44. 44. Summary Culture Change Trust, empowerment, objective data measurement, collaborative team working and focus on quality Policy Changes Late-binding release scope, no estimating, late-binding prioritization Regular delivery cadence Cross-functional collaboration Previously unheard of VP level selfless collaboration on business priority Self-regulating process robust to gaming and abuse Continuous Improvement Increased throughput, high quality, process continually evolving, kanban limits empirically adjusted
  45. 45. Learn More Join the Kanbandev Yahoo! Group Corey Ladas’ Lean Software Eng Blog http://leansoftwareengineering.com/ Agile Management Blog http://www.agilemanagement.net/Articles/Weblog/blog.html
  46. 46. Thank you! dja@agilemanagement.net http://www.agilemanagement.net/
  47. 47. About… David Anderson is a thought leader in managing effective software teams. He is the President of Modus Cooperandi, a consulting firm dedicated to improving leadership in the IT and software development sectors. He has 25 years experience in the software development business starting with computer games in the early 1980’s. As a pioneer in the agile software movement David has managed teams at Sprint, Motorola and Corbis delivering superior productivity and quality. At Microsoft he developed the MSF for CMMI Process Improvement methodology. David’s book, Agile Management for Software Engineering – Applying the Theory of Constraints for Business Results, introduced many ideas from Lean and Theory of Constraints in to software engineering. David was a founder and is a current board member of the APLN, a not for profit dedicated to promoting better standards of leadership and management in knowledge worker industries. He can be contacted at… Email: dja@moduscooperandi.com
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