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Lean Strategies for IT Support Organizations


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This was presented by Roger Brown and Peter Green at the Seattle Scrum Gathering on 5/17/11. Slides have been annotated with some discussion notes to provide additional context.

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Lean Strategies for IT Support Organizations

  1. 1. LEAN STRATEGIES FOR IT SUPPORT ORGANIZATIONS Scrum Gathering 2011 Seattle Roger Brown CSC, CST Moonrise Consulting, San Jose, CA Peter Green Agile Coach and Trainer, Adobe Systems, Inc. With assistance from Jonathan Snyder, Adobe Systems, Inc. and Jeff McKenna, Agile Action© 2011 Moonrise Consulting, San Jose, CA
  2. 2. CAN IT SERVICES BE AGILE?This presentation is inspired by alearning project at Adobe Systems, Inc.Contact ifyou would like to know more. 2
  3. 3. LEAN PRINCIPLES Minimize the time from order to cash 2. Map 1. the Identify Value Value Stream 3. 5. Seek Create Perfection Flow 4. Establish Pull The five-step thought process for guiding the implementation of lean techniques is easy to remember, but not always easy to achieve - 3
  4. 4. IDENTIFY VALUE 2. Map 1. the Identify Value Value Stream 3. 5. Seek Create Perfection Flow 4. Establish Pull Specify value from the standpoint of the end customer by product family.
  5. 5. SOURCES OF VALUE FOR ENTERPRISE SYSTEMS$ Useful functionality$ High system reliability$ Quick system response$ High quality$ Ease of use$ Good support
  6. 6. MAP THE VALUE STREAM 2. Map 1. the Identify Value Value Stream 3. 5. Seek Create Perfection Flow 4. Establish Pull Identify all the steps in the value stream for each product family, eliminating whenever possible those steps that do not create value.
  7. 7. THE SOFTWARE DEVELOPMENT VALUE STREAM Scrum practitioners have focused on these activities Sprints? Product Definition Product Development Product Delivery ? Product Backlog Development and Frequent Creation and Testing during Releases to Release Planning Sprints Production
  8. 8. EXPANDING THE VALUE STREAM Where does the Where does the Product Vision Product go after come from? delivery? Product Product Product Product Product Discovery Definition Development Delivery Operation Innovation Games Scrum DevOps Pragmatic Marketing MainstreamCustomer Development Leading edge Agile approaches Who is missing?
  9. 9. DEVOPS Release Deploy Development Operations and Done, done, doneDevOps is one name for the growing field of Lean/Agile inspired operations practices. It seeks to break down thewall between Development and Operations so that new product does not pile up unused and the challenges ofchange risk and compliance can still be addressed. It leverages automation, virtualization and Agile Practices forbetter communication and continuity between Dev and Ops.
  10. 10. COMPLETING THE VALUE STREAM Support is the interface to the customer Product Product Product Product Product SupportDiscovery Definition Development Delivery Operation Now we can start thinking about optimizing the entire What Lean/Agile value stream opportunities an we find? Bleeding edge for Agile Enterprises
  11. 11. WHAT IS SUPPORT? Product Service What is a Service?  Activities, not tangibles  Produced and consumed at the same time  Customer is a co-producer  Utility + Warranty
  12. 12. DISCUSSION: THE SUPPORT WORLD Support Activities: •Help Desk •Failure Analysis •Code updates •System Monitoring •System Configuration •Bug fixing •Incident Tracking Challenges: •Users expect rapid response to problems •More people using more technology means more demand for help •More products and versions to support •Quarterly $ goals drive tight timelines •Fragile, debt-ridden systems •Management by time and budget, not value and quality •Knowledge gained during emergencies is not retained •Staff works in expertise silos Opportunities: •Responsive support pleases customers leading to more sales •More “supportable” products have lower support costs •Higher quality products have lower support costs •More efficient and reduced demand saves people cost •Fewer production disruptions escalated to development team
  13. 13. WHAT LEAN PRACTICES HAS YOUR ORG TRIED? Lean Production Practices Often Applied to Services: • Reduce average activity time (stop watches!) • Heavy specialization (silos!) • Resource Management (offshoring!) • Stepwise forwarding (your incident record has 10 entries…) • Standardization (support scripts!) Focus is on activity and cost. Customers are frustrated. Workers are de-motivated.
  14. 14. THE NEW PERSPECTIVETreat Service as a systemand focus on capacity and capabilityto achieve flow. Economies of Scale Economies of Flow
  15. 15. FINDING FLOW 2. Map 1. the Identify Value Value Stream 3. 5. Seek Create Perfection Flow 4. Establish Pull Make the value-creating steps occur in tight sequence so the product will flow smoothly toward the customer.
  16. 16. USER DEMAND Story Story Story Where does it Defect come from? Story Refactor Story Defect Story
  17. 17. VALUE DEMAND Value Demand is the work that originates in product discovery and improvement. Examples: • Competitor features • New technologies • New ideas for products and features • Customer requests for new functionality • Payback of technical debt
  18. 18. FAILURE DEMAND Failure Demand is the work that originates in product mistakes, mishaps and Examples: misunderstanding. • Help requests • Code defects • Usability problems • Building the wrong features • Insufficient security, speed, uptime • Technical debt to hurry shipment
  19. 19. THE LEAN NO-BRAINERS We know about these from our Agile experience: - Small batches - Single piece flow - Limit Work In ProgressThe goal for your processis items flowing throughthe system at aconsistently high rate,with no build up ofqueues or work inprocess. 19
  20. 20. DECENTRALIZED CONTROL •Hire the right people • Respect what they know and how they work • Enable continual learning • Give individuals autonomy to make decisions • Use cross-functional teams where re-work occurs • Align decentralized authority with centralized strategy • Trust that uncertainty will be met more quickly by knowledgeable, capable people • Use explicit policies (team-defined and org-defined) to aid trust in self-organization of teams
  21. 21. In Lean manufacturing, we work hard to eliminate it. In product development we encourage it to spawn innovation. In services, it just is. So we try to make the most of it.ABOUT VARIABILITY • Look for patterns to leverage in prioritization and problem solving • Know the payoff function and the probability of success • Cut your losses Manufacturing Development Support Unit Story Ticket Unit Story Ticket Unit Story Ticket Story Unit Story Ticket Unit Story Unit Ticket In general, it is better to reduce the economic consequences of variability than to try to reduce variability. - Reinertsen
  22. 22. ESTABLISH PULL 2. Map 1. the Identify Value Value Stream 3. 5. Seek Create Perfection Flow 4. Establish Pull As flow is introduced, let customers pull value from the next upstream activity. Note: customer is the next downstream process, not just end users
  23. 23. PULL Push Push systems overwhelm capacity, creating turbulence, waste and delay ♫ Pull systems have a steady flow that provides predictability 23
  24. 24. DemoKANBAN SIMPLE SOFTWARE KANBAN BOARD Bottleneck Station WIP Design WIP Develop WIP Test To Do Limit WIP=2 Limit WIP=4 Limit WIP = 3 Done Doing Done Doing Done (Prioritized Backlog) Workflow Normal Urgent Process Improvement WI Types: 24
  25. 25. KANBAN Prioritization WIP LimitsSelf Assignment Incremental Improvement Visual Management
  26. 26. Lean cadence supports variability in delivery cadence. Development problems are large and need to beCADENCE decomposed. Lean supports problems are already small but have different expectations of resolution (SLA).Scrum for development Lean for operations Decomposition Sprint 1 Sprint 2 Sprint 3
  27. 27. Goals for an Agile Organization • Optimal value delivered to customerSEEK PERFECTION • Consistent processes • Measurable processes • Collect usable knowledge • Focus • Trust 2. Map 1. • Continuous improvement the Identify Value Value Stream 3. 5. Seek Create Perfection Flow 4. Establish Pull As value is specified, value streams are identified, wasted steps are removed, and flow and pull are introduced, begin the process again and continue it until a state of perfection is reached in which perfect value is created with no waste.
  28. 28. ABOUT PERFECTION When does our process reach perfection? Perfection is never actually achieved. The notion of perfection is itself subject to a process of continuous improvement. - Jonathan Snyder
  29. 29. REDUCING WASTE The Seven Deadly WastesManufacturing Enterprise System SupportInventory Stale support requests, planned process improvements, unreleased fixesExtra processing Heavy process steps, meetings, work assignments, manual reportingOverproduction Standardization of responses, speculative process changesTransportation Task switching, issue triage, offshoring, issue forwardingWaiting Specialist bottlenecks, batch fixes for a hot patch, reproducing environments and configurations, queue escalationsMotion Emergency fixes, handoffs due to specialization, log in to multiple systems to test or researchDefects Lost knowledge, mis-applied fixes, out-of-date scripts, Addressing symptoms instead of root causes, bugs
  30. 30. LEAN PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT GOALS Valuable Usable Product Knowledge • Patterns • Institutional knowledge • Knowledge sharing • Learning Organization Process
  31. 31. FASTER FEEDBACK Demming Cycle
  32. 32. EXISTING FEEDBACK LOOPS TO IMPROVE Release Help Frequency Desk Product Product Product Product Product SupportDiscovery Definition Development Delivery Operation Bugs Reliability Configuration Performance Compliance
  33. 33. NEW FEEDBACK LOOPS TO ADD Support viewpoint, tools Low value features Learning Inefficient features Product Product Product Product Product SupportDiscovery Definition Development Delivery Operation Help Desk Supportability features Customer desires Feature ideas from customers Emerging problems Usability issues Wrong features Missing features
  34. 34. INCREASE CUSTOMER INVOLVEMENT Customer Validation Product Product Product Product Product SupportDiscovery Definition Development Delivery Operation Customer Representatives Focus Groups
  35. 35. AGILE ENTERPRISE MANIFESTO We are uncovering better ways of developing enterprise business services by doing it and helping others do it. Through this work we have come to value: Incentives for quality and value over time and cost Agile organization over agile project methodology Knowledge management over tribal memory Economies of flow over economies of scale That is, while there is value in the items on the right, we value the items on the left more. - A work in progress by Jonathan Snyder, Sr. Manager, IT Application Support, Adobe Systems, Inc.
  36. 36. REFERENCESAnderson, D. J. (2010). Kanban: Reinertsen, Donald G. (2009). The Successful Evolutionary Change for Principles of Product Development Your Technology Business. Sequim, Flow: Second Generation Lean Product WA: Blue Hole Press. Development. Redondo Beach, CA:Beck, K., & al., e. (2001). Manifesto for Celeritas Publishing. Agile Software Development. Retrieved Seddon, J., & O’Donovan, B. (2009). from Rethinking Lean Service., S. C., & Orzen, M. A. (2011). Lean IT: brendan-jul09.asp Enabling and Sustaining Your Lean Womack, J. P., & Jones, D. T. (1993). Lean Transformation. New York: Productivity Thinking. New York: Free Press. Press. Womack, J. P., Jones, D. T., & Roos, D.Grönroos, C. (2007). Service Management (1990). The Machine that Changed the and Marketing: Customer World. New York: Macmillian Publishing Management in Service Competition, Company. 3rd Edition. Hoboken: J. Wiley.Humble, J., & Farley, D. (2010). Continuous Delivery: Reliable software releases through build, test, and deployment automation. Boston: Addison-Wesley. 36