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Who moved my
Bottleneck?
Clarke Ching

Scrum Australia October 2018



@clarkeching
Scrum Team Everyone Else
clarke@rolls.rocks
Legend #1
William Wallace
“Braveheart”
Willliam
Wallace
Bottleneck Bridge
Bottleneck
Where’s your
bottleneck?
bottleneck
Example 1. Request:
Eliminate the 120 top-priority defects, by EOY.
Team of 16 - mixed
roles & skill-sets
time
#
BEFORE - ...
Not Started Analysis Design Program
Not Started Analysis Design Program
Not Started Analysis Design Program Test
Not Started Analysis Design Program Test
Not Started Analysis Design Program Test
20/m 10/m15/m25/m
10/m
Not Started Analysis Design Program Test
20/m 10/m15/m25/m
10/m
Not Started Analysis Design Program Test
20/m 10/m15/m25/m
10/m
Not Started Analysis Design Program Test
20/m 10/m15/m25/m
10/m
Not Started Analysis Design Program Test
20/m 10/m15/m25/m
Have I told you about the
buffalo?
10/m
The Buffalo Story started
out as an email joke.
An imagined conversation between
Norm and Cliff, from “Cheers”, the TV
Sho...
Well, you see, Norm, it’s like this.
A herd of buffalo can only move as fast as the slowest buffalo.
The slowest buffalo s...
Like this.
And when they were split apart they were prone to
attack by wolves.
Evolution favoured the herds that didn’t sp...
When these tightly packed herds were hunted, the
wolves killed the slowest and weakest buffalo.
The guys at the back.
That...
In much the same way, the human brain can only operate as fast
as the slowest brain cells.
[Hmmm … ]
Now, as we know, exce...
In this way, regular consumption of beer eliminates the weaker
brain cells, making the brain a faster and more efficient
ma...
Not Started Analysis Design Program Test
20/m 10/m15/m25/m
Q: Where’s your “slowest buffalo?”
Find your
bottleneck
Start A...
Not Started Analysis Design Program Test
20/m 10/m15/m25/m
How can we speed up the
slowest buffalo?
test cleverer & faster...
Not Started Analysis Design Program Test
20/m 10/m15/m25/m
How can the “faster buffalo” help?
SLOW DOWN!
Don’t distract th...
Not Started Analysis Design Program Test
20/m 10/m15/m25/m
How can the “faster buffalo” help?
Tidy up the existing stickie...
Not Started Analysis Design Program Test
20/m 10/m15/m25/m
If this doesn’t work, can we hire more
bottleneck resource?
FOC...
Not Started Analysis Design Program Test
20/m 10/m15/m25/m
If this doesn’t work, can we hire more
bottleneck resource?
FOC...
IT starts as the bottleneck
bottleneck
But agile increases IT capacity … so
Customer
Users
fuel
IT
Customers soon become the bottleneck
Customer
fuel
IT
Users
• Customers can’t keep up.
• IT can’t slow down
• So customers...
Customers soon become the bottleneck
bottleneck
Customer
IT
Users
• Customers can’t keep up.
• IT can’t slow down
• So cus...
Customers soon become the bottleneck
Customer
IT
Users
• We’ve gotta keep the
developers busy!
• So we start work that’s n...
Customer
IT
Users
• We look busy.
• We look productive.
• We are heading in the
wrong direction, sluggishly
AND: IT keeps ...
But
wait,
there’s
more
...
IT
Users
• And ... we release all the time ... which overwhelms our
users.
• And frustrates us when they ask us to slow do...
Scrum Team Everyone Else
Bridge
Builders
Bridge
Builders
Bridge
Builders
• The Academy of
Management
Executive
(1987-1989)

• Vol. 2, No. 2 (May,
1988), pp. 127-132
Effective
Successful
Cynical!!!!
“SUCCESSFUL”“EFFECTIVE”
People who are good at
networking
Shameless NetworkersTeam oriented “leaders”
ManagerScrumMaster
F...
Scrum Team Everyone Else
Bridge
Builders
From https://hbr.org/2015/09/3-things-managers-should-be-doing-every-day
1. Build Trust
2. Building a real team
and managi...
Legend #2
James Watt
“Engineer”
His greatest invention?
His greatest invention?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Grazebrook_Beam_Engine.jpg
This is a Boulton & Watt beam blowing...
Michael
My father made him
an offer he
couldn't refuse.
Kay
What was that?
http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/The_Godfather
=
An offer too good to refuse:

Horse Power
=
= 30 HP
Which currently costs you £900 p.a..
I’ll charge you £300 p.a..,
saving you £600 p.a..
If you sign up for 20 yea...
=
= 30 HP
Which currently costs you £900 p.a..
I’ll charge you £300 p.a..,
saving you £600 p.a..
If you sign up for 20 yea...
Question:
What benefits do YOU
provide for YOUR customers?
Answer:
You need to figure that out out.
But let me tell you what...
The
Espresso
Principle
You choose:
or
Many cups
each with
fewer features
MUCH
MORE
VALUE
One cup
with
many features
MUCH
LESS
VALUE
Question:
What benefits do YOU
provide for YOUR customers?
Answer:
You need to figure that out out.
But let me tell you what...
This “benefits”
conversation
not only cuts
scope, it:
- makes sure
IT works on
the right
stuff 

&
- forces
customers
and I...
Efficiency - Logistical Productivity
Effectiveness
- Commercial Productivity
FASTER
IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION
www.Rolls.Rocks
@clarkeching
clarke@rolls.rocks
Agile Productivity Secrets
from Two Scottish Legends
by Clarke Ching
FASTE...
www.Rolls.Rocks
@clarkeching
clarke@rolls.rocks
Agile Productivity Secrets
from Two Scottish Legends
by Clarke Ching
Lucy
consumer professional
desktop
laptop
Strategic
Sacrifice
People think focus means saying yes to
the thing you’ve got to focus on. But that’s
not what it means at all.
It means say...
ESPRESSO
+
Water
+
Milk
+
Foam
+
Sprinkles

+

a straw
Base
Optional -
Nice to haves
Choice:
Lots of espresso
-or-
A few C...
imp 1
imp
2
imp 3
imp 5
bla
bla
bla
bla
bla
bla
bla
bla
bla
bla
bla
bla
bla
bla
blaimp 4
Improvements
Imp 1
Imp 2
Imp 3
...
List
Improvements Slice a Slice b Slice c Slice d
Imp 1 1a 1b 1c 1d
Imp 2 2a 2b 2c 2d
Imp 3 3a 3b 3c 3d
...
Slice & Dice
Improvements Slice a Slice b Slice c Slice d
Imp 1 1a 1b 1c 1d
Imp 2 2a 2b 2c 2d
Imp 3 3a 3b 3c 3d
...
The smallest, sensi...
Improvements Slice a Slice b Slice c Slice d
Imp 1 1a 1b 1c 1d
Imp 2 2a 2b 2c 2d
Imp 3 3a 3b 3c 3d
...
1
2
3
4
5
Prioritize
Improvements Slice a Slice b Slice c Slice d
Imp 1 1a 1b 1c 1d
Imp 2 2a 2b 2c 2d
Imp 3 3a 3b 3c 3d
...
Vertical and Horizo...
Six principles of Agile Development 86
Promised 

Shipping

Date
RELEASE
BASE - Bare minimum
All
features
time
Working Sof...
Clarke@rolls.rocks
Not Started Analysis Design Program Test
20/m 10/m15/m25/m
FOCCCUS
Find your
bottleneck
Optimise your
bottleneck
Collabora...
ToC tick tick tick
How to Roll Rocks Downhill FASTER
How to Roll Rocks Downhill FASTER
How to Roll Rocks Downhill FASTER
How to Roll Rocks Downhill FASTER
How to Roll Rocks Downhill FASTER
How to Roll Rocks Downhill FASTER
How to Roll Rocks Downhill FASTER
How to Roll Rocks Downhill FASTER
How to Roll Rocks Downhill FASTER
How to Roll Rocks Downhill FASTER
How to Roll Rocks Downhill FASTER
How to Roll Rocks Downhill FASTER
How to Roll Rocks Downhill FASTER
How to Roll Rocks Downhill FASTER
How to Roll Rocks Downhill FASTER
How to Roll Rocks Downhill FASTER
How to Roll Rocks Downhill FASTER
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How to Roll Rocks Downhill FASTER

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by Clarke Ching


Agile and Theory of Constraints expert, Clarke Ching, will show you how – by slowing your team down a smidgen, listening to a moderately funny joke, (laughing), then thinking a bit – you can speed your team up by between 20 and 100%. You’ll learn that the busiest looking teams are often the least productive, that the secret to speed is idleness, and why drinking beer makes you more intelligent.

Clarke Ching is the author of Rolling Rocks Downhill and The Bottleneck Rules.

Published in: Business
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How to Roll Rocks Downhill FASTER

  1. 1. Who moved my Bottleneck? Clarke Ching Scrum Australia October 2018 
 @clarkeching
  2. 2. Scrum Team Everyone Else
  3. 3. clarke@rolls.rocks
  4. 4. Legend #1 William Wallace “Braveheart”
  5. 5. Willliam Wallace Bottleneck Bridge
  6. 6. Bottleneck
  7. 7. Where’s your bottleneck? bottleneck
  8. 8. Example 1. Request: Eliminate the 120 top-priority defects, by EOY. Team of 16 - mixed roles & skill-sets time # BEFORE - 10 / M AFTER 13 / M 120 COBOL, ASP, Oracle May Dec
  9. 9. Not Started Analysis Design Program
  10. 10. Not Started Analysis Design Program
  11. 11. Not Started Analysis Design Program Test
  12. 12. Not Started Analysis Design Program Test
  13. 13. Not Started Analysis Design Program Test 20/m 10/m15/m25/m 10/m
  14. 14. Not Started Analysis Design Program Test 20/m 10/m15/m25/m 10/m
  15. 15. Not Started Analysis Design Program Test 20/m 10/m15/m25/m 10/m
  16. 16. Not Started Analysis Design Program Test 20/m 10/m15/m25/m 10/m
  17. 17. Not Started Analysis Design Program Test 20/m 10/m15/m25/m Have I told you about the buffalo? 10/m
  18. 18. The Buffalo Story started out as an email joke. An imagined conversation between Norm and Cliff, from “Cheers”, the TV Show. image: wikipedia
  19. 19. Well, you see, Norm, it’s like this. A herd of buffalo can only move as fast as the slowest buffalo. The slowest buffalo stays at the back and the faster buffalo run in front, but at the slower speed. Otherwise, the herd would split apart. slowest fastest
  20. 20. Like this. And when they were split apart they were prone to attack by wolves. Evolution favoured the herds that didn’t spread apart. slowest fastest
  21. 21. When these tightly packed herds were hunted, the wolves killed the slowest and weakest buffalo. The guys at the back. That made the remaining herd stronger and faster. slowest fastest
  22. 22. In much the same way, the human brain can only operate as fast as the slowest brain cells. [Hmmm … ] Now, as we know, excessive intake of alcohol kills brain cells. But naturally, it attacks the slowest and weakest brain cells first. slowest fastest Here’s the JOKE Bit.
  23. 23. In this way, regular consumption of beer eliminates the weaker brain cells, making the brain a faster and more efficient machine. And that, Norm, is why you always feel smarter after a few beers. slowest fastest
  24. 24. Not Started Analysis Design Program Test 20/m 10/m15/m25/m Q: Where’s your “slowest buffalo?” Find your bottleneck Start Again strategically
  25. 25. Not Started Analysis Design Program Test 20/m 10/m15/m25/m How can we speed up the slowest buffalo? test cleverer & faster simple “time management” stuff Find your bottleneck Optimise your bottleneck Start Again strategically
  26. 26. Not Started Analysis Design Program Test 20/m 10/m15/m25/m How can the “faster buffalo” help? SLOW DOWN! Don’t distract the testers Help them!!!! FOCCCUS Find your bottleneck Optimise your bottleneck Collaborate - fast help slow Coordinate your herd Start Again strategically
  27. 27. Not Started Analysis Design Program Test 20/m 10/m15/m25/m How can the “faster buffalo” help? Tidy up the existing stickies. Cull the hardest. FOCCCUS Find your bottleneck Optimise your bottleneck Collaborate - fast help slow Coordinate your herd Curate for value Start Again strategically
  28. 28. Not Started Analysis Design Program Test 20/m 10/m15/m25/m If this doesn’t work, can we hire more bottleneck resource? FOCCCUS Find your bottleneck Optimise your bottleneck Collaborate - fast help slow Coordinate your herd Curate for value Upgrade $$$$ Start Again strategically
  29. 29. Not Started Analysis Design Program Test 20/m 10/m15/m25/m If this doesn’t work, can we hire more bottleneck resource? FOCCCUS formula Find your bottleneck Optimise your bottleneck Collaborate - fast help slow Coordinate your herd Curate for value Upgrade $$$$ Start Again strategically
  30. 30. IT starts as the bottleneck bottleneck But agile increases IT capacity … so Customer Users fuel IT
  31. 31. Customers soon become the bottleneck Customer fuel IT Users • Customers can’t keep up. • IT can’t slow down • So customers feed lower- value and lower-quality fuel … to keep IT busy … bottleneck
  32. 32. Customers soon become the bottleneck bottleneck Customer IT Users • Customers can’t keep up. • IT can’t slow down • So customers feed lower- value and lower-quality fuel … to keep IT busy … fuel “make work” requirements
  33. 33. Customers soon become the bottleneck Customer IT Users • We’ve gotta keep the developers busy! • So we start work that’s not “ready” • Which causes enormous rework • Which adds to the Fuel Tank • Which turns IT back into the bottleneck fuel REWORK “make work” requirements bottleneck
  34. 34. Customer IT Users • We look busy. • We look productive. • We are heading in the wrong direction, sluggishly AND: IT keeps getting faster! fuel REWORK “make work” requirements
  35. 35. But wait, there’s more ...
  36. 36. IT Users • And ... we release all the time ... which overwhelms our users. • And frustrates us when they ask us to slow down. fuel Customer“make work” requirements
  37. 37. Scrum Team Everyone Else Bridge Builders
  38. 38. Bridge Builders
  39. 39. Bridge Builders • The Academy of Management Executive (1987-1989) • Vol. 2, No. 2 (May, 1988), pp. 127-132
  40. 40. Effective
  41. 41. Successful
  42. 42. Cynical!!!!
  43. 43. “SUCCESSFUL”“EFFECTIVE” People who are good at networking Shameless NetworkersTeam oriented “leaders” ManagerScrumMaster Face into the team Face up and out from the team Team Builders Bridge Builders
  44. 44. Scrum Team Everyone Else Bridge Builders
  45. 45. From https://hbr.org/2015/09/3-things-managers-should-be-doing-every-day 1. Build Trust 2. Building a real team and managing through it 3. Building a network. 3. Building a network. 
 Every team depends on the support and collaboration of outside people and groups. Effective group leaders proactively build and maintain a network of these outsiders, which includes not just those needed for today’s work but also those the group will need to achieve future goals. This is without doubt the imperative that most troubles new managers. They think “networking” is manipulative organizational politicking that requires them to pretend they like people just because they want something from them. They strive to be above that sort of thing. Alas, in the process, they unnecessarily limit their own and their group’s ability to influence others for good ends. Building a network can be politicking but it need not be if they do it honestly, openly, and with the genuine intent of creating relationships that benefit both sides.
  46. 46. Legend #2 James Watt “Engineer”
  47. 47. His greatest invention?
  48. 48. His greatest invention? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Grazebrook_Beam_Engine.jpg This is a Boulton & Watt beam blowing engine re-erected on the Dartmouth Circus roundabout, on the A38(M) in Birmingham, UK.
 It was built in 1817 and used in Netherton at the ironworks of M W Grazebrook.
  49. 49. Michael My father made him an offer he couldn't refuse. Kay What was that? http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/The_Godfather
  50. 50. = An offer too good to refuse:
 Horse Power
  51. 51. = = 30 HP Which currently costs you £900 p.a.. I’ll charge you £300 p.a.., saving you £600 p.a.. If you sign up for 20 years. An offer too good to refuse:
 Horse Power
  52. 52. = = 30 HP Which currently costs you £900 p.a.. I’ll charge you £300 p.a.., saving you £600 p.a.. If you sign up for 20 years. An offer too good to refuse:
 Horse Power Benefit = £600 every year.
  53. 53. Question: What benefits do YOU provide for YOUR customers? Answer: You need to figure that out out. But let me tell you what it’s not.
  54. 54. The Espresso Principle
  55. 55. You choose: or Many cups each with fewer features MUCH MORE VALUE One cup with many features MUCH LESS VALUE
  56. 56. Question: What benefits do YOU provide for YOUR customers? Answer: You need to figure that out out. But let me tell you what it’s not. It’s not: Lots of features
  57. 57. This “benefits” conversation not only cuts scope, it: - makes sure IT works on the right stuff 
 & - forces customers and IT to work together to chase the same thing. Customer Collaboration
  58. 58. Efficiency - Logistical Productivity Effectiveness - Commercial Productivity FASTER IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION
  59. 59. www.Rolls.Rocks @clarkeching clarke@rolls.rocks Agile Productivity Secrets from Two Scottish Legends by Clarke Ching FASTER In the RIGHT DIRECTION
  60. 60. www.Rolls.Rocks @clarkeching clarke@rolls.rocks Agile Productivity Secrets from Two Scottish Legends by Clarke Ching
  61. 61. Lucy
  62. 62. consumer professional desktop laptop Strategic Sacrifice
  63. 63. People think focus means saying yes to the thing you’ve got to focus on. But that’s not what it means at all. It means saying no to the hundred other good ideas that there are. You have to pick carefully. I’m actually as proud of the things we haven’t done as the things I have done. Innovation is saying no to 1,000 things. “ ” —Steve Jobs, Apple Worldwide Developers Conference, May 13–16, 1997
  64. 64. ESPRESSO + Water + Milk + Foam + Sprinkles
 +
 a straw Base Optional - Nice to haves Choice: Lots of espresso -or- A few Caffe Mocha
  65. 65. imp 1 imp 2 imp 3 imp 5 bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla blaimp 4
  66. 66. Improvements Imp 1 Imp 2 Imp 3 ... List
  67. 67. Improvements Slice a Slice b Slice c Slice d Imp 1 1a 1b 1c 1d Imp 2 2a 2b 2c 2d Imp 3 3a 3b 3c 3d ... Slice & Dice
  68. 68. Improvements Slice a Slice b Slice c Slice d Imp 1 1a 1b 1c 1d Imp 2 2a 2b 2c 2d Imp 3 3a 3b 3c 3d ... The smallest, sensible, stand alone subset of 1.
  69. 69. Improvements Slice a Slice b Slice c Slice d Imp 1 1a 1b 1c 1d Imp 2 2a 2b 2c 2d Imp 3 3a 3b 3c 3d ... 1 2 3 4 5 Prioritize
  70. 70. Improvements Slice a Slice b Slice c Slice d Imp 1 1a 1b 1c 1d Imp 2 2a 2b 2c 2d Imp 3 3a 3b 3c 3d ... Vertical and Horizontal culling.
  71. 71. Six principles of Agile Development 86 Promised 
 Shipping
 Date RELEASE BASE - Bare minimum All features time Working Software = Potentially shippable 2: Deliver chunks of high-value, well engineered, Working software often 4: The Customer can add, delete or reprioritise features at any time. i.e. this is how we “embrace change” 1: Customer lists known requirements (to a high level), then prioritises them. prioritised 3: The Customer can release the software at any time they want. ££££££££££££££
 learn from the market 5: We protect schedule commitments, despite change - we deliver on time. Backlog 6. We review the project and the value it delivers at the end of each increment ???
  72. 72. Clarke@rolls.rocks
  73. 73. Not Started Analysis Design Program Test 20/m 10/m15/m25/m FOCCCUS Find your bottleneck Optimise your bottleneck Collaborate - fast help slow Coordinate your herd Curate for value Upgrade $$$$ Start Again strategically Shipped
  74. 74. ToC tick tick tick

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