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Measure and Manage Flow in Practice
                                   by
                              Zsolt Fabok
                              2012.10.18



                    Broke the WIP limit TWICE




                         Still on the team
@ZsoltFabok                                            #lkfr12
http://zsoltfabok.com/                          http://lkfr.org/
5 Stories from the life of a team by using
        real application and data




                     The collected data is the courtesy of Digital Natives
#1 Too many open items
Visualize the situation with
Cumulative Flow Diagram


                                 WIP




          point of observation   solved
It offers more than just the WIP...
    number of work items
                           The Cumulative Flow Diagram
                           Done
                           Started
                           Queued                   backlog

                                                          WIP
                                             cycle time

                                lead time


                                            time
The simplest way of collecting data:



Q   3   4   1   2   D
~   ~   ~   ~   ~   ~
~   ~   ~   ~   ~   ~


~       ~       ~   ~
~       ~       ~   ~


~       ~
~       ~

~
~
A quick detour:




CFD doesn’t say too much about
       the throughput
/* detour */

work item




WIP


            lead time




        time
2
                        /* detour */

work item




WIP


            lead time




   throughput
2   2
                /* detour */

work item
/* detour */




  Let’s add more people to the
project so that “things speed up”!
2       2        3
                                  /* detour */

work item




       coordination + communication cost
Actually, “things slow down”, so it
 was not a good idea (solve the right
problem instead - systems thinking).



                      End of the detour.
#2 It takes too much
   time to deliver
lead time
CFD was not much help here...

                         lead time




        ...because we didn’t know much about
                    the nature of the lead time
Distribution of lead times

  count
  15

  13

  10

   8

   5

   3

   0
          1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 22 28 33 56
   days
average
                                           *Calculation of medians is a popular technique in summary statistics and
median*                            summarizing statistical data, since it is simple to understand and easy to calculate,
                                     while also giving a measure that is more robust in the presence of outlier values
Some examples of work items with 8-day
             lead time
   time spent on   time spent waiting
  implementation        (hours)         %
      (hours)
        1                 63            98

        7                 57            90

        2                 62            97

        2                 62            97

        3                 61            96
95%
    of the lead
time was spent
    on waiting
Distribution of lead times
                 Before                          After
count                              count
   15                                 15

  13                                 13

  10                                 10

   8                                  8

   5                                  5

   3                                  3

    0                                  0
 days 1     4    7   10 13 16 33    days 1   3   5   7   9 11 13 22

    average
        median
#3 Still too many open
      work items
How many
times the item
   has been
   rejected
Number of rejected work items
 count
    15



    11



     8



     4



     0
week 31-32     33-34   35-36   37-38
Number of rejected work items
 count
    15



    11



     8



     4



     0
week 31-32     33-34   35-36   37-38   39-40   42-43   44-45
#4 Being predictable
Sales: “I want to know when the
new features can hit the market!”



Management: “I want to know
how much it will cost me!”
All the work items we had so far
        (~20 work items)



                         v

             ~                    v       ~
             ~               ~        v   ~
                     v       ~
                         v
                                          ~
                             v                v
                 ~                        ~
                 ~            ~
                              ~
                                          v
Categorizing them into three groups

         S
                                  v
                  ~
                  ~
                          v




                                      ~
                                      ~

                      ~



         M
                      ~               ~
                                      ~   v
              v               ~
                              ~
                  v
                                  v




         L
                      ~
                                  v
                      ~

                              v
The lead time distribution
                                count
                                   4

                                   3

                                   3
                        ~
                        ~

            ~
                                   2
M
            ~           ~
                        ~   v
    v           ~
                ~
        v
                    v
                                   1

                                   1

                                   0
                                 days 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 12 13 16
The lead time distribution
                                count
                                   4

                                   3

                                   3
                        ~
                        ~

            ~
                                   2
M
            ~           ~
                        ~   v
    v           ~
                ~
        v
                    v
                                   1

                                   1

                                   0
                                 days 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 12 13 16

                                          SLA
The lead time distribution
                                count
                                   4

                                   3

                                   3




                                                 Ex
                        ~
                        ~




                                                   pi
            ~
                                   2
M
            ~           ~
                        ~   v




                                                     re
    v           ~
                ~
        v
                    v
                                   1




                                                       d
                                   1

                                   0
                                 days 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 12 13 16

                                          SLA
The spent time distribution
                                count
                                   6

                                   5

                                   4
                        ~
                        ~

            ~
                                   3
M
            ~           ~
                        ~   v
    v           ~
                ~
        v
                    v
                                   2

                                   1

                                   0
                                 hours   6   7   8   9   10
The spent time distribution
                                count
                                   6

                                   5

                                   4
                        ~
                        ~

            ~
                                   3
M
            ~           ~
                        ~   v
    v           ~
                ~
        v
                    v
                                   2

                                   1

                                   0
                                 hours   6   7   8   9   10

                                                         SLA
#5 Forced improvement
#2 Nothing changed.
           Still the same ratio


   #1 We decided that we would
force ourselves to keep the SLA
Evolution of the
team’s workflow
Final thoughts on
 measurements
“If you can not measure it,
         you can not improve it.”

                                  Lord Kelvin




http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Lord_Kelvin_photograph.jpg
“If you start measuring
          something you start
 optimizing it, and I know it's
the wrong thing to optimize.”

                  Paul Graham




             http://paulgraham.com/swan.html
The Hawthorne effect
might influence your
measurements
The key ideas
1. We develop software not models (value)
2. Demand first, supply second
3. Observe the system (lead time, throughput)
4. Start measuring, look back if necessary
5. Manage
6. Mind that data expires
7. Goto step 3.
Thank you very much for your attention!




http://zsoltfabok.com/               @ZsoltFabok

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Measure and Manage Flow in Practice

  • 1. Measure and Manage Flow in Practice by Zsolt Fabok 2012.10.18 Broke the WIP limit TWICE Still on the team @ZsoltFabok #lkfr12 http://zsoltfabok.com/ http://lkfr.org/
  • 2. 5 Stories from the life of a team by using real application and data The collected data is the courtesy of Digital Natives
  • 3. #1 Too many open items
  • 4. Visualize the situation with Cumulative Flow Diagram WIP point of observation solved
  • 5. It offers more than just the WIP... number of work items The Cumulative Flow Diagram Done Started Queued backlog WIP cycle time lead time time
  • 6. The simplest way of collecting data: Q 3 4 1 2 D ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
  • 7. A quick detour: CFD doesn’t say too much about the throughput
  • 8. /* detour */ work item WIP lead time time
  • 9. 2 /* detour */ work item WIP lead time throughput
  • 10. 2 2 /* detour */ work item
  • 11. /* detour */ Let’s add more people to the project so that “things speed up”!
  • 12. 2 2 3 /* detour */ work item coordination + communication cost
  • 13. Actually, “things slow down”, so it was not a good idea (solve the right problem instead - systems thinking). End of the detour.
  • 14. #2 It takes too much time to deliver
  • 16. CFD was not much help here... lead time ...because we didn’t know much about the nature of the lead time
  • 17. Distribution of lead times count 15 13 10 8 5 3 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 22 28 33 56 days average *Calculation of medians is a popular technique in summary statistics and median* summarizing statistical data, since it is simple to understand and easy to calculate, while also giving a measure that is more robust in the presence of outlier values
  • 18. Some examples of work items with 8-day lead time time spent on time spent waiting implementation (hours) % (hours) 1 63 98 7 57 90 2 62 97 2 62 97 3 61 96
  • 19.
  • 20. 95% of the lead time was spent on waiting
  • 21. Distribution of lead times Before After count count 15 15 13 13 10 10 8 8 5 5 3 3 0 0 days 1 4 7 10 13 16 33 days 1 3 5 7 9 11 13 22 average median
  • 22. #3 Still too many open work items
  • 23. How many times the item has been rejected
  • 24. Number of rejected work items count 15 11 8 4 0 week 31-32 33-34 35-36 37-38
  • 25. Number of rejected work items count 15 11 8 4 0 week 31-32 33-34 35-36 37-38 39-40 42-43 44-45
  • 27. Sales: “I want to know when the new features can hit the market!” Management: “I want to know how much it will cost me!”
  • 28. All the work items we had so far (~20 work items) v ~ v ~ ~ ~ v ~ v ~ v ~ v v ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ v
  • 29. Categorizing them into three groups S v ~ ~ v ~ ~ ~ M ~ ~ ~ v v ~ ~ v v L ~ v ~ v
  • 30. The lead time distribution count 4 3 3 ~ ~ ~ 2 M ~ ~ ~ v v ~ ~ v v 1 1 0 days 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 12 13 16
  • 31. The lead time distribution count 4 3 3 ~ ~ ~ 2 M ~ ~ ~ v v ~ ~ v v 1 1 0 days 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 12 13 16 SLA
  • 32. The lead time distribution count 4 3 3 Ex ~ ~ pi ~ 2 M ~ ~ ~ v re v ~ ~ v v 1 d 1 0 days 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 12 13 16 SLA
  • 33. The spent time distribution count 6 5 4 ~ ~ ~ 3 M ~ ~ ~ v v ~ ~ v v 2 1 0 hours 6 7 8 9 10
  • 34. The spent time distribution count 6 5 4 ~ ~ ~ 3 M ~ ~ ~ v v ~ ~ v v 2 1 0 hours 6 7 8 9 10 SLA
  • 35.
  • 37. #2 Nothing changed. Still the same ratio #1 We decided that we would force ourselves to keep the SLA
  • 39.
  • 40.
  • 41.
  • 42. Final thoughts on measurements
  • 43. “If you can not measure it, you can not improve it.” Lord Kelvin http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Lord_Kelvin_photograph.jpg
  • 44. “If you start measuring something you start optimizing it, and I know it's the wrong thing to optimize.” Paul Graham http://paulgraham.com/swan.html
  • 45. The Hawthorne effect might influence your measurements
  • 47. 1. We develop software not models (value) 2. Demand first, supply second 3. Observe the system (lead time, throughput) 4. Start measuring, look back if necessary 5. Manage 6. Mind that data expires 7. Goto step 3.
  • 48. Thank you very much for your attention! http://zsoltfabok.com/ @ZsoltFabok