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From Chaos to Confidence: DevOps at LeanKit

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From Chaos to Confidence: DevOps at LeanKit

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As a company, LeanKit have believed in Lean, Kanban, Agile, DevOps since our founding. We've alway talked about how important these ideas are - in the community and inside our company.

But that doesn't mean that doing those things in practice has been easy. We're a very fast growing startup in a very competitive market space. We've tripled in size in less than a year and nearly came apart at the seams at times.

In fact, in the fall of 2015, our technology team were having a very hard team. We were out of synch with our sales & marketing partners and facing a lot of internal conflict.

But we came together as a team and worked hard to implement a well coordinated system of values, team structure, cadences, and standard practices. We're now in a much better place as a team and generating much better results for our company.

There are no one-size-fits-all answers for companies. I can't promise that if you copy LeanKit you'll succeed. But we do think we have some interesting lessons learned to share and that you just might be able to pick up some ideas that you can take back to your company.

Bio:

Jon Terry is co-Chief Executive Officer of LeanKit. Before LeanKit, Jon held a number of senior IT positions with hospital-giant HCA and its logistics subsidiary, HealthTrust Purchasing Group. He was among those responsible for launching HCA’s adoption of Lean/Agile methods.

Jon earned his Global Executive MBA from Georgetown University and ESADE Business School in Barcelona, Spain, and his Masters Certificate in Project Management from George Washington University. He is a Project Management Professional, a Certified Scrum Master, a Kanban Coaching Professional, is certified in the Lean Construction Institute’s Last Planner Method, and trained in the SAFe Lean Systems Engineering method.

As a company, LeanKit have believed in Lean, Kanban, Agile, DevOps since our founding. We've alway talked about how important these ideas are - in the community and inside our company.

But that doesn't mean that doing those things in practice has been easy. We're a very fast growing startup in a very competitive market space. We've tripled in size in less than a year and nearly came apart at the seams at times.

In fact, in the fall of 2015, our technology team were having a very hard team. We were out of synch with our sales & marketing partners and facing a lot of internal conflict.

But we came together as a team and worked hard to implement a well coordinated system of values, team structure, cadences, and standard practices. We're now in a much better place as a team and generating much better results for our company.

There are no one-size-fits-all answers for companies. I can't promise that if you copy LeanKit you'll succeed. But we do think we have some interesting lessons learned to share and that you just might be able to pick up some ideas that you can take back to your company.

Bio:

Jon Terry is co-Chief Executive Officer of LeanKit. Before LeanKit, Jon held a number of senior IT positions with hospital-giant HCA and its logistics subsidiary, HealthTrust Purchasing Group. He was among those responsible for launching HCA’s adoption of Lean/Agile methods.

Jon earned his Global Executive MBA from Georgetown University and ESADE Business School in Barcelona, Spain, and his Masters Certificate in Project Management from George Washington University. He is a Project Management Professional, a Certified Scrum Master, a Kanban Coaching Professional, is certified in the Lean Construction Institute’s Last Planner Method, and trained in the SAFe Lean Systems Engineering method.

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From Chaos to Confidence: DevOps at LeanKit

  1. 1. @leankitjon From Chaos to Confidence: LeanKit’s PD Model Jon Terry
  2. 2. @leankitjon
  3. 3. @leankitjon
  4. 4. @leankitjon
  5. 5. @leankitjon
  6. 6. @leankitjon
  7. 7. @leankitjon
  8. 8. @leankitjon
  9. 9. @leankitjon Values First & Non-negotiable
  10. 10. @leankitjon Lean: A virtuous cycle of continuous improvement
  11. 11. @leankitjon Kanban: See better to evolve together 1. Visualize the current workflow 2. Limit Work-in-Progress (WIP) 3. Manage for smooth flow 4. Make process policies explicit 5. Implement rapid feedback loops 6. Improve collaboratively using Kanban to implement Lean
  12. 12. @leankitjon
  13. 13. @leankitjon
  14. 14. @leankitjon Jidoka: Auto(nom)ating for Scale
  15. 15. @leankitjon Andon: Slow down to speed up • Trying to solve a critical issue alongside normal work, or worse ignoring it, helps nobody • Everyone has the right and responsibility to call out what they believe to be critical issues • False alarms are OK • A stop-the-line involves a least a whole squad as well as any squad with experts needed for the issue • Communicate resolution as soon as practical • Don’t resume normal work until the team has done a root cause analysis
  16. 16. @leankitjon Org Structures for Autonomy
  17. 17. Guilds and Squads “Direct reporting” org chart Hiring Training Standards Mentoring Squad “Dotted line” delivery groups Goal is 7 +/- 2 members Has skills for 80% of work Member can belong to only 1 squad Located together (physically or virtually) Work assigned to the squad not squad members Guild
  18. 18. Guilds and Squads Web 1 Web 2 Mobile Arch, Tools & Auto Analytics Platform Ops Business Enablement Product Management & UX Product Development Operations & Quality
  19. 19. @leankitjon (Craft) Guilds - Hiring, Training & Standards
  20. 20. @leankitjon Squads - Decoupled Planning & Delivery
  21. 21. @leankitjon Squads - Decoupled Planning & Delivery
  22. 22. @leankitjon Squad Rooms - In Between Open and Individual
  23. 23. @leankitjon Tribal Council WhatWho When Discuss Road Map Departmental Policies Tribal Leaders PD Execs Council Members Product Managers UX Leads Technical Managers in their role as Delivery Leads Mon - Wed Stand-up to surface delivery issues Thu Full meeting to resolve issues
  24. 24. @leankitjon WhatWho When Discuss Technical standards AT-AT Roadmap Develop A3’s for additional sustainability investments Chairmen CTO & CIO Members Technical Managers in their role as Architects Tue Working session Thu Report back to Tribal Council Architecture Committee
  25. 25. @leankitjon Product Roadmap
  26. 26. @leankitjon Roadmap Forecasting Goal Squad Last This Sweep Next 2 Out Later 1 Rollout & Measurement Executing Pull Plan A3 & Mockups A3 Theme 2 Rollout & Measurement Theme N Rollout & Measurement A3 & Mockups A3 ThemeA3 & Mockups A3 Executing Pull Plan Executing Pull Plan
  27. 27. Value created Value captured Key metrics Definition Value of modeling Usage metrics (e.g., time to perform tasks / jobs) Economic value of Leankit for all customers and partners Easy to test for, fewer assumptions, shorter lead time Key assumptions comparable across projects (opportunity cost of users’ time, capture rate) Operational metrics: # of seats, ARPU, costs, etc Leankit profit Translates better to actual money in the bank (as long as assumptions are correct) Exec team prioritizes through Cost of Delay
  28. 28. @leankitjon A3s: A conversation not a contract A3 • The main communication artifact from the product team • Customer and user-driven • A living document • Handwritten in pencil • Designed to… make conversations happen
  29. 29. @leankitjon A3: A business problem not technical spec What is this? Why should I care? How?Who will notice? Why? What else?
  30. 30. @leankitjon Cadences
  31. 31. @leankitjon Aligning Cadence to Calendar 1 2 3 4 65 Jan 4 All Hands Annual Kickoff Board Jan 27 Feb 15 May 9 June 20 All Hands Mid-Year Party Board Sep 29 Aug 1Mar 28 All Leaders Board Apr 22 7 Sep 12 All Leaders Board Oct 21 8 Oct 24 Long sweep to allow for holidays
  32. 32. Work Distribution Goals ● Problems and operational requests are inevitable. We must allow for unplannable work ● People close to the work understand risks & quick wins better than management. We must allow time for them to do the right thing. ● We need to ensure as steady a flow as possible of planned roadmap work ● We use cadence to give ourselves the best chance of hitting these goals
  33. 33. Work Distribution by Cadence Week 0 Week 1 Week 2 Week 3 Week 5Week 4 Pull Planning Hackathon or Squad Driven Work A3 A3 A3A3
  34. 34. Pull Planning Week Monday Tuesday Wednesday FridayThursday All day Team Time Travel & Emerging Leaders Training 12:30 - 2:30 Squad Kickoff 9:00 - 11:00 Company All-Hands 3:00 - 5:00 Squad Kickoff 12:30 - 1:30 Tribal Council Sweep Kickoff 9:00 - 11:00 Squad Kickoff 12:30 - 2:30 Squad Kickoff 3:00 - 5:00 Squad Kickoff 12:30 - 2:30 Squad Kickoff 9:00 - 11:00 Squad Kickoff 2:00 - 5:00 Team Time 3:00 - 5:00 Team Time & Travel Company Fun Company Fun Company Fun 10:00 - 11:00 Dem Div 9:00 - 10:00 Preso Prep
  35. 35. @leankitjon ❏ Squad ❏ Is everybody dedicated to this squad #1? ❏ Does any member of this squad have work on other boards or in other squads? ❏ Product Roadmap ❏ Does everybody understand the A3 goal of this sweep? ❏ Is the A3 broken into DIV’s? ❏ Do we feel comfortable that we can meet the roadmap? ❏ Any blockers or risks? ❏ Squad Driven Work ❏ Any reason not to keep the normal schedule? ❏ Will we be ready to transition to A3 work at the beginning of week 2? ❏ Any blockers or risks? Squad Kickoff Template ❏ Tribal Council / Architecture Committee ❏ Any new technology or changes to cross cutting technology? ❏ Demo DIV ❏ What are we going to show at each meeting? ❏ What are we going to measure? ❏ Deployments to Production ❏ Demo DIV ❏ Anything Else? ❏ Continuous Improvement ❏ Any opportunities this sweep? ❏ Any bucks for Speed? ❏ Meeting Cadences ❏ Retros? ❏ Standups? ❏ When is this team coming to town this quarter?
  36. 36. @leankitjon ● Valuable small product ideas that are not on roadmap ● Requires squad consensus ● Does not require A3 or roadmap approval ● Can be: ○ Sustainability ○ UX improvements ○ Research for A3 submissions ● Executed by squads, but multi-squad collaboration projects are allowed Squad Driven Work
  37. 37. Week 1 - Squad Driven Work* Monday Tuesday Wednesday FridayThursday Dev / Test / Deploy Dev / Test / Deploy Dev / Test / Deploy Test / Deploy Deploy / Wrap- up *Unless A3 is date driven. Defer to week 5. 9:00 - 10:00 PD Execs 10:00 - 11:00 Tribal Council 1:00 - 2:00 Arch. Comm. 3:00 - 5:00 Guild Training
  38. 38. Week 2 - Roadmap A3 Work Monday Tuesday Wednesday FridayThursday Dev / Test / Deploy Dev / Test / Deploy Dev / Test / Deploy Dev / Test / Deploy Dev / Test / Deploy 9:00 - 10:00 PD Execs 10:00 - 11:00 Tribal Council 1:00 - 2:00 Arch. Comm. 10:00 - 11:00 Dem Div 9:00 - 10:00 Preso Prep 10:00 - 11:00 Company Trg
  39. 39. Week 3 - Roadmap A3 Work Monday Tuesday Wednesday FridayThursday Dev / Test / Deploy Dev / Test / Deploy Dev / Test / Deploy Dev / Test / Deploy Dev / Test / Deploy 9:00 - 10:00 PD Execs 10:00 - 11:00 Tribal Council 1:00 - 2:00 Arch. Comm. 10:00 - 11:00 Company All Hands 3:00 - 5:00 Guild Training
  40. 40. Week 4 - Roadmap A3 Work Monday Tuesday Wednesday FridayThursday Dev / Test / Deploy Dev / Test / Deploy Dev / Test / Deploy Dev / Test / Deploy Dev / Test / Deploy 9:00 - 10:00 PD Execs 10:00 - 11:00 Tribal Council 1:00 - 2:00 Arch. Comm. 10:00 - 11:00 Dem Div 9:00 - 10:00 Preso Prep 10:00 - 11:00 Company Trg
  41. 41. Week 5 - Roadmap A3 Work Monday Tuesday Wednesday FridayThursday Dev / Test / Deploy Dev / Test / Deploy Dev / Test / Deploy Dev / Test / Deploy Dev / Test / Deploy 10:00 - 11:00 Tribal Council 1:00 - 2:00 Arch. Comm. 10:00 - 11:00 Dep All Hands 9:00 - 10:00 PD Execs
  42. 42. @leankitjon Demoing DIVs Purposeful Metrics
  43. 43. From business problem to working softwareTheme: Aligned with company strategy. Not always executed contiguously ≥ quarter A3: Value reaches users inside a sweep. ≤ 4 weeks DIV: Deployed. Iterative. Value. ≤ 5 days Task Task DIV: Deployed. Iterative. Value. ≤ 5 days Task Task DIV: Deployed. Iterative. Value. ≤ 5 days Task Task A3: Value reaches users inside a sweep. ≤ 4 weeks DIV: Deployed. Iterative. Value. ≤ 5 days Task Task DIV: Deployed. Iterative. Value. ≤ 5 days Task Task DIV: Deployed. Iterative. Value. ≤ 5 days Task Task A3: Value reaches users inside a sweep. ≤ 4 weeks DIV: Deployed. Iterative. Value. ≤ 5 days Task Task DIV: Deployed. Iterative. Value. ≤ 5 days Task Task DIV: Deployed. Iterative. Value. ≤ 5 days Task Task A3: Value reaches users inside a sweep. ≤ 4 weeks DIV: Deployed. Iterative. Value. ≤ 5 days Task Task DIV: Deployed. Iterative. Value. ≤ 5 days Task Task DIV: Deployed. Iterative. Value. ≤ 5 days Task Task
  44. 44. @leankitjon How we’ll get value to users: • Release plans (i.e., how we get it to prod) • Rollout plans (i.e., how we enable it, editions, communication, etc) • Measurement plans What you’ll be demoing: • Reiterate the Theme • Explain what the A3 means for users • Explain the DIV in terms of A3 progress What? Name of A3 & DIV Why you’re demoing it: • Explain who will use it (i. e., target user) • Explain why it’s important (i.e., cost of delay or primary use case) So what? What now? This is in prod, either enabled for all or ready to be enabled This is in dogfood, we are planning to push to prod soon This is still in dev, not QA certified yet, still changing Value in hand of customer (pick one)
  45. 45. Deployments this Sweep - Ex
  46. 46. @leankitjon Hackathons
  47. 47. @leankitjon Hackathons ● 1st week of every 4th sweep ● Participants can be remote ● Self-organizing teams (recommended 7 max) ● No need for cost of delay analysis ● Appropriate things to hack on: ○ Experiments ○ Low hanging fruit ○ Research ● NOT for starting big projects ● When the week ends so does hackathon
  48. 48. @leankitjon Week 1 Hackathon Variant Monday 3/28 Tuesday 3/29 Wednesday 3/30 Friday 4/01 Thursday 3/31 Hacking 10:00 - 11:00 Hackathon Kickoff Hacking Hacking 10:00 - 11:00 Hackathon Judging Wrap-Up Hack Projects Transition to A3 Work
  49. 49. @leankitjon Most Likely to Succeed A feature, improvement, or technical debt reduction that has a very real chance of becoming a part of the LeanKit product.
  50. 50. @leankitjon Most Likely to Win a Nobel Prize Groundbreaking research, learning, or experiment that pertains to how we build LeanKit.
  51. 51. @leankitjon Best Personality A surprise hit that we couldn’t predict before Hackathon.
  52. 52. @leankitjon Results
  53. 53. @leankitjon Results ● Eight months of hitting roadmap with speed still increasing ● Higher product quality, less rework ● Significantly better morale in product development and relationship with revenue teams ● Sweep cycle becoming automatic, allowing time for kaizen ● More executive time for strategy instead of peacemaking
  54. 54. @leankitjon From Chaos to Confidence PD’s Operating Model

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