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Transitioning Your Team to Kanban: Theory and
                              Practice

          Project Summit &
          BusinessAnalystWorld: Boston

          Gil Irizarry
          Constant Contact




Copyright © 2011 Constant Contact Inc.
Learning Objectives


               • Learn what Kanban is


               • Learn value stream mapping and how to apply it
               to your team


               • Learn how to read a cumulative flow diagram




Copyright © 2011 Constant Contact, Inc.                           2
Agenda


               • A bit about me and Constant Contact
               • Theory –
                         • Motivations
                         • Background
                         • What is Kanban and how does it work
               • Practice –
                         • Setting up a Kanban board
                         • Establishing policies and limits

Copyright © 2011 Constant Contact, Inc.                          3
My background


               • Program Manager at Constant Contact
               • Over 20 years software development and
               management experience, over 5 years in an agile
               software development environment
               • CSM and PMP certifications, Kanban coaching
               training with David Anderson
               • BS from Cornell, ALM from Harvard, certificate in
               Management from MIT Sloan
               • girizarry@constantcontact.com, gil@conoa.com
               • http://www.slideshare.net/conoagil
Copyright © 2011 Constant Contact, Inc.                              4
Background on Constant Contact


               • SaaS company offering on-line e-mail marketing,
               event marketing and surveys. Recent
               enhancements extend the services to the social
               media space
               • >$200MM gross revenue per year
               • >850 employees
               • >475K paying customers
               • Engineering and Operations total about 150
               people
               • First Scrum team formed in 2006
Copyright © 2011 Constant Contact, Inc.                            5
Motivations


               • We want to move to Agile management methods.
               Why?
                         • React quicker to changing market conditions
                         • Get new features to users more quickly
                         • Frequent releases are smaller releases
                         • Better Quality




Copyright © 2011 Constant Contact, Inc.                                  6
Quick Review of Scrum


               • Fixed iterations
               • Daily stand-ups
                         • What did you do yesterday, what did you do
                           today, any impediments
               • Retrospectives
               • Burn-down chart
                         • Board with To Do, In Progress and Done
                           states


Copyright © 2011 Constant Contact, Inc.                                 7
Lean Principles


               • Eliminate Waste
               • Build Quality In
               • Create Knowledge
               • Defer Commitment
               • Deliver Fast
               • Respect People
               • Optimize the Whole
               Leading Lean Software Development: Results Are not the Point by Mary
               and Tom Poppendieck

Copyright © 2011 Constant Contact, Inc.                                           8
Foundational Principles of Kanban


               • Start with what you do now
               • Agree to pursue incremental, evolutionary change
               • Respect the current process, roles, responsibilities
               & titles


               From:
               http://agilemanagement.net/index.php/Blog/the_pr
               inciples_of_the_kanban_method (David Anderson)


Copyright © 2011 Constant Contact, Inc.                             9
5 Core Properties of Kanban

               • Visualize the workflow
                         • Team board states are a reflection of the
                           value stream
               • Limit WIP
               • Manage Flow
                         • Implied that flow should be continuous
               • Make Process Policies Explicit
               • Improve Collaboratively (using models & the
               scientific method)

Copyright © 2011 Constant Contact, Inc.                                10
Kanban and Roles




                                                       • Prioritization
                                                       • Definition
                                                       • Ready-Ready
                                                 Org


                      • Work mgmt.
                                                                    • Delivery
                      • Metrics
                                                                    • Flow
                      • Improvement
                                          Lead         Team



Copyright © 2011 Constant Contact, Inc.                                          11
You are one team!




Copyright © 2011 Constant Contact, Inc.   12
Value Mapping Exercise




                                          How do you make dinner?




Copyright © 2011 Constant Contact, Inc.                             13
Sample Value Stream



                                            Shop               Unpack               Cook
  Value:                                  for food            groceries             Food             Eat!
                                           30 min               5 min              15 min




                        Drive to                      Drive                Wash             Serve
   No
                        market                        home                 Pots             Dinner
  Value:
                        30 min                       30 min               15 min            5 min


                                      50 min / 130 min = 38% efficiency




Copyright © 2011 Constant Contact, Inc.                                                                     14
Map the value stream in your group/dept./firm


               • Work with your teams or teams on which you are
               dependent in order to drive more efficiency




Copyright © 2011 Constant Contact, Inc.                       15
Sample Kanban Board

                                               States




      WIP Limits
    Classes of Service




Copyright © 2011 Constant Contact, Inc.                 16
Pull, not Push


               • Work items should be pulled into available lanes
               • Work should not be pushed when completed,
               even if its lane is full

                                          Pull:     Push:




Copyright © 2011 Constant Contact, Inc.                             17
Limit WIP


               • Why?
                         • Less multitasking
                         • Less time lost to context switching
                         • Better quality
                         • Smoother flow




Copyright © 2011 Constant Contact, Inc.                          18
Classes of Service


               • Different types of work need to be handled and
               prioritized differently
               • We manage this through the concept of classes of
               service. Similar projects are grouped into classes
               and each class is assigned an allocation.
                         • For example, we may decide that 20% of ops
                           time should be spent on infrastructure
                           improvements, and 80% spent on servicing
                           development


Copyright © 2011 Constant Contact, Inc.                             19
Sample CFD


         60


                                                                              What happened here?

         50




         40
                                                                                                             User Story
                                                                                                             Mockups
                                            Lead Time               Cycle Time                               Ready-Done
         30
                                                                                                             In Development
                                                         WIP                                                 Dev Done
                                                                                                             In Testing
         20                                                                                                  Complete




         10

                                                                          Potential Bottlenecks


          0
        11/9/2010               12/9/2010     1/9/2011         2/9/2011         3/9/2011          4/9/2011


Copyright © 2011 Constant Contact, Inc.                                                                                       20
Team Kanban


               • Teams plan continuously. Backlogs should be
               constantly groomed.
               • Teams test continuously
               • It’s OK if a team finds a defect on the last day of
               the release. Pull the feature or delay the
               release, but keep the flow continuous
               • It’s OK if a team starts work for the next release
               in the current release
               • Aim for development and testing to flow more
               smoothly through your system
Copyright © 2011 Constant Contact, Inc.                                21
Metrics


               • Considering gathering the following:
                         • Cycle time on items after grouping them by
                           size:
                                  • Completion time for small, medium and large
                         • Spread of cycle times
                         • Work items completed
                         • Open defects in production, to give a high-
                           level approximation of technical debt


Copyright © 2011 Constant Contact, Inc.                                           22
Metrics guide planning and estimation

               • Over time, we would expect that the spread of
               cycle times for a given item size goes down.
               • So, over time, an estimate of completion time for
               items of a given size should become more
               accurate.
               • Work items can be sized by t-shirt sizes
               (smalls, mediums or larges) and the average cycle
               times for those sizes from the last release become
               the estimate for the upcoming release.
               • Large items should in most cases be broken down
               into smaller items
Copyright © 2011 Constant Contact, Inc.                             23
Average Cycle Times for work items
        35



        30



        25



        20                                                                                      Average of Cycle Time
                                                                                                (small - 1 Story Point)


        15                                                                                      Average of Cycle Time
                                                                                                (medium - 3 Story
                                                                                                Points)

        10                                                                                      Average of Cycle Time
                                                                                                (large - 5 Story Points)


         5



         0
                   2010 R7                2010 R8       2011 R1   2011 R2   2011 R3   2011 R4




Copyright © 2011 Constant Contact, Inc.                                                                                    24
Kanban in practice




Copyright © 2011 Constant Contact, Inc.                        25
Why Kanban?


         • Shorter sprint lengths were forcing us to
           artificially break up items in order to fit within
           sprint boundaries.
         • Sprint planning consumed the team for an entire
           day.
         • Most of the work for a sprint was getting
           completed all at once, close to the end of the
           sprint.
         • QA had nothing to do at the beginning of a
           sprint, but were overworked at the end.

Copyright © 2011 Constant Contact, Inc.                         26
Mapping the Value Stream


               • At the time, the Website team was really 2
                 teams, Engineering and Design.
               • We asked the teams to map out their current
                 development process.
               • It was really complicated…




Copyright © 2011 Constant Contact, Inc.                        27
Mapping the Value Stream




Copyright © 2011 Constant Contact, Inc.   28
How do you set a WIP limit?


               • Setting WIP limit is more art than science.
               • Don’t overthink the initial WIP limit, it will
                 change based on metrics.
               • Start WIP limit at 1.5X the number of team
                 members.
               • That WIP limit is for the whole board.
               • Divide total WIP amongst the
                 columns, whatever feels right.
               • Take photos of the board daily for Cumulative
                 Flow Diagram.
Copyright © 2011 Constant Contact, Inc.                           29
Policies


               • The team defined policies for moving items into
                 each state.
               • Policies are the requirements that must be met
                 before an item is considered ready for the next
                 state.
               • Policies were written down in a wiki and posted
                 on the board.
               • The team frequently ignores policies, so the
                 scrum master has to keep them honest ;-).


Copyright © 2011 Constant Contact, Inc.                            30
One Team – Single Flow



                                   Produc
                                   e
                                            Tod
                                            o
                                                                Item and task
                                                                 type by color

                                                  Bugs & Footprints on board

                                                           WIPL = 6 full items




                                                  Visible policies
Copyright © 2011 Constant Contact, Inc.                                          31
Metrics are the Key to Improvement


               • Cycle Time – Elapsed time from Design to
                 Release to Production
               • Perceived lack of predictability compared to
                 Scrum was an issue.
               • By tracking Cycle Time, we can eventually
                 provide Service Level Agreements to
                 stakeholders.
               • SLA = Avg. Cycle Time + 2(Standard Deviation)



Copyright © 2011 Constant Contact, Inc.                         32
Cumulative Flow Diagram


               • QA overloaded
               • Worked on more constant delivery
               • Identified a bottleneck with source control
               • Changed our branching strategy to improve




Copyright © 2011 Constant Contact, Inc.                        33
Cumulative Flow Diagram



         • By September, we’re now releasing twice a week to Production

         • Much smoother CFD, continuous deliver improves cycle time




Copyright © 2011 Constant Contact, Inc.                                   34
One Year Later…




                                          New classes of
Copyright © 2011 Constant Contact, Inc.
                                             service       35
What were our objectives?


               • Learn what Kanban is


               • Learn value stream mapping and how to apply it
               to your team


               • Learn how to read a cumulative flow diagram




Copyright © 2011 Constant Contact, Inc.                           36
Resources



                          • Kanban by David J Anderson


                          • Implementing Lean Software Development: From
                          Concept to Cash - by Mary Poppendieck and Tom
                          Poppendieck


                          • Scrumban - Essays on Kanban Systems for Lean
                          Software Development - by Corey Ladas


                          • http://www.netobjectives.com/

Copyright © 2011 Constant Contact, Inc.                                    37
Conclusion




                                          Thank you!


Copyright © 2011 Constant Contact, Inc.                38

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Transitioning to Kanban: Theory and Practice - Project Summit Boston 2011

  • 1. Transitioning Your Team to Kanban: Theory and Practice Project Summit & BusinessAnalystWorld: Boston Gil Irizarry Constant Contact Copyright © 2011 Constant Contact Inc.
  • 2. Learning Objectives • Learn what Kanban is • Learn value stream mapping and how to apply it to your team • Learn how to read a cumulative flow diagram Copyright © 2011 Constant Contact, Inc. 2
  • 3. Agenda • A bit about me and Constant Contact • Theory – • Motivations • Background • What is Kanban and how does it work • Practice – • Setting up a Kanban board • Establishing policies and limits Copyright © 2011 Constant Contact, Inc. 3
  • 4. My background • Program Manager at Constant Contact • Over 20 years software development and management experience, over 5 years in an agile software development environment • CSM and PMP certifications, Kanban coaching training with David Anderson • BS from Cornell, ALM from Harvard, certificate in Management from MIT Sloan • girizarry@constantcontact.com, gil@conoa.com • http://www.slideshare.net/conoagil Copyright © 2011 Constant Contact, Inc. 4
  • 5. Background on Constant Contact • SaaS company offering on-line e-mail marketing, event marketing and surveys. Recent enhancements extend the services to the social media space • >$200MM gross revenue per year • >850 employees • >475K paying customers • Engineering and Operations total about 150 people • First Scrum team formed in 2006 Copyright © 2011 Constant Contact, Inc. 5
  • 6. Motivations • We want to move to Agile management methods. Why? • React quicker to changing market conditions • Get new features to users more quickly • Frequent releases are smaller releases • Better Quality Copyright © 2011 Constant Contact, Inc. 6
  • 7. Quick Review of Scrum • Fixed iterations • Daily stand-ups • What did you do yesterday, what did you do today, any impediments • Retrospectives • Burn-down chart • Board with To Do, In Progress and Done states Copyright © 2011 Constant Contact, Inc. 7
  • 8. Lean Principles • Eliminate Waste • Build Quality In • Create Knowledge • Defer Commitment • Deliver Fast • Respect People • Optimize the Whole Leading Lean Software Development: Results Are not the Point by Mary and Tom Poppendieck Copyright © 2011 Constant Contact, Inc. 8
  • 9. Foundational Principles of Kanban • Start with what you do now • Agree to pursue incremental, evolutionary change • Respect the current process, roles, responsibilities & titles From: http://agilemanagement.net/index.php/Blog/the_pr inciples_of_the_kanban_method (David Anderson) Copyright © 2011 Constant Contact, Inc. 9
  • 10. 5 Core Properties of Kanban • Visualize the workflow • Team board states are a reflection of the value stream • Limit WIP • Manage Flow • Implied that flow should be continuous • Make Process Policies Explicit • Improve Collaboratively (using models & the scientific method) Copyright © 2011 Constant Contact, Inc. 10
  • 11. Kanban and Roles • Prioritization • Definition • Ready-Ready Org • Work mgmt. • Delivery • Metrics • Flow • Improvement Lead Team Copyright © 2011 Constant Contact, Inc. 11
  • 12. You are one team! Copyright © 2011 Constant Contact, Inc. 12
  • 13. Value Mapping Exercise How do you make dinner? Copyright © 2011 Constant Contact, Inc. 13
  • 14. Sample Value Stream Shop Unpack Cook Value: for food groceries Food Eat! 30 min 5 min 15 min Drive to Drive Wash Serve No market home Pots Dinner Value: 30 min 30 min 15 min 5 min 50 min / 130 min = 38% efficiency Copyright © 2011 Constant Contact, Inc. 14
  • 15. Map the value stream in your group/dept./firm • Work with your teams or teams on which you are dependent in order to drive more efficiency Copyright © 2011 Constant Contact, Inc. 15
  • 16. Sample Kanban Board States WIP Limits Classes of Service Copyright © 2011 Constant Contact, Inc. 16
  • 17. Pull, not Push • Work items should be pulled into available lanes • Work should not be pushed when completed, even if its lane is full Pull: Push: Copyright © 2011 Constant Contact, Inc. 17
  • 18. Limit WIP • Why? • Less multitasking • Less time lost to context switching • Better quality • Smoother flow Copyright © 2011 Constant Contact, Inc. 18
  • 19. Classes of Service • Different types of work need to be handled and prioritized differently • We manage this through the concept of classes of service. Similar projects are grouped into classes and each class is assigned an allocation. • For example, we may decide that 20% of ops time should be spent on infrastructure improvements, and 80% spent on servicing development Copyright © 2011 Constant Contact, Inc. 19
  • 20. Sample CFD 60 What happened here? 50 40 User Story Mockups Lead Time Cycle Time Ready-Done 30 In Development WIP Dev Done In Testing 20 Complete 10 Potential Bottlenecks 0 11/9/2010 12/9/2010 1/9/2011 2/9/2011 3/9/2011 4/9/2011 Copyright © 2011 Constant Contact, Inc. 20
  • 21. Team Kanban • Teams plan continuously. Backlogs should be constantly groomed. • Teams test continuously • It’s OK if a team finds a defect on the last day of the release. Pull the feature or delay the release, but keep the flow continuous • It’s OK if a team starts work for the next release in the current release • Aim for development and testing to flow more smoothly through your system Copyright © 2011 Constant Contact, Inc. 21
  • 22. Metrics • Considering gathering the following: • Cycle time on items after grouping them by size: • Completion time for small, medium and large • Spread of cycle times • Work items completed • Open defects in production, to give a high- level approximation of technical debt Copyright © 2011 Constant Contact, Inc. 22
  • 23. Metrics guide planning and estimation • Over time, we would expect that the spread of cycle times for a given item size goes down. • So, over time, an estimate of completion time for items of a given size should become more accurate. • Work items can be sized by t-shirt sizes (smalls, mediums or larges) and the average cycle times for those sizes from the last release become the estimate for the upcoming release. • Large items should in most cases be broken down into smaller items Copyright © 2011 Constant Contact, Inc. 23
  • 24. Average Cycle Times for work items 35 30 25 20 Average of Cycle Time (small - 1 Story Point) 15 Average of Cycle Time (medium - 3 Story Points) 10 Average of Cycle Time (large - 5 Story Points) 5 0 2010 R7 2010 R8 2011 R1 2011 R2 2011 R3 2011 R4 Copyright © 2011 Constant Contact, Inc. 24
  • 25. Kanban in practice Copyright © 2011 Constant Contact, Inc. 25
  • 26. Why Kanban? • Shorter sprint lengths were forcing us to artificially break up items in order to fit within sprint boundaries. • Sprint planning consumed the team for an entire day. • Most of the work for a sprint was getting completed all at once, close to the end of the sprint. • QA had nothing to do at the beginning of a sprint, but were overworked at the end. Copyright © 2011 Constant Contact, Inc. 26
  • 27. Mapping the Value Stream • At the time, the Website team was really 2 teams, Engineering and Design. • We asked the teams to map out their current development process. • It was really complicated… Copyright © 2011 Constant Contact, Inc. 27
  • 28. Mapping the Value Stream Copyright © 2011 Constant Contact, Inc. 28
  • 29. How do you set a WIP limit? • Setting WIP limit is more art than science. • Don’t overthink the initial WIP limit, it will change based on metrics. • Start WIP limit at 1.5X the number of team members. • That WIP limit is for the whole board. • Divide total WIP amongst the columns, whatever feels right. • Take photos of the board daily for Cumulative Flow Diagram. Copyright © 2011 Constant Contact, Inc. 29
  • 30. Policies • The team defined policies for moving items into each state. • Policies are the requirements that must be met before an item is considered ready for the next state. • Policies were written down in a wiki and posted on the board. • The team frequently ignores policies, so the scrum master has to keep them honest ;-). Copyright © 2011 Constant Contact, Inc. 30
  • 31. One Team – Single Flow Produc e Tod o Item and task type by color Bugs & Footprints on board WIPL = 6 full items Visible policies Copyright © 2011 Constant Contact, Inc. 31
  • 32. Metrics are the Key to Improvement • Cycle Time – Elapsed time from Design to Release to Production • Perceived lack of predictability compared to Scrum was an issue. • By tracking Cycle Time, we can eventually provide Service Level Agreements to stakeholders. • SLA = Avg. Cycle Time + 2(Standard Deviation) Copyright © 2011 Constant Contact, Inc. 32
  • 33. Cumulative Flow Diagram • QA overloaded • Worked on more constant delivery • Identified a bottleneck with source control • Changed our branching strategy to improve Copyright © 2011 Constant Contact, Inc. 33
  • 34. Cumulative Flow Diagram • By September, we’re now releasing twice a week to Production • Much smoother CFD, continuous deliver improves cycle time Copyright © 2011 Constant Contact, Inc. 34
  • 35. One Year Later… New classes of Copyright © 2011 Constant Contact, Inc. service 35
  • 36. What were our objectives? • Learn what Kanban is • Learn value stream mapping and how to apply it to your team • Learn how to read a cumulative flow diagram Copyright © 2011 Constant Contact, Inc. 36
  • 37. Resources • Kanban by David J Anderson • Implementing Lean Software Development: From Concept to Cash - by Mary Poppendieck and Tom Poppendieck • Scrumban - Essays on Kanban Systems for Lean Software Development - by Corey Ladas • http://www.netobjectives.com/ Copyright © 2011 Constant Contact, Inc. 37
  • 38. Conclusion Thank you! Copyright © 2011 Constant Contact, Inc. 38

Editor's Notes

  1. We had 3 “swim lanes” “P1” or “expedite”, Engineering and Design. The lanes converged in the verify column.We had WIP limits for each column or “state”Engineering Lanes: Queue, Requirements & Test Plans, Design, Review& Revision, Code, Review & Revision, Verify, DoneDesign Lanes: Queue, User Experience, UX Review & Revision, Design, Review& Revision, Test Plan, Code, Review & Revision, Verify, Done
  2. We had trouble managing dependencies between the two boards/teamsWe decided to pull together as one team, one board, one goal
  3. This example is from September of last year. Pretty smooth.
  4. Throughput was down because we had 4 large projects going on simultaneously, so smaller items blocked.Infrastructure work (e.g. code cleanup, upgrades, etc.) were not getting done.Team defined classes of service – pebbles, rocks, sand, plus infrastructure and design only.