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Red Beads: A New Tool for Managing Software Projects

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Warning! Warning! Managing software projects may be accompanied by continued bouts of nausea-brought on by unmet expectations, process churn, late deliveries, and worse. In their attempt to conquer these problems, many managers stiffen their resolve, create stricter schedules, and install rigid processes to guide development from inception to production. Howard Deiner demonstrates that better results come from fundamental changes in the way managers and the organization approach problems. Drawing on W. Edward Deming’s "14 Obligations of Management," Howard reprises (with volunteers from the audience) Deming's famous Red Bead Experiment on its 30th anniversary and draws conclusions about how our approach to problem-solving affects our day-to-day work. Expect to get up on your feet and have a lot of fun "working" in a simulation of a modern workday environment, leading and managing the development efforts. Leave with new, meaningful insights that will inspire you to make changes to improve the work life for yourself and those around you.

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Red Beads: A New Tool for Managing Software Projects

  1. 1.           BT1 Concurrent Session  11/8/2012 10:15 AM              "Red Beads: A New Tool for Managing Software Projects"       Presented by: Howard Deiner Deinersoft, Inc.           Brought to you by:        340 Corporate Way, Suite 300, Orange Park, FL 32073  888‐268‐8770 ∙ 904‐278‐0524 ∙ sqeinfo@sqe.com ∙ www.sqe.com
  2. 2. Howard Deiner Deinersoft, Inc. Howard Deiner is an independent software consultant who specializes in agile process and practices. He has a varied background spanning thirty-seven years in the industry, with extensive domain knowledge in commercial software, aerospace, and financial services. Howard has played many roles in the development arena including developer, analyst, team lead, architect, and project manager. He has dabbled in the executive office and wears the battle scars of the DotCom revolution proudly. A long standing member of the ACM and IEEE, Howard has educated, mentored, and coached dozens of teams, making agile principles come to life in many settings.
  3. 3. Red Beads: A New Tool for Managing Software Projects NOVEMBER 8, 2012 ORLANDO, FL ROSEN SHINGLE CREEK What We Want to Accomplish Today 1
  4. 4. We want to explore ways to lead teams to produce software better, faster, and cheaper. We’re going to relive a demonstration that William Edwards Deming developed to help demonstrate to managers the ways that management has to change to make them into the leaders needed by an organization to produce goods and services efficiently. We’re going to review Deming’s insights of “The 14 Obligations of Management” and put them into perspective what the Agile software development mindset says about these matters. 2
  5. 5. Hi! I’m Howard Deiner, President, CEO, Chef, and Chief Bottle Washer for the White Widgets Company. We build and deliver precision white widgets to the telecom industry – our products are used on LTE towers everywhere. We work on fixed price contracts and if we can’t deliver quality product, our customers will go oversees for parts, and we’ll be done for. But, we’re are a fair company. Do your job and you will be dealt with fairly. And today’s you’re luck day - we’re hiring! T he Openings 3
  6. 6. Ready to Sign Up? 4
  7. 7. Job Qualifications Chief Inspector Can compare figures. Proven ability to speak in a loud voice. Inspector Capable of counting to 50. Ability to write neatly. Recorder Ability to write very neatly. General Manager Ability to look imposing. Can give orders. Can take orders. Product Production Specialists Willing to obey orders without question or argument. How We Work Here 5
  8. 8. Meet Your White Widget Maker Note: This Picture Shows What To Avoid – We Need Widgets Without Red Defects! And, to make things easy, we have a simple process to follow… 6
  9. 9. The White Widget Company Revision Number: 002.05.C 002.05.C Process ID: WW-BDUF5004.28.B Process Name: White Widget Production Latest Revision Date: Author: Approved By: Approval Date: 02/29/1998 Jeffrey Lebowski Walter Sobchak 04/01/1998 1. Product Production Specialists will report to the widget production area and line up in a queue. Each Product Production Specialist will, in turn: 2. Ensure that the production paddle holes are empty of all beads. 3. Ensure that the production bead box is open and pointed such that sisal attachment area is facing Product Production Specialist. 4. Grasp the production paddle by its handle in their right hand. 5. Ensure that the production paddle has it’s holes orientated facing upwards. 6. Slide the production paddle down into the production bead box beads until paddle is covered with beads. 7. Tilt the production paddle at a 47 degree angle and slowly withdraw, carefully monitoring to ensure that one bead is in each hole, releasing excess beads at an aggregate rate of 2 beads per second. 8. Present the production paddle to Quality Control to follow process WW-BDUF5042.13.E for monitoring quality and updating production status. 9. Empty the beads from the production paddle back into production bead box container. 10. Return to the end of the production queue. All information contained herein is, and remains the property of the White Widget Company. The intellectual and technical concepts contained herein are proprietary to the White Widget Company and may be covered by U.S. and Foreign Patents, patents in process, and are protected by trade secret or copyright law. Dissemination of this information or reproduction of this material is strictly forbidden unless prior written permission is obtained from the White Widget Company. Ensuring Quality 7
  10. 10. Quality is Job One. So, we have a simple process for that as well! The White Widget Company Revision Number: 002.05.C 002.05.C Process ID: WW-BDUF5004.28.B Process Name: White Widget Production Latest Revision Date: Author: Approved By: Approval Date: 09/31/1999 Tyler Durden Marla Singer 10/15/1999 1. The production paddle from process WW-BDUF5004.28.B is presented to two inspectors. 2. Each inspector shall separately count white beads and red beads on the production paddle. 3. Said counts are to be recorded on official form WW-BDUF5098.87.A. 4. When each inspector has completed their findings, they shall bring their Production Result Monitoring forms to the Chief Inspector, who shall compare the results, pass on the findings to the Recorder with a loud shouting of the number of white and red beads, followed by DISMISSED! 5. The recorder shall record the findings from the prior step on WW-BDUF5088.12.F for further processing. 6. The Chief Inspector shall carefully stack the WW-BDUF5098.87.A in the temporal order received should further investigation become necessary related to Sarbanes Oxley regulations, as described in 15 U.S.C. § 7241. All information contained herein is, and remains the property of the White Widget Company. The intellectual and technical concepts contained herein are proprietary to the White Widget Company and may be covered by U.S. and Foreign Patents, patents in process, and are protected by trade secret or copyright law. Dissemination of this information or reproduction of this material is strictly forbidden unless prior written permission is obtained from the White Widget Company. 8
  11. 11. Process ID: The White Widget Company Revision Number: Process Name: WW-BDUF5098.87.A WW-BDUF5004.28.B White Widget Production Results Monitoring Author: Approved By: Approval Date: 12/07/1941 086.24.Q 002.05.C Latest Revision Date: Rick Blaine Ilsa Lund 07/20/1942 Product Production Specialist: Jeffrey Lebowski Production Date: Jeffrey Lebowski Production Time: Jeffrey Lebowski Jeffre y Inspector Jeffre 1 Initials: Lebo y Inspector wski Lebo 1 Initials: wski Red Bead Count: White Bead Count: Jeffre y Jeffre Lebo y wski Lebo wski Do not write in this area Do not write in this area Jeffre y Jeffre Lebo y wski Lebo wski Inspector 2 Initials: Inspector 2 Initials: Jeffre y Jeffre Lebo y wski Lebo wski All information contained herein is, and remains the property of the White Widget Company. The intellectual and technical concepts contained herein are proprietary to the White Widget Company and may be covered by U.S. and Foreign Patents, patents in process, and are protected by trade secret or copyright law. Dissemination of this information or reproduction of this material is strictly forbidden unless prior written permission is obtained from the White Widget Company. The White Widget Company Revision Number: 479.12.B 002.05.C Process ID: WW-BDUF5088.12.F WW-BDUF5004.28.B Process Name: White Widget Production Weekly Production Summary Latest Revision Date: Author: Approved By: Approval Date: 04/31/2003 Miles Massey Marylin Hamilton Rexroth 09/31/2003 Week Ending: Jeffrey Lebowski Product Production Specialist Worker Name Day 1 Accepted/Defective Day 2 Accepted/Defective Day 3 Accepted/Defective Day 4 Accepted/Defective Daily Totals: All information contained herein is, and remains the property of the White Widget Company. The intellectual and technical concepts contained herein are proprietary to the White Widget Company and may be covered by U.S. and Foreign Patents, patents in process, and are protected by trade secret or copyright law. Dissemination of this information or reproduction of this material is strictly forbidden unless prior written permission is obtained from the White Widget Company. 9
  12. 12. Suggestions? We value your input. Just follow the process and your voice will be heard. 10
  13. 13. The White Widget Company Revision Number: 666.42.A 002.05.C Process ID: WW-BDUF50002.09.C WW-BDUF5004.28.B Process Name: Suggestions and Grievances White Widget Production Latest Revision Date: Author: Approved By: Approval Date: 02/30/1972 Don Vito Corleone Michael Corleone 06/31/1972 1. Anyone with some suggestion or grievance shall fill out form WW-BDUF50008.65.A in full. 2. The White Widget Company will respond in a timely fashion to these suggestions or grievances. 3. If you feel that The White Widget Company is not responding in a timely fashion, repeat steps 1 and 2 until satisfaction is achieved. All information contained herein is, and remains the property of the White Widget Company. The intellectual and technical concepts contained herein are proprietary to the White Widget Company and may be covered by U.S. and Foreign Patents, patents in process, and are protected by trade secret or copyright law. Dissemination of this information or reproduction of this material is strictly forbidden unless prior written permission is obtained from the White Widget Company. The White Widget Company Revision Number: 089.33.F 002.05.C Process ID: WW-BDUF50008.65.A WW-BDUF5004.28.B Process Name: Suggestion and Grievance White Widget Production Form Latest Revision Date: Author: Approved By: Approval Date: 01/19/2000 Franky Four Fingers Bullet Tooth Tony 02/29/2000 Name: Jeffrey Lebowski Date: Jeffrey Lebowski Time: Jeffrey Lebowski Nature of Comment: Jeffrey Lebowski Suggestion Grievance Gripe Whine Cathartic Release Comment: Jeffrey Lebowski Desired Outcome: Jeffrey Lebowski Are you now, or have you ever been under the influence of drugs or alcohol: Jeffrey Lebowski Yes No Unsure All information contained herein is, and remains the property of the White Widget Company. The intellectual and technical concepts contained herein are proprietary to the White Widget Company and may be covered by U.S. and Foreign Patents, patents in process, and are protected by trade secret or copyright law. Dissemination of this information or reproduction of this material is strictly forbidden unless prior written permission is obtained from the White Widget Company. 11
  14. 14. 12
  15. 15. The Kickoff, With Nifty New Signs for the Hallways and Workareas ’C +G /><=G 1=: )>EFG 1>A:" (I:EK 1>A:! %: $ .2$,+14 3CE?:E! 1=>F +F $ 5:EC#’:;:8G &CAD7BK! 17?: -E>9: +B 4CHE 3CE?! 4CHE 3CE? +F 4CHE 0:@;# -CEGE7>G A Couple of Start-up Issues… “Hey, no cheating! You can’t just pick out the defects from your paddle. Follow the process! We paid a lot of money to the consultants who designed it!” “Yo! It’s not ethical to undercount defects. Don’t let me catch you doing that again!” “Hey you! We’re a WHITE WIDGET company, not a mostly white with a couple of red defects widget company! Is that so hard to understand? “Now look at what this guy is doing. It may be 7 defects, but we’re trending better. Do what he’s doing!” 13
  16. 16. Day One Wrap-Up “And now, our best worker gets an award. See what a great company you’re working for? [Hershey Bar]” “The other part of the incentive program is a little more negative. Our worst worker just got put on probation. But, that will surely cure the problem for tomorrow!” “Our management team met and we figured it out. The problem is that we didn’t have a goal to work towards. We’ll fix that tomorrow with the Three Beads or Less program. We’ll work our way into this, and set our new Multi-Year Performance Goal and Work Plan (MYPGAWP) into action. [clap of hands] There, that should fix it!” “Well, it was a tough day, but it was a start. We’ll definitely improve on this tomorrow. After all, we can’t do much worse!” 14
  17. 17. Day Two Starts With Some Explanation “As I said at the end of the day yesterday, there’s a new game in town. It’s called JUST THREE DEFECTS OR LESS. And it comes with some great new posters, too!” 1=: *C7@ >F 1=E::! 666 ’7KF ’:;:8G )E::! /:FH@GF" BCG (J8HF:F! Day Two Wrap-Up “I don’t understand it. It was a simple goal. Three defects or less. Can someone explain to me why we can’t just do something as simple as three defects or less? Don’t answer that – that’s a violation of the no talking rule and will destroy the concentration of our better working workers!” “Management has met again. We figured out that the way to fix things around here is to throw money at the problem. Details tomorrow.” “Ok, so this wasn’t our finest hour. But tomorrow, after a good night’s rest, we’ll fix things and het back on track! Before it’s too late…” 15
  18. 18. Day Three Will F ix Things “Management feels that the the first thing to do to get to Three Defects or Less is to pay handsomely. So, here’s a brand new, bright shiny Andrew Jackson double sawbuck for you. [placed on table]” “All you have to do to take it home today is create a white widget with three defects or less. [And I mean it!] That’s on top of your salary and keeping your job!” [if anyone wins the $20, announce “Look at how well it works!”] 16
  19. 19. And There’s More! “Claim your $20 bill and get this great Employee of the Day Award to go with it. You’ll be the envy of all your co-workers!” Employee of the Day! And More Inspirational Posters! “Remember. The less you do, the more you make. Three or less is all it takes” “How about a fat On the Spot Award? Be a good White Widget Willing Worker and you can win big!” “Just do a good job and bring home the bonus. Remember, instant awards for three or less!” “Our teams are the best. Show ‘em what you got!” 17
  20. 20. Day T hree Wrap-Up “Well, we are rapidly working our way out of a company.” “Management now has figured out the way to fix things. We announce immediate layoffs for the bottom half of our workforce based on performance. Thank each of you for trying. Too bad you weren’t up to the task.” “But the good news is that now we have our dream team assembled. So, tomorrow, we will get trending right by using our best and brightest on double shifts!” “So, congratulations to our hard working willing workers who will take us across the finish line. Rest up tonight. Tomorrow will be action packed!” 18
  21. 21. Day Four Will Be the Charm “This is it, people. Do or die. We have everyone here we need to make this happen. We just have to do it.” “To get us motivated to succeed, we have some brand new motivational material…” Powerful Messages for Channeling Your Power Animal! “Quality depends on you. Build it right. Make it happen. Do it for your company. Do it for your family. Do it for yourself. JUST DO IT!” “Today is the first day of the rest of your life. Screw up and it could be your last!” “The current unemployment rate is 8.3%. What’s wrong with you? Are you trying for a higher number?” “Process is important. Process is your friend. Respect it and your future is bright!” “There is no ‘I’ in Team. But there is a ‘me’ if you look hard enough. So, ‘GO TEAM, GO!’ And this means you! We’re watching…” 19
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  23. 23. 21
  24. 24. What Did We Experience? A metaphor. For some, it was way too much like reality. For others, it was an eye opener for how even with the best intentions, things can turn out bad. 22
  25. 25. Some Common Insights… T he red beads are defects. T he paddle holds software artifacts that complete features – the stories in Agile/Scrum. Strict process does not produce better product (such as software). You can’t motivate teams with slogans. Better to fix the problems than try to motivate with paper. You can’t motivate teams with fear. If they can’t do anything about the problems, all the fear will do is make things worse. Productivity could have been helped by eliminating waste from all those excessive process steps. Cost could have been helped by finding defects earlier and eliminating transportation waste. Quality can be helped by starting with better material (requirements should have been combed through as work was done or was about to be done). T he teams doing the work are the experts in getting the work done. We should have listened to how they wanted to do things, and let management tell us what and why. 23
  26. 26. William Edwards Deming Deming was the author of Out of the Crisis (1982–1986) and The New Economics for Industry, Government, Education (1993), which includes his System of Profound Knowledge and the 14 Points for Management. Deming came from the world of manufacturing. But I believe that the points made apply equally as well in the world of software development. I will now discuss each obligation and describe where we can see the obligation apply to Agile, Scrum, and Lean software development principles. 24
  27. 27. 1 Create a constancy of purpose for the improvement of product and service, with the aim to become competitive, stay in business, and provide jobs. 25
  28. 28. Remember the importance of planning activities in Agile, such as Visioneering. And remember that an Agile Product Owner is open and transparent with the team, and explains not just what and when, but why. 2 Adopt a philosophy of cooperation in which everybody wins. Put it into practice and teach it to employees, customers, and suppliers. 26
  29. 29. Agile promotes the use of collaborative teamwork, rather than individual heroism to make the magic work. 3 Cease dependence on mass inspection to achieve quality. Improve the process and build quality into the product in the first place. 27
  30. 30. This is where the Agile Engineering practices, especially the eXtreme Programming practices of Test Driven Development and Continuous Integration come into play. For anything other than the most trivial software, there simply is no way to test quality into the code. It has to be baked in from the start and continuously tested as we go. 4 End the practice of awarding business on the basis of price tag alone. Instead, minimize total cost in the long run. Move toward a single supplier for any one item, on a longterm relationship of loyalty and trust. 28
  31. 31. Agile stands for sustainable engineering. We want to invest in and build high performance teams. Taking time for things like up-skilling and continuing education, both formally as well as informally, is a vital piece to this. Even companies which utilize the 20% rule for personal endeavors find that the price they pay is quickly rewarded with teams that grow together and reach high levels of team performance. 5 Improve constantly and forever the system of production, service, planning, or any activity. T his will improve quality and productivity and thus constantly decrease costs. 29
  32. 32. A cornerstone of any Agile process is the strive for continuous process improvement, through such things as Sprint Retrospectives. 6 Institute training for skills. 30
  33. 33. Agile recognizes that software is not assembly line production work. Deming is saying that even production workers need skill enhancement, because new methods and knowledge are always occurring. Remember how the Agile Manifesto starts? “We are uncovering better ways of developing software by doing it and helping others do it…” Software development is not something that you simply learn and then coast on. One constantly must be in learning business. 7 Adopt and institute leadership for the management of people, recognizing their different abilities, capabilities, and aspirations. The aim of leadership should be to help people, machines, and gadgets to do a better job. Leadership of management is in need of overhaul, as well as leadership of production workers. 31
  34. 34. Agile needs servant leaders, not managers! Wayne Strider stated the distinction best, “Managers use people to accomplish work; leaders use work to grow people.” 8 Drive out fear and build trust so that everyone can work effectively. 32
  35. 35. Openness and transparency are at the core of an Agile mindset. Without the ability to trust one another as we communicate, we simply can not collaborate well, and the efficiencies of a high performance team can never be realized. 9 Break down barriers between departments. Abolish competition and build a win-win system of cooperation within the organization. People in research, design, sales, and production must work as a team to foresee problems of production and in use that might be encountered with the product or service. 33
  36. 36. In Agile/Scrum. We call out 4 and only 4 roles on a team: Product Owner, Scrum Master, Delivery Team Member, and Chicken. In Agile, we don’t need our fancy titles that HR gives us for our business cards. Respect is earned by ability to help, rather than conferred by a title. 10 Eliminate slogans, exhortations, and targets asking for zero defects or new levels of productivity. Such exhortations only create adversarial relationships, as the bulk of the causes of low quality and low productivity belong to the system and thus lie beyond the power of the work force. 34
  37. 37. Most software developers will mock silly slogans and motivational posters that they find in their environment. Part of the change that Agile promotes is the transformation of managers into leaders. There simply is no room in an Agile shop for managers to simply set performance bars up on the wall. They are as likely to help software development as if they were to post signs saying “Everyone is to have a ground breaking innovation by tomorrow afternoon.” 11 Eliminate numerical goals, numerical quotas and management by objectives. Substitute leadership. 35
  38. 38. While Agile does not shy away from metrics, these are used for measuring something and provoking discussion to uncover root causes and gain profound knowledge as to how to improve the process to enhance continuous improvement. 12 Remove barriers that rob people of joy in their work. This will mean abolishing the annual rating or merit system that ranks people and creates competition and conflict. 36
  39. 39. As we move from the old assembly line production mentality, epitomized by predictive process, into an adaptive process mindset, we have to realize that ranking and pitting people against one another is completely at cross purposes to building collaborative teams. This requires a completely different system of rewards that emphasizes team cohesion and motivation. This requires creative thinking on the part of leadership, not checklist management by the bosses of management. 13 Institute a vigorous program of education and self-improvement. 37
  40. 40. Agile speaks to gains in knowledge as the primary way to progress to higher levels of performance. This is in both product knowledge, where we learn more about our customers and the value propositions, as well as project knowledge, where we learn about the ways to get our work done and the costs of creating the value produced. 14 Put everyone in the company to work to accomplish the transformation. The transformation is everyone’s job. 38
  41. 41. It almost goes without saying that for Agile to work, it requires a mindset change from top to bottom in an organization. One of the best ways for an Agile transformation to fail is to say things like “just fix engineering and everything will be better.” That sort of transformation falls apart rather quickly, and soon the organization is back to business as usual, with maybe a couple of name changes for what we call things. 39
  42. 42. Yes. As you can see, we are now looking at the end. Hopefully, you found some insights into things that you’ve already run into. Maybe, there’s some small amount of idea gestation going on. I’ll say one final thing about what I do day to day in Agile training and coaching. I’ve had lots of jobs in the software development field since I began my career. But nothing has been quite as satisfying as this training and coaching work. Training and coaching actually puts me in the line of fire. It allows me to think on my feet, and find unique solutions to problems that are otherwise enigmatic. It allows me to be creative, and challenge people to do the same. And it allows me to thank you for listening to me for all this time. Thank you! Red Beads: A New Tool for Managing Software Projects NOVEMBER 8, 2012 ORLANDO, FL ROSEN SHINGLE CREEK 40

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