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Advancing the Retrospective: Dynamic Lean & Agile Continuous Improvement Techniques


Published on

Presented by Arlen Bankston
2014 Capital One Summit

Published in: Business

Advancing the Retrospective: Dynamic Lean & Agile Continuous Improvement Techniques

  1. 1. Advancing the Retrospective Dynamic Lean & Agile Continuous Improvement Techniques
  2. 2. Meet your Presenter Arlen Bankston • Co-Founder of LitheSpeed, LLC • User experience & product development background • 14 years of Agile experience • Lean Six Sigma Master Black Belt • Lately 40% training, 20% each of coaching, product development & management 2
  3. 3. Agenda • Retrospectives at a Glance • Retrospective Techniques • Lean Retrospectives • Standard Work Illustrated • A3 Planning for Improvements • Learn More about Retrospectives 3
  4. 4. Retrospectives at a Glance
  5. 5. Why Retrospect? Retrospectives are intended to facilitate improvement, by helping teams: • Highlight problems with current processes • Find root causes of issues • Suggest “countermeasures” to improve things • Test these new ways of working • Adopt them if they’re better Plan Check Act Do 5
  6. 6. Plan-Do-Check-Act (PDCA) Thinking Fire fighting Hero Culture Plan Do Check Act Problem solving is a defined method rooted in the scientific approach – Slow evolutionary Continuous Improvement What We do Problem Solution ?? Assumptions, Unknown Causes, No Facts What We Need to Do Problem Solution 6
  7. 7. Sprint Retrospective at a Glance Description • ScrumMaster helps team inspect & adapt for future • Inspect people, process, and product facets • Identify positive and negative patterns • Refactor approach for upcoming Sprints Duration 30-60 minutes Attendees ScrumMaster (leader), team, Product Owner, optional stakeholders Outputs:  Process revisions  Project or team structure revisions  Quick hit action items  Long term improvement items  Understanding of team member perspectives A retro relies on double loop learning 7
  8. 8. What Should Retrospectives Consider? Determine Standards Standard Work & Experimentation Adjust Standard Work Assessment Learning Teaching Leading Doing Process People Visual Management Systems Lean Management Agile Delivery • Process – Assessing current practices, comparing to Standard Work, and team experimentation to continuously improve practices, tools and processes. • People – Role development, skill development, morale and engagement. • Product – Product discovery, execution, value measurement and iteration. RoleDevelopment ProductDelivery StandardWorkAssessment&Evolution Discover Measure Iterate Build Product 8
  9. 9. Holistic Improvement Teams Executive Steering Group for Organizational Improvement • Set broad, organizational goals • Define measures of success • Communicate to middle management and staff frequently • Review progress regularly • Address organizational barriers to adoption Quality Circles for Team Improvement • A cross-functional problem solving group • SW Dev, QA, Production, BA, PMO, Resource Managers • Anticipate, uncover, address tactical issues • Make recommendations to executive team 9
  10. 10. Retrospective Techniques
  11. 11. A Sampling of Retrospective Variety • Sail / Speedboat Illustrate positive & negative forces in nautical terms • Comments & Actions Stop, Start, More, Less, Appreciations • Upside / Downside Two teams consider the most negative and positive aspects of a situation Driving (+) forces Restraining (-) forces
  12. 12. More Retrospectives • Idea / Retrospective Backlog A list of improvement notions is gathered and acted upon in consistent fashion. • Fearless Journey Use a card game to overcome obstacles beyond the team’s direct control. • Instant Micro-Commenting Twitter-style comments on specific events.
  13. 13. Distributed Retrospective Tools Tools like Sensei can help distributed teams to drive and track improvement. 13
  14. 14. Experiencing a Retrospective Break into two teams. Team One: • List the most horrible aspects of cats, the ones that make them The Worst Pets Ever! Team Two: • List the most wonderful aspects of cats, the ones that make them The Best Pets Ever!14
  15. 15. Lean Retrospectives: Standard Work & A3 Planning
  16. 16. What is “Lean?” • Just-in-Time – Supply what is needed, when needed, in the amount needed. • Jidoka – Halt production and address quality issues as encountered. • Heijunka – Respond smoothly and efficiently to varying demand. • Standardized Work – Organize a job or task in an efficient activity sequence while minimizing waste. • Kaizen – “Change for the better.” A philosophy of continuous improvement. 16Image Source:
  17. 17. Standard Work Template Simply describe how you do a job today: • Who needs to do what? • What information, tools or other inputs are needed? • How will the work be performed? • What are the expected outputs? • How long should it take (if appropriate)? * Standardized work training example from Toyota. Thanks to * 1717
  18. 18. Standard Work in a Hospital Images from 1. Plan 3. Check 4. Act 2. Do 1818
  19. 19. Benefits of Standardized Work • Holistic process improvement Evolving standards in and across teams • Expectation management & reliable delivery Definition of done, working agreements, coding standards • Audit & Regulatory support Well-defined documentation standards • Organizational learning & training Rapid bootstrapping of new team members • Self-organization Personal ownership & accountability for processes “Without standards, there can be no Kaizen.” – Taiichi Ohno 19
  20. 20. A Simple Standard Work Process Drive continuous improvement by establishing standards, then tasking teams to continuously improve upon them and share their learnings. Determine Standards • Identify baseline Agile practices used by teams or recommended • Capture current practices as “Standard Work” on wall or wiki Adjust Standard Work • Quality Circles reconvene to review results of A3 experiments • Adopt or reject process based on results: adoption results in updates to Standard Work Standard Work Experimentation • Teams experiment with selected A3(s) • Teams document outcomes of experimentation A3 Planning • Hold Quality Circles comprised of team members and managers • Review suggestions for improvements in the forms of A3s • Team members iterate on suggested A3s • Vote on A3 suggestions to implement 20
  21. 21. Standard Work Illustrated
  22. 22. Getting “Ready” to Plan a Sprint Definition of “Ready” • Choose the few items that your team finds most useful in Sprint Planning. • Confident and quick Sprint Planning and smooth Sprints that produce polished results are your goals.  Interaction Diagrams  Prototypes  Wireframes  Sample Data  Testable Examples  Acceptance Criteria  State Diagrams  Small Enough  Agreement from other teams  RITE / Wizard of Oz / UX Test  Approvals (Compliance, Security, Brand Mgmt, etc.)  Dependency List  Stakeholder signoff 22
  23. 23. When is a Story “Done?” Definition of “Done” • A shared definition and compact between Teams and Stakeholders • Denotes what stories require to be accepted • Ideally represents “potentially releasable” or even released state  Acceptance Criteria are met  Cleared by QA  Accepted by Tactical PO  Accepted by Strategic PO  Live for A/B Testing  Final Deployment  Training Script  Pair reviewed  Peer Reviewed  Integrated  Lightweight usability tested  Automated testing in place  User documentation created  Ops documentation created 23
  24. 24. Where Does Standard Work Live? Standard Work is ideally used as a physical visual management system. • On the Wall Team norms, daily stand-up rules …but can also be captured digitally for cross-team improvement. • In a Wiki Coding standards, audit repository 24
  25. 25. Standard Work for Card Type & Core Values You can use Standard Work to define how your current visual management systems work, and to evolve them when better ways are found. Standard work can also be applied to illustrate current working agreements among teams. 25
  26. 26. An Example: Scheduling Reviews (Standard Work) Background Three teams working on a single product have stakeholders that need to attend their respective demos. Current State (Today’s Standard Work) These teams have staggered their sprints so that stakeholders can attend all demos. The Problem The staggering has created other issues, in that integration of the teams’ codebases is now more complex, and demos don’t represent integrated work. 26
  27. 27. A3 Planning for Continuous Improvement
  28. 28. A3 Improvement Process Template Plan • What’s the problem? • Who’s involved in fixing it? • What’s the targeted goal? • What are the root causes of the problem? Do • How will we try to solve the problem? Check • How will we know the problem is solved? Act • What’s next? • How will we document and share the results? Plan Check Act Do 28
  29. 29. A3 Example Format 29
  30. 30. A3 for New Associate Integration Process You can use A3s to improve how new team members are on-boarded. 30
  31. 31. A3s for Storage & Estimation Process You can use A3s to improve estimation practices or artifact storage processes. 31
  32. 32. Team Self-Assessment 32 …or help a team review their performance against accepted practices (or current Standard Work).
  33. 33. The Personal A3 – Developing People 33 …or help individuals and managers visualize personal growth paths and aspirations.
  34. 34. Validation Board for Product Experimentation 34 …or track and visualize product experiments and their results.
  35. 35. How typical Agile roles might take part in Standard Work: • ScrumMasters & Team Leads – Own Assessment and Standard Work practices for their teams, lead adaptation through retrospectives • Functional Managers – Drive Standard Work improvements through direct assistance and provision of coaching, training & tools • Agile Working Group – Review Standard Work patterns across departments and drive common support like training and presentations • Agile Teams – Identify improvement areas in working agreements and coding standards, experiment to advance standard work over time • Product Owners – Look for ways to enhance feedback loops and interfaces with agile teams, external stakeholders, customers and users Process Improvement Roles & Responsibilities 35
  36. 36. An Example: Scheduling Reviews (A3) Background: Three teams working on a single product have stakeholders that need to attend their respective demos. Current State: These teams have staggered their sprints so that stakeholders can attend all demos. Analysis: The staggering has created another issue, in that integration of the teams’ codebases is now more complex, and demos don’t represent integrated work. Proposed Solution: Describe a new process that might address the conflicting goals. Plan: What: Describe the steps you would take to implement your solution. Who: Our Team When: 12/15/13 Expected Results: 1. What do you think is likely to happen once this solution has been implemented? 2. How will you measure the results? 36
  37. 37. Learn More about Retrospectives
  38. 38. Tips for Effective Retrospectives • Workers define and improve their own day-to-day work • Managers review and support improvements to big-picture processes • Make standards visible and obvious • Incent & celebrate improvements • Share learning across teams 38
  39. 39. Retrospective References • Managing to Learn – Shook • Lean Thinking – Womack & Jones • Understanding A3 Thinking – Sobek • The Checklist Manifesto – Gawande • The Toyota Way to Lean Leadership – Liker & Convis • Agile Retrospectives – Derby & Larsen • Tasty Cupcakes – 39
  40. 40. Contact LitheSpeed for Further Information Arlen Bankston m Sanjiv Augustine m 40 How we can help: • Training – Agile Developer, Executive, Kanban, Coaching Agile Teams, and more! • Coaching – Process & engineering help • Organizational Consulting - Create a robust agile delivery & support capability