Beyond Kanban: Lean Thinking for Agile Teams


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The growing interest about Kanban in the Agile Community seems to reduce learning about Lean Thinking to one principle only: PULL. This talk was prepared for the Agile PT 2011 conference and provides an overview of the 14 Management Principles for developing a Lean Culture and how IT frameworks such as SCRUM or KANBAN for Software Development apply them.

It introduces Lean Leardership and People Development principles as well as fundamental Lean Practices beyond kanban such as Value Stream Mapping, Continuous Flow, Leveling (Heijunka), Stop and Fix (Jidoka), Visual Standards, Visual Controls and A3 Problem Solving.
Knowledge about these often overlooked principles and practices will help agile teams to see the whole and better understand the lean concepts behind agile frameworks such as SCRUM and KANBAN. They will be better equipped to create learning and adaptive organizations by solving problems in the implementation of agile
frameworks instead of spending time discussing which framework is better. After all, the goal is to "be lean and agile" and not to "do Lean" or "do Agile"

Published in: Technology, Business
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Beyond Kanban: Lean Thinking for Agile Teams

  1. 1. Beyond Kanban Lean Thinking for AGILE Teams Ana Valente Pereira AGILE Portugal 2011 - Porto 1
  2. 2. The interest in KANBAN is growing in the AGILE Community... is LEAN taking over AGILE? is KANBAN replacing SCRUM? 2
  3. 3. LEAN has its roots in the auto industry 3
  4. 4. Reducing LEAN to KANBAN is like driving just half of your car KANBAN 4
  5. 5. Lean processes have 2 major pillars : Just in Time and Built In Quality Kanban is just a visual tool to implement Just In Time. Just In Time Built In Quality KANBAN 5
  6. 6. Lean thinking is about understanding the management principles behind both pillars... Just In Time Built In Quality 6
  7. 7. ...and also the principles behind people development and problem solving holding both pillars together.Just In Time Built In Quality People and Problem Solving 7
  8. 8. Principle #1 Base your management decisions on a long term philosophy, even at the expense of short term goals. Generate Value for the Customer, Society and Economy. Evaluate every function on the company in terms of its ability to achieve this. 8
  9. 9. Lean Practice: Value Stream Mapping 9
  10. 10. Principle #2 Create Continuous Process Flow to bring problems to surface. Redesign processes to achieve high-value added, continuous flow. Create flow to move material and information fast as well as to link processes and people together. 10
  11. 11. 11
  12. 12. Lean Practice: WorkCells 12
  13. 13. Principle #3 Use Pull Systems to avoid overproduction Minimize WIP and inventory by stocking small amounts and frequently restocking based on what the customer process actually takes away. Be responsive to shifts in customer demand rather than rely on schedules 13
  14. 14. Lean Practice: Kanban 14
  15. 15. Principle #4 Level out the workload. Work like the tortoise, not the hare Eliminate overburden (MURI) to people and equipment and unevenness (MURA) in the schedule Eliminating waste (MUDA) is just 1/3 of the Lean equation 15
  16. 16. Lean Practice: Heijunka 16
  17. 17. Principle #5Build a culture of stopping to fix problems, to get quality right the first time Build into your organization a supportsystem to quickly solve problems and put in place countermeasures 17
  18. 18. Lean Practices: Andon Jidoka, Poka yoke 18
  19. 19. Principle #6 Standard work is the foundation for continuousimprovement and employee empowerment. Allow creative and individual expression toimprove the standard, then incorporate into new standard 19
  20. 20. Lean Practice: Standard Work Sheet 20
  21. 21. Principle #7 Use Visual Control so no problems are hidden.Use simple visual indicators to help people if they are deviating from a standard condition 21
  22. 22. 22
  23. 23. Principle #8 Technology support: Use only reliable, testedtechnology that serves your people and processes. Often it is best to work out a process manually before adding technology to support the process 23
  24. 24. Lean Practice: Jidoka (Autonomation) 24
  25. 25. "Before we build cars, we build people" 25
  26. 26. Grow leaders who thoroughly understand the work, life the philosophy and teach it to othersPrinciple #9 The leaders job is to develop people. 26
  27. 27. Develop exceptional People and TeamsPrinciple #10 who follow your companys philosophy. Make an ongoing effort to teach individuals how to work together as teams toward common goals. Workgroups are the focal point for solving problems and control of standardization Use cross functional teams to improve quality and produtivity and enhance flow 27
  28. 28. Respect your extended network of Partners and Suppliers by challenging them and helping them to improvePrinciple #11 28
  29. 29. Genchi Genbutsu: Go see for yourself to thoroughly understand the situationPrinciple #12 Solve problems and improve processes by going to the source and observing and verifying data 29
  30. 30. Lean Practice: Onno Circle 30
  31. 31. Make decisions slowly by concensus thoroughly considering all the options; implement decisions rapidlyPrinciple #13 Namawashi is the process of discussing problems and potential solutions with all of the affected to collect their ideas and agree on a path forward. 31
  32. 32. Lean Practice: A3 Report 32
  33. 33. Become a Learning Organization through reflection (Hansei) and continuous improvement (Kaizen)Principle #14 View errors as opportunities for leaning. Rather than blaming individuals, take corrective actions and distribute knowledge about each experience 33
  34. 34. Practical Problem Solving 34
  35. 35. "we dont build cars, we build software"Lean Principles for Software Development 35
  36. 36. Lean Principles in SCRUM 36
  37. 37. Principle#1 Long Term Philosophy: Value for the Customer SCRUM promotes Value Driven Development and the Product Owner optimizes ROI (Value/cost) .. The process is optimized so that teams dont waste much time in non value added activities such as meetings ... but nobody is focused in removing waste from the process.. 37
  38. 38. #2 Continuous Process Flow.SCRUM is designed to flow the work in small batches. The team organizedlike a work cell and the Scrum Master helps to remove impediments to Flowduring the Sprint 38
  39. 39. #3 Use Pull Systems to avoid overproduction.SCRUM limits WIP by allowing teams to pull from the Product Backlog theitems to be worked during the Sprint. Once they start working on them, theprevious process should strive to have the next batch of PBIs groomed. 39
  40. 40. #4 Level out the workload.SCRUM fits customer demand into leveled schedules (sprints) aligning it toteam capacity and promoting a sustainable pace of work 40
  41. 41. #6 Standard Work:SCRUM relies in empirical process control so standard tasks and times haveno application but the Definition of Done defines the standard by whichProduct Backlog items are evaluated when “Done”. The team is empoweredto improve this standard in Sprint Retrospectives 41
  42. 42. #7 Visual Controls:SCRUM makes problems visible in burndown charts ... Some teams use taskboards to visualize task progress and impediments 42
  43. 43. #9 Grow Leaders #10 Develop Teams #11 Respect PartnersThe team is challenged to self-organize and decide how to achieve the sprintgoals. The Scrum Master provides support for the team and Leads bymentoring and teaching. The PO manages relation with upstream processes 43
  44. 44. #12 GoSee:Scrum meetings provide an observation point for the process 44
  45. 45. #13 Concensus #14 Reflection and Continuous ImprovementSprint Planning is about gathering consensus on what to build in the nextSprint. Sprint Retrospectives provide points for reflection and continuousimprovement of the process. Unfortunately knowledge is not shared beyondthe project 45
  46. 46. Lean Principles & KANBAN 46
  47. 47. Principle#1 Long Term Philosophy: Value for the CustomerUsing a Kanban System for Software, Value is Optimized with Classes ofService (SLAs). Work is scheduled by Cost of Delay 47
  48. 48. #2 Continuous Process Flow..Visualise Workflow: Map the Value stream as it exists and draw the card wall.Limit WIP to reduce lead times. Define, as well, limits for queues and bufferbottlenecks. Adjust empirically. 48
  49. 49. #3 Use Pull Systems to avoid overproduction.Pull work from the system only when there is capacity to do so. 49
  50. 50. #4 Level out the workload.Balance Demand against throughput. Make a study of the demand andallocate capacity by Work Item Type or Class of Service 50
  51. 51. #6 Standard Work:Make process policies explicit. 51
  52. 52. #7 Visual Controls:Cumulative Flow diagram shows work in progress at each stage in the system.Teams track also Lead Time , Due Date Performance and Defect Rates. 52
  53. 53. We saw how LEAN management principles are broad enough to be applied in agile software development frameworks 53
  54. 54. Agile frameworks leverage Lean to implementJust in Time processes and make problems visible... 54
  55. 55. ... But why dont we leverage Lean to solve the causes of the problems as well ???? 55
  56. 56. #5 Stop and Fix, #8Technology support Agile teams should focus on technology that automates softwareintegration and testing... Stop to fix problems should be our mindset. We developed a continuous integration tool that shows teams their technical debt: 56
  57. 57. #13 Concensus #14 Reflection and Continuous Improvement Improve retrospectives with Root Cause Analysis and A3 Thinking to getvisibility of Process Improvement (PDCA for the process and not only for the product,...) 57
  58. 58. LEAN is about developing People to solve Problems (if we were truly agile we should start here.... People over Processes...right???) 58
  59. 59. Thank You Ana Valente Pereira, twitter/apvpereiraPictures (the good ones...not my drawings): © Ben Heine @ Flickr 59