Agiles 2009 - The Beer Game - Lean and TOC using an Agile Wall Chart - Tom Looy

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Agile is an aggregation of many other management disciplines such as Lean Manufacturing , the Theory of Constraints and even Dr. Deming's work in Japan in Total Quality Management. One of the best tools for managing an Agile project and thus for teaching how these disciplines relate to the work done on an Agile project is the Agile Wall Chart or Story Card Wall. A Story Card Wall, similar to a Kanban Board in Lean Manufacturing, gives a snapshot of the project's status by displaying the status of each Story Card that makes up the backlog of the project.

This presentation illustrates, using an animated Agile Story Card Wall, the concepts of Lean’s Work in Progress, Drum–Buffer–Rope from Theory of Constraints and Systemic Thinking from Peter Senge’s The Fifth Discipline. The presentation, originally inspired by the MIT Beer Game, uses Flash animation to show the flow of story cards across a Story Card Wall over 10 iterations, demonstrating the effects on the team’s throughput as a result of a staffing decision made during the project. The presentation also includes an Excel spreadsheet to do ‘What If’ scenarios.

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Agiles 2009 - The Beer Game - Lean and TOC using an Agile Wall Chart - Tom Looy

  1. 1. The Agile Story Card Wall A Tool for Applying the Principles of Agile, Lean and Theory of Constraints
  2. 2. or...
  3. 3. The Beer Game within Agile Teams
  4. 4. The Caipirinha Game within Agile Teams
  5. 5. Tom Looy Senior Consultant Tacit Knowledge LLC
  6. 7. Scope Schedule Budget Quality? Quality! The Impossible Triangle The Iron Triangle “ Management by Counting” Warning!
  7. 8. Can we count stuff to assure we have Quality?
  8. 9. So how do we effectively manage Quality?
  9. 10. If you want to you have to go fast have quality …
  10. 11. The right kind of ‘going fast’ can assure that we have Quality.
  11. 12. <ul><li>Apply Lean and ToC </li></ul><ul><li>using an Agile Wall </li></ul><ul><li>in order to </li></ul><ul><li>achieve Speed and Quality </li></ul>
  12. 13. Five Focusing Steps <ul><li>Identify the Constraint </li></ul><ul><li>Exploit the Constraint </li></ul><ul><li>Subordinate Everything Else to the Constraint </li></ul><ul><li>Elevate the Constraint </li></ul><ul><li>Go back to Step 1 </li></ul>
  13. 14. Let’s get specific…
  14. 16. An Animation of One Project’s Agile Wall Lifecycle of a Story Card As a… I want to… in order to…
  15. 17. Release small batch sizes into the system Keep WIP (Work In Progress) down Short workcycles Lean Principles on the Agile Wall
  16. 18. The Drum is the constraint – it sets the pace for work all work done in the system. The Buffer protects the Drum from being starved for work. The Rope controls the release of work into the system by tying it to the constraint. ToC’s “Drum-Buffer-Rope”
  17. 19. Other Things of Interest on This Agile Wall Velocity is based on Story Cards, not Story Points. Iteration 9 is included in the plan as a contingency. Each team’s capacity (and size) was determined through several previous Iterations of adapting.
  18. 20. Why the Agile Wall Is So Effective <ul><li>Focuses on completing work, not resource utilization </li></ul><ul><li>Transparency (Information Radiator) </li></ul><ul><li>Helps Manage Constraints </li></ul><ul><li>Supports Lean Thinking and </li></ul><ul><li>Systemic Thinking </li></ul>
  19. 21. <ul><ul><li>What else… </li></ul></ul>
  20. 22. <ul><ul><li>Why project slippages accumulate but gains don’t. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Why specialization adds risk. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Servant Leadership. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“ Leading from the Future as it Emerges”* </li></ul></ul>*Subtitle of Otto Scharmer’s book Theory U
  21. 23. The Beer Game
  22. 24. Agenda <ul><li>Run the animated Agile Story Card Wall </li></ul><ul><li>Examine ‘what if’ scenarios using Excel </li></ul>
  23. 25. <ul><ul><li>Thinking tools </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>not counting tools </li></ul></ul>
  24. 26. Management Paradigm Shift
  25. 27. Organizational Learning Lean/ToC Thinking Agile XP Scrum … © 2006-2008 Allan Kelly, Software Strategy Ltd. More prescriptive More philosophical: value, idea based Applicability Kanban
  26. 28. Tom Looy [email_address] http://www.vimeo.com/6440653
  27. 30. The Agile Wall – A Thinking Tool

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