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Lean Kanban India 2018 | Sudipta Lahiri | Sonali Anand


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Session Title:
A Design Thinking Approach towards Business Agility with The Kanban Method

Session Overview:
In this talk, we go through the journey of an organization towards Business Agility. Wikipedia defines Business Agility as the distinct qualities that allow organisations to respond rapidly to changes in the internal and external environment without losing momentum or vision. Adaptability, flexibility and balance are three qualities essential to long-term business agility.

This talk is not about a specific Agile method. We will explain how we took a Design Thinking approach to create a Transformation roadmap that will help the organization move towards Business Agility. We will share a measurement framework that we put in place to help teams continuously evolve.

We will end this session with a quick comparison of this approach versus the STATIK approach and how they complement each other.

Learning objectives

Understand the approach on how to create a Transformation roadmap - what "key" elements to follow
How to continuously Inspect and Adapt?
Define a simple/easy measurement framework to assist in this journey.

Published in: Education
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Lean Kanban India 2018 | Sudipta Lahiri | Sonali Anand

  1. 1. @sudiptal Business Agility with The Kanban Method Design Thinking with STATIK
  2. 2. @sudiptal A quick introduction Sonali Anand Director, Software AG Sudipta Lahiri Heads of Products and Engineering, Digité
  3. 3. YOU’VE PROBABLY USED OUR SOFTWARE—IF YOU LIVE ON PLANET EARTH © 2018 Software AG. All rights reserved
  4. 4. @sudiptal© 2018 Software AG. All rights reserved Digital Business Platform
  5. 5. @sudiptal Digital Business Platform YOUR DIGITAL CAPABILITIES © 2018 Software AG. All rights reserved
  6. 6. @sudiptal Global Consulting Services PORTFOLIO © 2018 Software AG. All rights reserved
  7. 7. @sudiptal Our problem statement • We tasted some success with agile, but that wasn’t enough to move up the maturity curve • With increasing opportunities for business facing solutions and applications, adopting agile became the need of the hour • We understood the theory but practice wasn’t easy • Agile model for services and consulting was not very well understood or practiced
  8. 8. © 2018 Software AG. All rights reserved • We spoke with multiple agile consultants/coaches, understood their approach • We made our choice based on: • Practical approach to Agile coaching • Knowledge of tools, methods and metrics • Experience from services and consulting world • Confidence to partner with us in making us successful in our Agile transformation journey
  9. 9. @sudiptal • We didn’t want to jump to anything • We wanted to understand them a lot more before we suggested anything at all: • The problem • The people/culture • The pace of change • Existing perceptions and myths Our approach for the partnership…
  10. 10. @sudiptal@sudiptal
  11. 11. @sudiptal The 1st Step: Empathy • Empathy is about standing in someone else’s shoes, feeling with his or her heart, seeing with his or her eyes! • It is hard to outsource and automate • Daniel Pink
  12. 12. @sudiptal If Empathy is “Why” we do it… … “How” do we go about it? … “What” do we do?
  13. 13. © 2018 Software AG. All rights reserved What we wanted • Understand our pain, our teams, customer context and design an approach what would work for us • Let’s talk: Propagate an energy of collaboration • Be part of our adoption and maturity journey as a coach • Sustain the Lean- Agile adoption, and improve incrementally
  14. 14. @sudiptal A two pronged approach… Top down… • Leadership Alignment sessions • Middle Management Alignment sessions Bottom Up • Understanding the “Gemba”
  15. 15. @sudiptal Doing the “Gemba” Walk
  16. 16. @sudiptal From Empathy => To Definition
  17. 17. @sudiptal Our pain points • Maturity on delivery processes was evolving as nature of majority of work in the past was consulting and customer managed • Getting started on agile journey to bring cultural shift was a tough goal • Rapid changes in our service delivery model prompted a re-think of our agile execution • Cadences and transparency were a bit inconsistent • Requirements could be managed better • Early view/demos to business could improve • Estimates were still must-do • Quality/entry-exit gates needed a tune-up (DoR/DoD) • Automations and tools © 2018 Software AG. All rights reserved
  18. 18. @sudiptal Consultant’s “definition” view of the problem • What is “Agile”? • No reference to “Lean” • Focus is on the team; most problems elsewhere • Upstream • Estimation • Commit scope and timeline • Requirement Decomposition • Automation – team level problem • Agility in parts of the Value Stream
  19. 19. @sudiptal From Empathy => To Definition => To Ideation
  20. 20. @sudiptal@sudiptal Visualise Upstream and Downstream separately Start with practices like Standup, Retrospectives Make team members own the stories Focus on flow. Stop starting and start finishing Visualize scope; not tasks From large scope to small stories From effort estimates to relative sizing Try and make the Customer align to Agile Encourage Automation – unit and functional Re-align the role of the Leads to Agile way Re-align the role of Project and Program Managers
  21. 21. @sudiptal@sudiptal Working Model Value StreamsKanban Practices SCRUM Practices Engineering Practices Communication Practices Tools Plan DoCheck Act
  22. 22. @sudiptal@sudiptal
  23. 23. @sudiptal@sudiptal P R O T O T Y P I N G
  24. 24. @sudiptal Where do you start? • We decided to pilot Agile model in a few pilot projects • We shortlisted with mix of projects • Projects that could benefit the most from the transformation – we chose most “challenged” project as opposed to just low risk • Co-located, bonded and willing to adapt teams • Where customer buy-in was achievable
  25. 25. @sudiptal Onboarding • Once the pilot teams/projects are identified… • Explain the Why, How and What (Golden Circle) • Explain the Working Model => Let them “Adapt” the Working Model • Give flexibility => Some teams chose SCRUMBAN, some teams chose Kanban • On-boarding each project/team • Training • Setting up the Board with the Value Stream and the Cards
  26. 26. @sudiptal Testing the Prototypes…
  27. 27. @sudiptal Execute, execute… execute • It boils down to “EXECUTION” • Keep hand-holding teams; share “Observations”; encourage course- correction • Do not make rapid changes frequently… let change stabilize and then evolve • Understand the impediments • Identify Short Term adaptation + Long term impact to Working Model • Stay away from “Religion”
  28. 28. @sudiptal This is how we started … © 2018 Software AG. All rights reserved
  29. 29. @sudiptal … and how we work now
  30. 30. @sudiptal This is how our cards flow… SoftwareAG Logo
  31. 31. @sudiptal This is how EPIC Value Stream flows…
  32. 32. @sudiptal© 2018 Software AG. All rights reserved Let’s interpret our CFD… Our intermediate lanes are flowing better than the last lane… We are doing Scrumban…so, we will still some batch movement for the last lane! Our throughput is continuously improving… UT Automation is the bottleneck in the VS now
  33. 33. @sudiptal We see a few more interesting things… We see some VS stages skips… We see a wide variation in CT between 2 Sprints… This shouldn’t take this long! Notice the increase (improvement) in the CT of the pre-Development VS Stage; however, there is still a lack of CT in the NFR Analysis lane!
  34. 34. @sudiptal PDCA – with Standards • Lean-Agile community is very light about the importance of “standards” • Processes degenerate unless there is a focussed attempt to sustain them • Therefore, we defined a set of Lean-Agile practices
  35. 35. @sudiptal Defining a “Guidance” framework From SCRUM BOK • Sprint Planning • Stand-ups • Burndown Tracking • Retrospective • SCRUM Roles • Velocity Tracking From Kanban BOK • EPIC Value Stream • Story Value Stream • WIP • Pull based execution • Flow Metrics • Throughput Metric Common to both • Transparency (Customer) • Story Ownership • Demo by Story Owner • Independent small stories • CI/CD • Unit Test Automation • Functional Test Automation
  36. 36. @sudiptal … with a 10 point “rating” scale Not understood theory 0 Theory understood but not practiced 2 Occasionally practiced 3 Practiced but significant scope for improvement 4 Mature, Consistently practiced 7 Very Mature, Continuously improving 10 The scale is not linear to reflect the increasing level of difficulty between the subsequent levels.
  37. 37. @sudiptal© 2018 Software AG. All rights reserved Defined the “Initial” state… Let teams define their “to be” state in 3 months
  38. 38. @sudiptal© 2018 Software AG. All rights reserved We ask the teams to present this quarterly…
  39. 39. @sudiptal© 2018 Software AG. All rights reserved Challenges from Customers POV • Development followed Lean-Agile; E2E value stream is still waterfall • Distributed teams created need for redundant communications • Demos to business IT missed feedback from end business user • Process alignment are still underway
  40. 40. @sudiptal© 2018 Software AG. All rights reserved Challenges from People POV • Sustaining the initial enthusiasm and pace of adoption • Ways to avoid pit-falls • Agile champions • Internal Gemba walks and observation sharing • Increased process focus required discipline • Agile does not assure quality; it will make quality issues visible faster • No getting away from engineering steps for high quality • Continuous churn of product functionality creates fatigue
  41. 41. @sudiptal© 2018 Software AG. All rights reserved Outcome from Customer POV • Improved visibility with better use of JIRA, Confluence and SwiftKanban • Metric created some aha moments • Impediments /Risks visible earlier • Improved collaboration between Customer and us • Story Maps were useful in getting big picture of the projects • Quality metrics, defined in collaboration the customer, helped in alignment • Frequent demos helped set business expectations
  42. 42. @sudiptal© 2018 Software AG. All rights reserved ANONYMOUS SURVEY CONDUCTED IN JUNE’18 • 75% feel that they understand the customer priority • 75% say identification of blockers have improved • 68% said Demos are effective and helpful now in terms of getting early feedback from customer. • 78% are confident within the team to take up tasks and execute • 77% said Sprint planning is helping for work transparency and effective work planning. • 75% said turnaround time for requirement clarification has reduced. • 85% say that daily stand-up is more effective and helpful to get update from each other and know the dependencies • 68% said working together as a team has improved • 81% say that we have a safe environment to raise impediments and challenges • 90% say that we have learning culture and are making active, regular improvements: technical competence + process Team Work Planning and effectiveness Learning Culture Requirements turnaround time Improvement Areas: • 41% feel that Defect notification and triage mechanism is not sufficient and effective • 40% say that it has not helped to get early feedback from customer • 40% said work-life balance is not OK Outcome from People POV
  43. 43. @sudiptal © 2018 Software AG. All rights reserved © 2018 Software AG. All rights reserved What worked • Great partner and coaches who could empathize with our problems and watched our back • Right tools to solve problems • Drive to continuously improve • Great team!
  44. 44. @sudiptal@sudiptal
  45. 45. @sudiptal Understanding Design Thinking VS STATIK
  46. 46. @sudiptal@sudiptal • It is not A vs B; it is about A with B • This was a new organization, we wanted to really understand the people, their culture, their working environment, etc. • Further, we were not sure what Agile BOK would work for them… • There was a leaning to SCRUM • Once we gained this insight, we decided to apply STATIK.
  47. 47. @sudiptal Apply DT to keep your options open… • It a simple structured way to understand what is happening • Helps you walk-in with a “bias” • Stay away from the “names” • Did not refer to DT ever! • Kept reiterating that we don’t do SCRUM or Kanban; let’s explore the Lean-Agile practices that made sense for us
  48. 48. @sudiptal Apply STATIK when… • You are clear in your mind that you want to implement a Kanban system • When we looked at the Production Support systems, they were a clear case for a Kanban System…. • We applied STATIK to define their Kanban system
  49. 49. @sudiptal Summary… • Understand the customer before you suggest • Follow a structured process to understand your customer • Avoid names to create “reactions” • The steps are so logical that no one will say NO • Ideate with the customer; iterate with the customer to close on a Working Model • Continuous Gemba and feedback loop • Focus on the principles • Don’t attempt to do anything without a VSM • For greenfield projects, INVEST is a major challenge! • Do 5Why to identify the real source of an issue • Standardise to baseline the maturity achieved; then, push for next Kaizen
  50. 50. @sudiptal Thank you… you can reach us at: Sonali Anand Director, Software AG Sudipta Lahiri Heads of Products and Engineering, Digité • • @anand_sonali • • @sudiptal • Join us at the LimitedWIPSociety Meetup groups…