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The Kanban Retrospective

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How to Interpret Data and Identify Opportunities to Optimize the Flow of Work

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The Kanban Retrospective

  1. 1. THE KANBAN RETROSEPCTIVE HOW TO INTERPRET DATA & IDENTIFY OPPORTUNITIES to Optimize the Flow of Work
  2. 2. Colleen Johnson • Director, Adaptive Agile Practice at ImagineX Consulting • LeanKanban Accredited Kanban Trainer & Kanban Coaching Professional • Former Agile Denver Board of Directors • Co-chair 2016 & 2017 Mile High Agile Conference • Member Agile Uprising Board of Directors • CEO & Founder of ScatterSpoke, a team space for more effective retrospectives • Mama to three amazing kiddos @scrumhive
  3. 3. Retrospectives An opportunity to: • Look back at past events • Reflect on outcomes • Share perspectives • Voice frustration • Empower the team • Identify improvements • Optimize the process
  4. 4. Action Items • “Set up a meeting to discuss branch process” • “Clean up user stories as stuff changes mid-sprint” • “Define more clear acceptance criteria in Jira” • “Dedicate time for developers to study topics and new tech related to their work” • “Review sprint burnup chart as part of daily stand up” • “Stop rotating the Scrum Master role” • ”More liberal permission to view infrastructure setting so we can resolve issues faster” • ”Include QA folks in Sprint Planning”
  5. 5. Kanban • A “Just-in-Time” management method focused on visualization of work by balancing demand against capacity, limiting work-in-progress, amplifying bottlenecks, and focusing on completing work before staring something new. • AKA GSD.
  6. 6. Eliminating Waste The three types of Waste in Lean Thinking: • Muda: Waste Flow • Mura: Inconsistency Predictability • Muri: Overburden Quality
  7. 7. Kaizen • The Japanese translation "The act of making bad points better” • New Oxford Dictionary definition is “a Japanese business philosophy of continuous improvement of working practices, personal efficiency, etc.” • The more popular translation is “change for better” • Kaizen is a culture of learning and improving, not a practice or process
  8. 8. Service Delivery Review • Externally focused • Are customer expectations being met • Compare capabilities vs fitness criteria metrics • ie: performance v targets • Balance demand with capability • ie: arrivals v departures • Evaluate risk and mitigations
  9. 9. What’s Different? • We make targeted improvements to our system based on data and metrics from our current performance • AKA, not guessing • Blending internal process and external delivery
  10. 10. Kanban Metrics • Lead Time: the duration for a work item from beginning to end, including process time and wait states. • Cycle Time: the duration for a work item to move from point A to point B. • Through Put: the count of work items processed per a specific amount of time. • Work in Progress: the total amount of work you have committed to but have not completed at any given time • Flow Efficiency: the ratio between working time and the cycle time (expressed as a percentage)
  11. 11. Create Visibility • Transparency of work and priorities • Representation of varied work items • Clear ownership and status • Distribution of work load • Informed decision making
  12. 12. Self Managing Teams • Agree on workflow policies • Push towards cycle time targets • Swarm on work to finish faster • Create slack to respond to unplanned work • Find a sustainable pace of work
  13. 13. Resolve Blockers Faster • Focus standups on the work • Bring attention to stuck items • Make resolving blockers a top priority • Elevate cross team impediments
  14. 14. Forecast with Accuracy • Use existing data to forecast delivery dates • Forecast without story pointing or estimating • Forecast without full story definition • Track real time delivery probability • Give the team ownership of project tracking
  15. 15. Process that Fits • Refined to fit the needs of the team • Changes made based on data • Measurable results and metrics • Ownership of the agile process
  16. 16. Fit-for-Purpose • Our process is never final, it is always adapting to fits the needs of the business • AKA, not one size-fits-all • Identifying opportunity, trying something different, and iterating on solutions
  17. 17. Action Item Hypothesis • What impact do you expect this change to have? • How will you measure it? • When will you check back in? • What will you change if your hypothesis is true? • What will you change if your hypothesis is false?
  18. 18. Plan-Do-Check-Act • PLAN: Plan your improvements, including setting goals. • DO: Put in place the actions required for improvement. • CHECK: Measure your success relative to your baseline. • ACT: Adjust or tweak your changes PLAN: Identify the Issue DO: Fix the Problem CHECK: Measure the Fix ACT: Adjust the Fix
  19. 19. Measure, Rinse, Repeat • There’s always ALWAYS room for improvement • Adopt a Kaizen mindset • Leverage data to make targeted improvements • Experiment! Try something different and measure • Never skip the retrospective
  20. 20. What to look for 1. The Big Three 2. Piles 3. Outliers 4. Blockers 5. Unplanned Work 6. All the Feels
  21. 21. What to look for 1. The Big Three 2. Piles 3. Outliers 4. Blockers 5. Unplanned Work 6. All the Feels
  22. 22. The Big Three Cycle Time Through Put Actual WIP
  23. 23. Sample Data Screenshot from ActionableAgule
  24. 24. What’s it telling us? • Are we delivering fast enough? • Will we meet our deadlines? • Are we working on too much/too little? • Is our WIP consistent?
  25. 25. What changes would you make based on this? • Agree to follow the system WIP limit • Increase/decrease our system WIP limit • Revise workflow policies • Create an expedited lane or policy
  26. 26. Addressing THE BIG 3 1. What is the issue? 2. What is the desired outcome? 3. What would you change? 4. How would you measure success? Small Group Exercise PLAN: Identify the Issue DO: Fix the Problem CHECK: Measure the Fix ACT: Adjust the Fix
  27. 27. What to look for 1. The Big Three 2. Piles 3. Outliers 4. Blockers 5. Unplanned Work 6. All the Feels
  28. 28. Piles • Leverage a Cumulative Flow Diagram • Work accumulating in one area of the workflow • WIP may be consistent but one area is over-burdened • Team mates are stressed or overloaded • Team mates are idle or unable to pull new work
  29. 29. Sample Data Screenshot from Kanbanize
  30. 30. What’s it telling us? • Where is the most work in our system? • Do we need more capacity? • Do we need to throttle a different part of our workflow? • Should we add/remove workflow policies?
  31. 31. What changes would you make based on this? • Increase/decrease our state WIP limit • Hire more people to add capacity • Address gaps in specializations • Visualize aging work
  32. 32. Addressing PILES 1. What is the issue? 2. What is the desired outcome? 3. What would you change? 4. How would you measure success? Small Group Exercise PLAN: Identify the Issue DO: Fix the Problem CHECK: Measure the Fix ACT: Adjust the Fix
  33. 33. What to look for 1. The Big Three 2. Piles 3. Outliers 4. Blockers 5. Unplanned Work 6. All the Feels
  34. 34. Understand Outliers • Use a cycle time scatter plot to review delivery • 85% cycle time number • Look at % of variance • Discuss causes of outliers high & low • Consider timelines and events
  35. 35. Sample Data Screenshot fromJira
  36. 36. What’s it telling us? • How much variability do we have in our flow? • What is causing that variability? • What could we do to reduce variability? • Is work moving through that isn’t going through all the states of the workflow?
  37. 37. What changes would you make based on this? • Revise workflow policies • Revise workflow states • Increase priority of aging items • Pair to share knowledge & learn
  38. 38. Addressing OUTLIERS 1. What is the issue? 2. What is the desired outcome? 3. What would you change? 4. How would you measure success? Small Group Exercise PLAN: Identify the Issue DO: Fix the Problem CHECK: Measure the Fix ACT: Adjust the Fix
  39. 39. What to look for 1. The Big Three 2. Piles 3. Outliers 4. Blockers 5. Unplanned Work 6. All the Feels
  40. 40. Evaluate Blockers • Leverage blocker clustering • Separate Internal v External blockers • Identify Risks, Likelihood, Impact • Do root cause analysis
  41. 41. Sample Data Screenshot from SwiftKanban
  42. 42. What’s it telling us? • Where is work getting blocked? • What are the most frequent blockers? • Do we need to escalate or increase visibility? • Is this a risk that we can mitigate?
  43. 43. What changes would you make based on this? • Don’t hide what is blocked • Ensure all work is in one place • Make external blockers visible to that group • Revise workflow policies
  44. 44. Addressing BLOCKERS 1. What is the issue? 2. What is the desired outcome? 3. What would you change? 4. How would you measure success? Small Group Exercise PLAN: Identify the Issue DO: Fix the Problem CHECK: Measure the Fix ACT: Adjust the Fix
  45. 45. What to look for 1. The Big Three 2. Piles 3. Outliers 4. Blockers 5. Unplanned Work 6. All the Feels
  46. 46. Measure Unplanned Work • Evaluate Planned v Unplanned Work • Look at response times of unplanned • Consider impact unplanned has on planned • Look at System WIP
  47. 47. Sample Data Screenshot from Focused Objectives
  48. 48. What’s it telling us? • Should we throttle the entry point? • Are we exceeding our capacity? • Do we have enough slack in the system to respond quickly? • Do we need an allocation for different work types? • What impact is this having on our wait times?
  49. 49. What changes would you make based on this? • Lower WIP on To Do column • Create Allocation/WIP for Planned V Unplanned • Revisit state WIP Limits • Track Lead time v Cycle time
  50. 50. Addressing UNPLANNED WORK 1. What is the issue? 2. What is the desired outcome? 3. What would you change? 4. How would you measure success? Small Group Exercise PLAN: Identify the Issue DO: Fix the Problem CHECK: Measure the Fix ACT: Adjust the Fix
  51. 51. What to look for 1. The Big Three 2. Piles 3. Outliers 4. Blockers 5. Unplanned Work 6. All the Feels
  52. 52. All the feels • Start with appreciations • Use the Prime Directive • Give everyone a change to be heard • Listen for cues of exhaustion • Acknowledge others emotions
  53. 53. Sample Data Screenshot from ScatterSpoke
  54. 54. What’s it telling us? • Is our pace unsustainable? • Are parts of the team over burdened? • Are our policies clear and agreed upon? • Could we swarm on our work? • Are we focused on delivering as a team?
  55. 55. What changes would you make based on this? • Create policies to encourage swarming • Remove owners on work items • Reduce WIP or Add capacity • Celebrate what gets done • Have a Kanban Retrospective!!
  56. 56. Addressing FEELINGS 1. What is the issue? 2. What is the desired outcome? 3. What would you change? 4. How would you measure success? Small Group Exercise PLAN: Identify the Issue DO: Fix the Problem CHECK: Measure the Fix ACT: Adjust the Fix
  57. 57. THANK YOU! Stay in touch! Email me at: colleen@imgnx.co @scrumhive

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