Use Principles of Flow to Identify, Measure, and Reduce Delays
What is the Kanban Method?
It’s not about replacing your current software development process.
It’s not about changing or removing your team’s current titles and roles or adding new ones.
It’s not about a process that is only for support teams, maintenance teams, or “dev ops” teams.
Does any of the above surprise you?
In a nutshell, the Kanban Method is about learning how to optimize your current process and how to identify opportunities for effectively improving it.
The Kanban Method is about learning the importance of these four principles:
- Start with your current context (start with what you do now)
- Agree to pursue incremental, evolutionary change to improve performance
- Initially preserve current titles, roles, responsibilities, and business cycles
- Encourage acts of leadership at all levels in the organization
The Kanban Method is about learning the six core properties of a kanban system and how they are applied in practice:
- Visualize your software development workflow
- Work types in your workflow
- Started but not finished (work-in-progress)
- Actively being worked on, by who
- Items “delayed, waiting, idle”, why, who is working to get it moving
- What is done, ready to deliver
- Limit Work in Progress to Create Pull and Surface Delays
- Learn to apply basic principles of flow & queueing systems
- Identify capability (capacity) and develop meaningful service level agreement options
- Provide needed exception (expedite) work items options
- Measure and Manage Flow
- Measure quantitatively time to complete work items
- Measure quantitatively rate work items are completed
- Visualize trends, expected variation, bottlenecks, and outliers (basic charts and metrics)
- Develop strategies for addressing constraints and delays
- Make Policies Explicit That Govern Software System Processes
- Project Planning (when) vs Production Planning (how)
- Criteria for how work items progress through workflows
- Criteria for selecting (pulling) work items to work on
- Develop and Implement Feedback Loops
- Daily feedback loops at workflow levels
- Delivery cycle feedback loops at inter-workflow levels
- Monthly and Quarterly feedback loops at department/organizational levels
- Improve Collaboratively, Evolve Experimentally (Using Models) and the Scientific Method
- Queuing Theory
- Principles of Flow
- Lean Product Development
- Information Theory
- Deming’s 14 Points
- Theory of Constraints
- Statistical Process Control? (What might you need to know)
The above outlines the general scope of topics covered for introducing your teams to the Kanban Method. It would be customized (emphasizing or adding topics) after gathering more information specific to your context as well as well as considering the type of coaching or tutorials desired (ex. a one or two-day classroom presentation, several four-hour sessions given over weeks, or a fixed period embedded coaching engagement).Print This Page (printer friendly)