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Kanban Response to Sprint Zero at US Department of Homeland Security

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Many new projects experience delays in the "fuzzy front end," resulting in a compressed time schedule, unrealistic expectations, and staff burnout.  How do you start "sprinting" when you don't know which direction you should be headed, and you haven't even finished staffing up your team?   In a federal government contracting milieu, once a procurement is finally awarded, the contractor is expected to instantly spring into action and magically "do the right thing."   
What techniques can help us get started?
Scrum's "Sprint Zero" (although it is now appearing in many government RFPs) is an altogether unsatisfactory answer.  
In this talk we will trace the evolution of a project for the Department of Homeland Security from a vague idea to a completed prototype and see how personal kanban, aggregated personal kanban, kanban boards, physical boards and automated kanban tools helped turn chaos into useful progress and ultimately into flow.

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Kanban Response to Sprint Zero at US Department of Homeland Security

  1. 1. Craeg Strong CTO, Ariel Partners May 9, 2017 Vienna, VA © Copyright Ariel Partners 2017 *sales@arielpartners.com ((646) 467-7394 1 Kanban Response to Sprint Zero At US Department of Homeland Security
  2. 2. Software Development since 1988 Large Commercial & Government Projects Agile Coach / DevOps Engineer Kanban Trainer / SpecFlow Trainer Performance & Scalability Architect Certified Ethical Hacker New York & Washington DC Area CTO, Ariel Partners AKT, CSM, CSP, CSD, CSPO, PSM, ITILv3, PMI-ACP, PMP, LeSS, SAFe www.arielpartners.com cstrong@arielpartners.com @ckstrong1 Craeg Strong © Copyright Ariel Partners 2017 *sales@arielpartners.com ((646) 467-7394
  3. 3. Agenda Experience Report: Hackathon For USCIS How Kanban Helped Us Get Organized How Our Process Evolved What We Built Observations and Lessons Learned Big Picture: Government IT Changes In Government IT Procurement Challenges Doing Things Better Conclusion © Copyright Ariel Partners 2017 *sales@arielpartners.com ((646) 467-7394
  4. 4. Mission: Possible Ten People Five States Four Companies Three Weekends Brand New Software Application Cutting Edge Technology Platform © Copyright Ariel Partners 2017 *sales@arielpartners.com ((646) 467-7394
  5. 5. How To Get Started? Setup the Network Configure Team Laptops Assess Team Member Skills Define Product Vision Create Repository Seed Database Login Screen Static Code Analysis Configure Automated Builds Sign up for Cloud Services Configure Automated Deployment Create GUI Mockups Story Mapping Wireframes Automated Test Framework Feature Tests Test Reports Customer Journey Map Competitive Product Analysis Determine Technology Compatibility Developer IDE Setup Scheduling and Team Logistics Setup Team Wiki Design Kanban System © Copyright Ariel Partners 2017 *sales@arielpartners.com ((646) 467-7394
  6. 6. Prince Charming To The Rescue © Copyright Ariel Partners 2017 *sales@arielpartners.com ((646) 467-7394 6 Aggregated Personal Kanban
  7. 7. 7© Copyright Ariel Partners 2017 *sales@arielpartners.com ((646) 467-7394 First Board
  8. 8. 8© Copyright Ariel Partners 2017 *sales@arielpartners.com ((646) 467-7394 Forward Progress
  9. 9. Pros and Cons © Copyright Ariel Partners 2017 *sales@arielpartners.com ((646) 467-7394 NEGATIVE  Not Measuring Business Value  No Easy Way For Multiple Team Members To Coordinate Efforts  Bottlenecks Are Not Obvious  Don’t Know What We Don’t Know POSITIVE  Ensures Everyone Has Something To Do  Can See What Each Team Member Is Working On  Captures All The Immediate Tasks  Add/Remove Tasks Anytime
  10. 10. 10© Copyright Ariel Partners 2017 *sales@arielpartners.com ((646) 467-7394 Kanban System Design Upstream DownstreamCommitment Point Pull Policies
  11. 11. Physical Kanban Board © Copyright Ariel Partners 2017 *sales@arielpartners.com ((646) 467-7394 NEGATIVE  Difficult To Capture Metrics For Compressed Timeframe  Physical Board Imposed Too much overhead POSITIVE  Captures Flow of Business Value  Easy To Coordinate / Collaborate  Bottlenecks Clearly Visible  No Hidden Workflow Steps
  12. 12. 12© Copyright Ariel Partners 2017 *sales@arielpartners.com ((646) 467-7394 Replicating The Physical Board LEANKIT IMPOSED RELATIVELY FEW LIMITATIONS
  13. 13. 13© Copyright Ariel Partners 2017 *sales@arielpartners.com ((646) 467-7394 Further Refinements  RED COLOR TICKET RATHER THAN EXPEDITE LANE  SMALL PHOTO SHOWS WHO IS ASSIGNED  MORE THAN ONE PERSON CAN BE ASSIGNED TO A FEATURE
  14. 14. What We Built © Copyright Ariel Partners 2017 *sales@arielpartners.com ((646) 467-7394
  15. 15. How We Built It: One Tiny Piece At A Time © Copyright Ariel Partners 2017 *sales@arielpartners.com ((646) 467-7394 1. Manual Entry of Email 2. Dropdown 4. Type- Ahead 3. Don’t Show My Email
  16. 16. Addressing “Startup” Sources Of Delay © Copyright Ariel Partners 2017 *sales@arielpartners.com ((646) 467-7394 • Aggregated Personal KanbanGetting Started • Kanban System DesignDesigning A New Process • On-Line Learning Sources: Udemy, Pluralsight, etc. • Face-Time, Collaboration, Pair-Programming • Kanban Board Shows Who Is Pairing Mastering New Technologies • Cloud For Test And Demo Deployments = HUGE WIN Deploying New Features And Fixes • Solution: Start With A Seed Project Building Features Together With Automated Tests Biggest Bottleneck
  17. 17. Some Minor Tool Limitations © Copyright Ariel Partners 2017 *sales@arielpartners.com ((646) 467-7394 Couldn’t Figure Out How To Represent ThisMulti-Level Board Missing Minimum WIP Limit (To Prevent Downstream Starvation) WIP Limit No Relationships Other Than Parent-Child Relating Features and Stories Timestamps cannot be changed later, preventing correction of errors and skewing metrics and reports No Way To Fix Entry Errors: Tool Assumes Perfection Tool Assumes Timeframes Will Always Be Measured In Days/Weeks rather than Minutes/Hours No Sub-Day Timeframes
  18. 18. How Does This Relate To Government IT Procurement? © Copyright Ariel Partners 2017 *sales@arielpartners.com (646) 467-7394 18
  19. 19. Government Is Modernizing © Copyright Ariel Partners 2017 *sales@arielpartners.com ((646) 467-7394 19 Agile Lifecycle Waterfall Massive, Multi-Year Procurements Small, Short Task Orders
  20. 20. But There Are Still Many Challenges © Copyright Ariel Partners 2017 *sales@arielpartners.com ((646) 467-7394 20 Procurement Challenges  Annual Budgeting Cycle  Lengthy Approval Process  Significant Penalty for Failure  Entrenched Organizational Structure  Well-defined Roles and Responsibilities  Optimized for Repetitive Execution  Intentional Inefficiencies to Discourage Malfeasance Organizational Challenges Technical Challenges  Multiple Legacy Systems  Manual Processes and Workarounds  Obsolete Technology
  21. 21. JumpStart Strategy For System Development © Copyright Ariel Partners 2017 *sales@arielpartners.com ((646) 467-7394 21  The Kanban Method  Kanban System Design  Working “Seed” Software  Representative Set of Automated Tests  Fully Automated Deployments  Shared User Experience (GUI) Design  Shared Software Components Solve The “Easy” Problems So We Can Focus on the Really Tough Ones  Business Stakeholder Engagement  Staff Resistance & Sabotage  Business Domain Understanding  Undocumented Legacy Systems
  22. 22. Maintaining Application Seed: Ongoing Investment © Copyright Ariel Partners 2017 *sales@arielpartners.com ((646) 467-7394 22 ASP/JSP JQuery 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 ReactJS AngularJS 4.x? AngularJS 1.x Development Incremental Improvements Development Incremental Improvements Development Level of Investment
  23. 23. Review: Typical “Sprint Zero” Tasks Identify Stakeholders Articulate the Vision Build versus buy decisions Secure Physical Space Assemble the Team Establish Initial Technical Architecture Establish Initial DevOps Pipeline © Copyright Ariel Partners 2017 *sales@arielpartners.com ((646) 467-7394 23 Start Immediately Kanban Method Application Seed Scrum Pre-Requisites
  24. 24. Conclusions • Government Adopting Agile Practices • …But Environment Remains Agile-Hostile • Kanban Provides Overall Framework For Managing Continuous or Disruptive Change • Strategy: Solve The “Easy” Problems…So We Can Focus on the Really Hard Ones • With Some Up-Front Investment We Can Radically Improve Outcomes © Copyright Ariel Partners 2017 *sales@arielpartners.com ((646) 467-7394 24

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