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Kanban: A Process Tool




            John Heintz, Gist Labs
john@gistlabs.com    http://gistlabs.com/john
John Heintz, Gist Labs

      Gist Labs is essential innovation

• Essential Process: Agile/Lean/Kanban
• Essential Techno...
What is Kanban?

Kanban is a tool for organizing work.

The name “Kanban” is Japanese for visual token

"Kanban promotes f...
A Kanban Board




4   ©2009 Gist Labs LLC, CC BY-ND
One of my team's Kanban Board




5      ©2009 Gist Labs LLC, CC BY-ND
Explaining Kanban: Theory or Practice?


• Open Discussion: which to teach first

• I'm going to present the practices fir...
Practices: Rules of the Game


• Organize work into different types
     ◦ S-M-L, high-low priority, maintenance/new...
• ...
The Simplest Kanban Rule


       Limit the number of things in work
                to a fixed number



 This one rule w...
Deciding on WIP Limits
• Start every limit at 1.
      ◦ Add tokens 1 at a time until one person is always
        busy, t...
Why Are WIP Limits So Central?


• Multitasking is bad, but not just because of the
  cost of changing context.

• Little'...
Visualizing the Delay
• Notice that multitasking slows delivery
• That translates to lost revenue




 11       ©2009 Gist...
Why are we sitting here? Not my job...


• The state of the art in development and
  deployment is advancing.

• Flickr re...
What about Agile?


• Kanban and Agile don't compete, but aren't
  the same

• Corey Ladas wrote Scrumban merging them

• ...
Some differences Agile/Kanban


•   Iterations vs continuous Flow
•   Velocity
•   Story commitment vs average cycle time
...
Visualizing - Cumulative Flow Diagrams


• CFDs show a sliding time view of workflow

• The vertical axis is WIP
• The hor...
Sample Cumulative Flow Diagrams




 16    ©2009 Gist Labs LLC, CC BY-ND
Sample Cumulative Flow Diagrams




 17    ©2009 Gist Labs LLC, CC BY-ND
Boards and Diagrams


• The Kanban Board is “now”
• The CFD is the cumulative history

• A “log jam” on the board or a ver...
The Theory: Lean Behind the Scenes


• Lean is the American name for the Toyota
  Production System

• Lean Software Devel...
The Principles of Lean


• Jim Womach, author of “The Toyota Way”
      ◦   Value (from the perspective of the customer)
 ...
David Anderson's Recipe for Success
• David Anderson started all of this, and
  launched the conference earlier this month...
Rob Hathaway's Principles for Kanban


• Rob presented these at the conference

• Principles:
      ◦   Value
      ◦   Pr...
Chris Shinkle, Drefus Model


• Chris presented a “practices first” experience
  report. He described his experience as
  ...
Dreyfus Model of Skill Acquisition
• Novice
      ◦ rigid adherence to rules
• Advanced beginner
      ◦ situational perce...
Surprise! Cultural Change


• I didn't expect this, but many teams seem to
  more successfully adopt Kanban than Agile

• ...
Abstraction and Refection


• Many people prefer concrete examples over
  abstract ideas

• Reflective is about examining ...
Concrete Refective Tools

• A concrete reflective tools is both
  specific and forward/backward looking

• “What WIP Limit...
Another Concrete Refective Tool - A3


• An A3 is another tool from Toyota
      ◦ A3 is the size of European paper used
 ...
References – Blogs, Lists


• David Anderson's Blog
  http://www.agilemanagement.net
• Corey Ladas' Blog
  http://leansoft...
References – Scrumban Book


• Excellent reference

• Corey and David
  worked at Microsoft
  and Corbis together
  on Kan...
References – Stikky Tabs


• Reusable sticky tabs

• We love them




 31       ©2009 Gist Labs LLC, CC BY-ND
The Simplest Kanban Rule


       Limit the number of things in work
                to a fixed number



 This one rule w...
Kanban: A Process Tool

             Questions?


            John Heintz, Gist Labs
john@gistlabs.com    http://gistlabs....
More From the Conference


• Materials for Executives
      ◦ Dean Leffingwell's Model for Agile Enterprises

• Lean Softw...
Lean Software and Systems Consortium


  http://leanssc.org

• “The consortium is committed to community,
  communication ...
Great Quotes from the Conference


• “Stop starting, Start finishing”
      ◦ Sterling Mortensen

• “I have found my tribe...
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Kanban

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Transcript of "Kanban"

  1. 1. Kanban: A Process Tool John Heintz, Gist Labs john@gistlabs.com http://gistlabs.com/john
  2. 2. John Heintz, Gist Labs Gist Labs is essential innovation • Essential Process: Agile/Lean/Kanban • Essential Technology: Java/Scala, REST Customers include: • MMO Game Studio, 100+ people • Online precious metals broker 2 ©2009 Gist Labs LLC, CC BY-ND
  3. 3. What is Kanban? Kanban is a tool for organizing work. The name “Kanban” is Japanese for visual token "Kanban promotes flow and reduced cycle-time by limiting WIP and pulling value through in a visible manner." • Torbjörn Gyllebring WIP is “Work In Progress” 3 ©2009 Gist Labs LLC, CC BY-ND
  4. 4. A Kanban Board 4 ©2009 Gist Labs LLC, CC BY-ND
  5. 5. One of my team's Kanban Board 5 ©2009 Gist Labs LLC, CC BY-ND
  6. 6. Explaining Kanban: Theory or Practice? • Open Discussion: which to teach first • I'm going to present the practices first 6 ©2009 Gist Labs LLC, CC BY-ND
  7. 7. Practices: Rules of the Game • Organize work into different types ◦ S-M-L, high-low priority, maintenance/new... • Map out the steps for each type (workflow) ◦ compress steps the same people do • Agree to WIP limits for each step • Only pull work from upstream when slot opens 7 ©2009 Gist Labs LLC, CC BY-ND
  8. 8. The Simplest Kanban Rule Limit the number of things in work to a fixed number This one rule will lead to most everything else in this presentation. 8 ©2009 Gist Labs LLC, CC BY-ND
  9. 9. Deciding on WIP Limits • Start every limit at 1. ◦ Add tokens 1 at a time until one person is always busy, then apply Theory of Constraints. • Start every limit at arbitrarily large value, 10. ◦ Subtract tokens 1 at a time until flow is observed. Then start looking for a way to remove 1 more. • Create a Value Stream Map and measure the time-on-task distribution of each activity. ◦ Use Little’s Law to calculate the corresponding queue sizes. Corey Ladas, http://leansoftwareengineering.com/ 9 ©2009 Gist Labs LLC, CC BY-ND
  10. 10. Why Are WIP Limits So Central? • Multitasking is bad, but not just because of the cost of changing context. • Little's Law: Total Cycle Time = (# in process) / (average completion rate) • Generalized delays are the waste caused by multitasking. 10 ©2009 Gist Labs LLC, CC BY-ND
  11. 11. Visualizing the Delay • Notice that multitasking slows delivery • That translates to lost revenue 11 ©2009 Gist Labs LLC, CC BY-ND
  12. 12. Why are we sitting here? Not my job... • The state of the art in development and deployment is advancing. • Flickr releases production code every 30 min • IMVU releases production code every 9 min 12 ©2009 Gist Labs LLC, CC BY-ND
  13. 13. What about Agile? • Kanban and Agile don't compete, but aren't the same • Corey Ladas wrote Scrumban merging them • Teams can start with Agile adding WIP Limits, or just start with Kanban. 13 ©2009 Gist Labs LLC, CC BY-ND
  14. 14. Some differences Agile/Kanban • Iterations vs continuous Flow • Velocity • Story commitment vs average cycle time • Estimation focus • Homogenous stories 14 ©2009 Gist Labs LLC, CC BY-ND
  15. 15. Visualizing - Cumulative Flow Diagrams • CFDs show a sliding time view of workflow • The vertical axis is WIP • The horizontal axis is time • “Bulges” in a CFD indicate a problem 15 ©2009 Gist Labs LLC, CC BY-ND
  16. 16. Sample Cumulative Flow Diagrams 16 ©2009 Gist Labs LLC, CC BY-ND
  17. 17. Sample Cumulative Flow Diagrams 17 ©2009 Gist Labs LLC, CC BY-ND
  18. 18. Boards and Diagrams • The Kanban Board is “now” • The CFD is the cumulative history • A “log jam” on the board or a vertical growth in a lane of the CFD indicate a problem. • These are leading indicator of slow delivery 18 ©2009 Gist Labs LLC, CC BY-ND
  19. 19. The Theory: Lean Behind the Scenes • Lean is the American name for the Toyota Production System • Lean Software Development is a large collection of ideas, principles, and techniques • Kanban is a powerful tool from Toyota 19 ©2009 Gist Labs LLC, CC BY-ND
  20. 20. The Principles of Lean • Jim Womach, author of “The Toyota Way” ◦ Value (from the perspective of the customer) ◦ The Value Stream ◦ Flow ◦ Pull ◦ Kaizan (continuous improvement) 20 ©2009 Gist Labs LLC, CC BY-ND
  21. 21. David Anderson's Recipe for Success • David Anderson started all of this, and launched the conference earlier this month • Recipe for Success (with projects): ◦ Focus on Quality ◦ Reduce WIP, Deliver Often ◦ Balance Demand Against Throughput ◦ Prioritize http://www.agilemanagement.net 21 ©2009 Gist Labs LLC, CC BY-ND
  22. 22. Rob Hathaway's Principles for Kanban • Rob presented these at the conference • Principles: ◦ Value ◦ Prioritization ◦ WIP Limits ◦ Quality 22 ©2009 Gist Labs LLC, CC BY-ND
  23. 23. Chris Shinkle, Drefus Model • Chris presented a “practices first” experience report. He described his experience as matching the Drefus Model of Skills Acquisition. 23 ©2009 Gist Labs LLC, CC BY-ND
  24. 24. Dreyfus Model of Skill Acquisition • Novice ◦ rigid adherence to rules • Advanced beginner ◦ situational perception still limited • Competent ◦ now partially sees action as part of larger picture • Proficient ◦ uses maxims for guidance • Expert ◦ no longer reliance on rules, guidelines, maxims 24 ©2009 Gist Labs LLC, CC BY-ND
  25. 25. Surprise! Cultural Change • I didn't expect this, but many teams seem to more successfully adopt Kanban than Agile • My hypothesis: Concrete Reflective Tools • Other reasons, from Alan Shalloway: ◦ Focus on the work ◦ Reduced Fear with story/velocity commitments 25 ©2009 Gist Labs LLC, CC BY-ND
  26. 26. Abstraction and Refection • Many people prefer concrete examples over abstract ideas • Reflective is about examining the past to reason about the future ◦ but... it's often a vague abstract process • I classify Agile Retrospectives as abstract reflective tools 26 ©2009 Gist Labs LLC, CC BY-ND
  27. 27. Concrete Refective Tools • A concrete reflective tools is both specific and forward/backward looking • “What WIP Limit should we set for Features?” • “What caused this spike in WIP?” • “Why are X features so unpredictable?” • Kanban provides concrete focal points for teams to reflectively problem solve 27 ©2009 Gist Labs LLC, CC BY-ND
  28. 28. Another Concrete Refective Tool - A3 • An A3 is another tool from Toyota ◦ A3 is the size of European paper used ◦ A knowledge capture/sharing tool Plan/Do/Check/Act (aka scientific method) ◦ A management and authority gathering tool • Being able to concretely point to a fragment of an A3 enables team reflective problem solving. 28 ©2009 Gist Labs LLC, CC BY-ND
  29. 29. References – Blogs, Lists • David Anderson's Blog http://www.agilemanagement.net • Corey Ladas' Blog http://leansoftwareengineering.com • Kanban Mailing List http://finance.groups.yahoo.com/group/kanbandev/ • Lean Kanban Conference http://www.leankanbanconference.com/ 29 ©2009 Gist Labs LLC, CC BY-ND
  30. 30. References – Scrumban Book • Excellent reference • Corey and David worked at Microsoft and Corbis together on Kanban 30 ©2009 Gist Labs LLC, CC BY-ND
  31. 31. References – Stikky Tabs • Reusable sticky tabs • We love them 31 ©2009 Gist Labs LLC, CC BY-ND
  32. 32. The Simplest Kanban Rule Limit the number of things in work to a fixed number This one rule will lead to most everything else in this presentation. 32 ©2009 Gist Labs LLC, CC BY-ND
  33. 33. Kanban: A Process Tool Questions? John Heintz, Gist Labs john@gistlabs.com http://gistlabs.com/john ©2009 Gist Labs LLC, CC BY-ND 33
  34. 34. More From the Conference • Materials for Executives ◦ Dean Leffingwell's Model for Agile Enterprises • Lean Software and Systems Consortium • Great quotes 34 ©2009 Gist Labs LLC, CC BY-ND
  35. 35. Lean Software and Systems Consortium http://leanssc.org • “The consortium is committed to community, communication and education” • Will develop a “Body of Knowledge” • Will define a distributed certification process 35 ©2009 Gist Labs LLC, CC BY-ND
  36. 36. Great Quotes from the Conference • “Stop starting, Start finishing” ◦ Sterling Mortensen • “I have found my tribe.” ◦ Jim Sutton • “If you don’t know to get the story out of the iteration – don’t let it in” ◦ Dean Leffingwell 36 ©2009 Gist Labs LLC, CC BY-ND
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