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LKCE19 - Boris Karl Schlein - Two Epics per Week?!

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Starting in early 2019 our stakeholders told us that delivering two epics per week is way too low. We then did a deep analysis of our problems using systems mappings and we derived actions from it. In my talk we take a look at these systems mappings, the derived actions, and their effects by using real data of our three level Kanban system. On our way towards operational excellence it is surprising which elements have an impact on WIP, throughput, cycle time and how this affects operating costs and the value we deliver to our customers.

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LKCE19 - Boris Karl Schlein - Two Epics per Week?!

  1. 1. Two Epics per Week!? Boris Karl Schlein AgileCoach HAMGI-AC Customer Facing
  2. 2. TWO EPICS PER WEEK ARE WAY TOO LOW! © 2019 KUEHNE + NAGEL All rights reserved2
  3. 3. Let’s talk about Dependencies
  4. 4. Potential Dependencies betweenTeams © 2019 KUEHNE + NAGEL All rights reserved4 Potentially, there are dependencies between each team. 2Teams, 1 Dependency 3Teams, 3 Dependencies 4Teams, 6 Dependencies Team Potential Dependency 1Team, 0 Dependencies
  5. 5. Dependencies and Simple GraphTheory © 2019 KUEHNE + NAGEL All rights reserved5 Graph theory tells us, that potential dependencies (edges) between teams (vertices) grow exponentially. Vertices V Edges n 1 0 2 1 3 3 4 6 5 10 6 15 7 21 8 28 9 36 10 45 Vertices V Edges n 𝑉 = 𝑛 2 = 𝑖 𝑛−1 𝑖=1 = 𝑛 − 1 𝑛 2 = 1 2 (𝑛2 − 𝑛) 28
  6. 6. Adding Resources May Not BeThe Answer © 2019 KUEHNE + NAGEL All rights reserved6 Our throughput does not grow in a linear manner – but our operating costs do! Potential dependencies Idealized throughput growth Actual throughput Impact of dependencies considered – approximation, but aligned to real data Dependencies Teams Assumption: Teams are independent
  7. 7. What the CFD isTelling Us Although we added teams, our overall throughput remains constant – per team it sank from 0.53 to 0.39 epics per week. AACT = 71 days W = 32 epics 8 teams 4 epics/team 2019-02-07 Little’s Law AT = W/C = (32/71)*7 = 3.15 0.39 epics per team & week 2018-09-13 Little’s Law AT = W/C = (11/24)*7 = 3.2 0.53 epics per team & week 2018-10-10 The growingWIP started here AACT = 24 days W = 11 epics 6 teams 1.8 epics /team AACT =:ApproximateAverageCycleTime,W =Work in Process, AT :=AverageThroughput (datafrom7thFeb.2019) © 2019 KUEHNE + NAGEL All rights reserved7
  8. 8. Component Component Component Component Component Component Component Component Component Component Strong Code Ownership © 2019 KUEHNE + NAGEL All rights reserved8 Our 8 development teams complain a lot about “blockers” from other teams. Vostok Hudson Pacific Como…
  9. 9. Our Multi-level Kanban System © 2019 KUEHNE + NAGEL All rights reserved9 Strong code ownership of teams and dependencies visualized based on our work artifacts. Epic X e. g. assigned to Vostok Epic assigned to a single team Story assigned to a single team 1 1..n Story assigned to Vostok Story assigned to Hudson Story assigned to Pacific Story assigned to Como Team Level Klaus Leopold: “Flight Level 1” Coordination Level Klaus Leopold: “Flight Level 2”
  10. 10. Ratio of Self-Contained Epics © 2019 KUEHNE + NAGEL All rights reserved10 Red means, that an epic contains at least one story assigned to a team different to the team which owns the epic. (datafrom7thFeb.2019) Epic X e. g. assigned to Vostok Epic assigned to a single team Story assigned to a single team 1 1..n Story assigned to team Vostok Story assigned to team Hudson Story assigned to team Pacific Story assigned to team Como
  11. 11. Epic X e. g. assigned to Vostok Story Distribution ofTeams per Epics © 2019 KUEHNE + NAGEL All rights reserved11 A snapshot from January 2019 – it changes depending on the demand our teams are working on. Strong dependencies to Pacific,Toba andVostok Strong dependency toVostok Strong dependencies toOdra – bidirectional! Epic assigned to a single team Story assigned to a single team 1 1..n Story assigned to team Vostok Story assigned to team Hudson Story assigned to team Pacific Story assigned to team Como
  12. 12. Active Dependencies Make it Complex © 2019 KUEHNE + NAGEL All rights reserved12 Active dependencies change per demand – worst case scenarios are circular dependencies which increase complexity. Team Potential Dependency Active Dependency Demand A Demand B “Chained” Dependencies “Circular” Dependencies
  13. 13. A Little Law Called “Little’s Law” 13 Let’s just apply some standard Kanban know-how to show that we are facing a complex environment. CycleTime Blockers Throughput Task Switches Work in Process © 2019 KUEHNE + NAGEL All rights reserved WaitingTimes 𝑻 = 𝑾 𝑪
  14. 14. Perceived Pressure © 2019 KUEHNE + NAGEL All rights reserved14 An easy example how external pressure increases WIP and lowers throughput. Low/moderate perceived pressure High perceived pressure  Dependencies exist and stay constant  WIP stays constant  Busy work: tendency that teams should not idle – push & pull new work items  WIP increases  More dependencies – blockers and waiting times – push & pull new work items (vicious cycle)
  15. 15. Yet AnotherVicious Cycle 15 The effects of our actions are often counterintuitive.Thus, focusing on cycle time would be more effective to work on the system. CycleTime Blockers Throughput Task Switches Work in Process © 2019 KUEHNE + NAGEL All rights reserved WaitingTimesPerceived Pressure 𝑻 = 𝑾 𝑪
  16. 16. Pressure and the J-Curve Effect © 2019 KUEHNE + NAGEL All rights reserved16 In times of high pressure people avoid to work on the system because people are more risk-avers. Effort/Gain Time New status quo High perceived pressure Negative effects, change resistance Positive effects Outcome
  17. 17. Uncovering the Real Problems Kanban is about continuous change and improvement: Limiting the work in process is the start – it generates pain where the real problems are and forces us to identify and handle root causes. © 2019 KUEHNE + NAGEL All rights reserved17
  18. 18. Confront the Brutal Facts!
  19. 19. Systems Mapping – a Real Life Example © 2019 KUEHNE + NAGEL All rights reserved19 A deep analysis based on observations and real data.
  20. 20. Be aware of the Newtonian Mindset Still in 2019, we are mostly influenced by a mindset of linear causalities – even though we are working in complex environments. © 2019 KUEHNE + NAGEL All rights reserved20
  21. 21. TheThreeTraps of the Newtonian Mindset Trap of Determinism Mindset of Linear Causalities: If I do A it must result in B. “We must do the one thing and everything will be great!” Trap of Directing People Transactional Leadership. “Do the task as I told you and get the reward! Otherwise you won’t! In the meantime, you will not see me at all.” Trap of Punctuation Leads to finger pointing. “It’s the management’s fault! “ or “It’s the team’s fault!” © 2019 KUEHNE + NAGEL All rights reserved21 Systems thinking helps us to understand complexity by identifying causal loops.
  22. 22. Trap of Determinism © 2019 KUEHNE + NAGEL All rights reserved22 Avoid this trap by thinking in short PDCA cycles and use experiments where people are allowed to fail.
  23. 23. Trap of Directing People © 2019 KUEHNE + NAGEL All rights reserved23 Transformational leadership on all levels instead of a top-down transactional leadership style.
  24. 24. Trap of Punctuation © 2019 KUEHNE + NAGEL All rights reserved24 Start with yourself, rely on The Responsibility ProcessTM. It’s not “either … or”, it’s “and … both”.
  25. 25. Something wants to happen. Currently, there is a lot of movement inside KN. © 2019 KUEHNE + NAGEL All rights reserved25
  26. 26. Addressing All Levels Team Level (Gemba): Reduce Complexity & Focus on Flow  Smaller user stories (and epics)  Cross-functional feature teams (weaken code ownership)  Increase product management maturity Organizational Level: Enable (Transformational) Leadership  Less hierarchy  OKR-like target system  Salary model (no bonuses)  Career path  One product organization: end-to-end thinking A holistic view helps to understand that local optimization on team level will only lead to frustration of all involved parties. © 2019 KUEHNE + NAGEL All rights reserved26
  27. 27. Thank you Two Epics Per Week!? Boris Karl Schlein Agile Coach Kühne + Nagel (AG & Co.) KG HAM GI-AC Customer Facing Order boris.karl.schlein@kuehne-nagel.com 27 Fin.
  28. 28. Books, Books, Books! The Human Side of Enterprise Douglas McGregor Transformational Leadership Bernhard M. Bass, Ronald E. Riggio Leadership: Theory and Practice Peter G. Northouse Leadership Without Easy Answers Ronald A. Heifetz Leadership Agility William B. Joiner, Stephen A. Josephs Leadership and the New Science Margaret J. Wheatley Co-Active Leadership: Five Ways to Lead Karen Kimsey-House, Henry Kimsey-House The Responsibility Process Christopher Avery Denkwerkzeuge der Höchstleister Gerhard Wohland, Matthias Wiemeyer “Every managerial act rests on assumptions, generalizations, and hypotheses—that is to say, on theory. […] Another common way of denying the importance of theory to managerial behavior is to insist that management is an art.” Douglas McGregor, The Human Side of Enterprise, 1960. Thinking in Systems: A Primer Donella H. Meadows A Fuller View L. Steven Sieden Feedback Jürgen Beetz, Martin Lay Pragmatics of Human Communication Paul Watzlawick, Don D. Jackson, Janat Beavin Bavealas Why We Do What We Do Edward L. Deci Flow Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi Drive Daniel H. Pink The Normal Personality Steven Reiss Crossing the Chasm Geoffrey A. Moore Good to Great Jim Collins The Future of Management Gary Hamel How To Lead Self-Managing Teams? Rini van Solingen Reinventing Organizations Frédéric Laloux Holacracy Brian J. Robertson Measure What Matters John Doerr Practical Kanban Klaus Leopold Actionable Agile Metrics for Predictability Daniel S. Vacanti Large-Scale Scrum: More with LeSS Craig Larman © 2019 KUEHNE + NAGEL All rights reserved28

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