Visual Management: Leading With What You Can See


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Presentation by Craig Smith delivered at Agile Encore 2013 in Melbourne on 14 November 2013. Using task boards or story walls is a key Agile practice, but are you making the most of it? Visual Management is more than just putting cards on a wall, it is a growing style of management that focuses on managing work only by what you can see rather than reports or paper being shuffled around. Visual Management allows you to understand the constraints in the system, mitigate risks before they become issues, report on progress from the micro to the macro. Visual Management can also be used to demonstrate to customers and clients where the work they care about is at. This presentation is all about taking the management of your work to the next stage of transparency.

Published in: Technology, Business

Visual Management: Leading With What You Can See

  1. 1. Craig Smith
  2. 2. Welcome… Renee Troughton @agilerenee Image: © DIC Entertainment
  3. 3. Image: WARNING! Much of this may seem obvious
  4. 4. But… We see Crime Scene Walls every day! Image: © Jerry Bruckheimer Television
  5. 5. What Is Visual Management? “ …information is communicated by using visual signals instead of texts or other written instructions. The design is deliberate in allowing quick recognition of the information being communicated, in order to increase efficiency and clarity. Everyday Visual Management Image: © Charles M. Schulz / Universal UClick
  6. 6. Effective retention 3 days after a meeting Spoken word only Visual + Oral Human Learning Retention Taste Hearing Smell Touch Visual Why It Is Important
  7. 7. The flow today Flow Management Complexity Thinking The Zone Gamification Usability Final Thoughts
  8. 8. Visual Management: Flow Management Image: © Thunderbox Films
  9. 9. To Do Analysis Develop The Basic Flow Test Done Agile 101 tells us to build a wall like this
  10. 10. To Do Analysis Develop Test Done Often results in this The Basic Flow 11
  11. 11. Avoid The Agile Waterfall
  12. 12. Clear Instructions Instructions for adding a card Development Done: • Code complete & reviewed • Unit Tests pass & complete • Acceptance Tests pass & complete • Checked in & build success • Documentation updated Instructions for pushing a card to next queue
  13. 13. Multi-Sprint Backlog Can see a little further down the road…
  14. 14. Manage your work via WIP Groom your backlog as you go Works well for Kanban (but iterative as well) Horizon & Queues
  15. 15. Story Map Backlog Map out the features and dependencies required Map out features on a wall
  16. 16. Value Tree Backlog Single Feature, bottom up growth
  17. 17. Visualising the priorities for multiple product owners Multiple P/O Backlog
  18. 18. Doing Done To Do Timeline Board
  19. 19. Build / Measure / Learn Repeat Lean Startup Board C
  20. 20. Done by Cycle Time Done by Time Done By…
  21. 21. Done Burn… vs versus Are we on track for end of iteration?
  22. 22. Limited WIP of 3 Tracks stories & tasks Hourglass
  23. 23. Scrum Hero As part of a larger zone Limited WIP of 8
  24. 24. Doing Representative size Done! To Do Balloon Board
  25. 25. LEGO Portfolio Board DUPLO holes = Expected size (people) Lower level = Number of people needed Upper level = Number of people allocated LEGO colour = Skill type Divider height = control level for gate DUPLO height = Expected value/ROI DUPLO colour = Business domain
  26. 26. LEGO Portfolio Board Lego Portfolio Management Why Are Doing This? Why Are Doing This? High Depend, High Risk Under Resource Idle People
  27. 27. Back At Build boards to Work? visualise problems that you have Keep it simple, but visual Keep experimenting (or refine your awesomeness) Image: © Thunderbox Films
  28. 28. Visual Management: The Zone Image: © Paramount Pictures
  29. 29. Task Board Story Wall Which means work items should not be called tasks, user stories or kanbans… Kanban Board They are things on a wall. What’s In A Name?
  30. 30. Who Cares About Transparency? Management The Team The Customer Which teams need my support to remove blockers and waste? What do I need to work on now? Where is my work at?
  31. 31. Metrics People Visual Management Zone Environment Knowledge Artefacts Flow Zone What’s Makes up the Zone? R
  32. 32. The Zone: Metrics Cumulative Flow Diagram 500 Burn Up Chart 450 400 350 300 250 200 150 100 50 Scope (points) 0 8 11 11 44 7 56 31 43.5 48 42 85 65 36.5 63 55 58.5 55 36.5 50 50 50 0 #01, 03-Dec #02, 21-Dec #03, 15-Jan #04, 25-Jan #05, 08-Feb #06, 22-Feb #07, 08Mar #08, 22- #09, 05-Apr #10, 19-Apr #11, 03Mar May #12, 17May
  33. 33. Lobster Lunch Risk Heat Map Now Targeting The Zone: Metrics
  34. 34. Code Climate Sonar The Zone: Metrics
  35. 35. Qualitative & Quantitative Maturity Assessment The Zone: Metrics
  36. 36. Mood Chart Leave Calendars Capability / Dev Plan The Zone: People R
  37. 37. The Zone: Environment Client Mood Environment Status Build Status C
  38. 38. State Diagrams Database Diagrams The Zone: Knowledge Artefacts R
  39. 39. The Zone: Flow Zone Blackboard Whiteboard
  40. 40. Back At Work? Seek forgiveness, rather than permission Visual management isn’t just a flow board Your key artefacts should be visible in the zone Image: © Paramount Pictures
  41. 41. Visual Management: Complexity Thinking Image: © Warner Bros. Pictures
  42. 42. So What Flow To Use? No Visual Management? Basic Flow? Process Flow?
  43. 43. At Home • Predictable • No Expert Required Simple La Marzocco • Predictable • Expert Required Complicated World Barista Championships • Unpredictable • Expert Required Complex Complex Coffee
  44. 44. Coffee At Home At Home • Predictable • No Expert Required Simple Is Visual Management needed?
  45. 45. La Marzocco • Predictable • Expert Required Complicated Is Visual Management needed? To Do Doing Large Latte 2 sugars Flat White Macchiato 1 Sugar Done Cappuccino 2 Sugars Large Latte 2 sugars Expresso Variability is Small Coffee At A Coffee Shop
  46. 46. Coffee At A Coffee Shop To Do Doing Large Latte 2 sugars Flat White Macchiato 1 Sugar Done Cappuccino 2 Sugars Large Latte 2 sugars Expresso Variability is Small
  47. 47. • Unpredictable • Expert Required World Barista Championships Complex Is Visual Management needed? To Do Get Stop tablecloth Doing Order cups Test new roast (day 7) Dependency Management Test new roast (day 8) Test new roast (day 9) Waiting Diffuser delivery Significant Variability Events Block Flow Done Test Kenyan Roast Extended Flow Championship Coffee
  48. 48. Systemic Flow Mapping Net Mapping (Stakeholders) Systemic Mapping (Organisation) Image:
  49. 49. Back At Choose the Work? complexity of your work to determine the complexity of your board Some work may cross over complexity boundaries Image: © Warner Bros. Pictures
  50. 50. Visual Management: Usability Image: © 20th Century Fox
  51. 51. Why do we care about usability for software? Why don’t we care about usability in visual management? Visual Management: Usability Image: © 20th Century Fox
  52. 52. Index Cards Have a low variability in sizes and shapes of cards
  53. 53. As a creator of user stories I want to use the right coloured pen So that it is quicker for the brain to read Use a pen that works! Use a strong contrast of pen to index colour As a creator of user stories I want to use the right coloured pen So that it is quicker for the brain to read Colour Contrast
  54. 54. Writing Style As a creator of user stories I want to write neatly So that it is quicker for the brain to read and recognise the work Although… Research shows hard to read fonts promote better recall. Go figure… Write neatly or print cards. Size does matter! As a creator of user stories I want to write neatly So that it is quicker for the brain to read and recognise the work
  55. 55. Use real photos not characters or images Renee T Although, balance this with fun or team theme. Tokens to determine status Avatars
  56. 56. User Story Templates As Craig I want my picture used for my persona So that it is quicker to recognise all the work for me Be consistent with layout and template Think different Put the value first Don’t write two words or the solution! Use pictures / graphics for personas Use bold / underline to emphasise quick searching In order for it to be quicker to recognise all the work for me As Craig I want my picture used for my persona
  57. 57. Can you zoom in on an area of interest? Can you stand back and see the whole flow? Board Size Continuous Delivery is looking left and right! Avoid Water-ScrumFall
  58. 58. Board Contrast Ensure that flow lines are not higher in contrast than the work items Have a strong contrast between the work items and the surface behind them Painters tape
  59. 59. Create relatedness of sections through colours Create relatedness of queues through shading Paint or Cardboard Board Relatedness
  60. 60. Back At Work? Think about design when initiating a team Find solutions that are quick but effective Good design == faster response == faster delivery Image: © 20th Century Fox
  61. 61. Visual Management: Gamification
  62. 62. Should work be fun? Image:
  63. 63. Achievements Wall I don’t mind a good game of blackjack too . All cards on the team’s flow board have estimates against them The only way is up! The Cumulative Flow Diagram has been consistently updated each day for four weeks .
  64. 64. Broken Build Hat IDE Broken Build Messages Get Out… Free Cards Gaming Development
  65. 65. Back At Work? Make work fun! Choose your gaming to the environment and the people Intrinsic motivation trumps extrinsic driven goals Image:
  66. 66. Image: Final Thoughts
  67. 67. Probably not! Is my wall telling me the whole story? Start by mapping the flow Keep adjusting Image:
  68. 68. Always go back to the zone for discussions about work Lead others by example and take all meetings or status updates to the wall Image: Reinforce the zone
  69. 69. But my team is distributed… Like distributed Agile, it takes more work! You need an electronic zone The default tool dashboards are average Image:
  70. 70. Image: © Bays & Thomas Productions Spend your effort wisely…
  71. 71. Our ultimate goal is to deliver value & good quality! Image: © Miller-Milkis Productions
  72. 72. We are grateful to assistance from: @craigstrong Craig Smith @smithcdau