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Dr. Klaus Leopold
web: www.LEANability.com
blog: www.klausleopold.com
mail: klaus.leopold@LEANability.com

twitter: @klaus...
@klausleopold www.LEANability.com
(3)
ANALYZE
IN PROG. DONE IN PROG. DONE
(2)
DEVELOP
(2)
TEST
(4)
DEV READY
VERIF. UAT
RE...
@klausleopold www.LEANability.com
www.LEANability.com@klausleopold
@klausleopold www.LEANability.com
collect blockers


Text and photos
for reservation
page missing
(Customer X)
[DEV]
DAYS ...
@klausleopold www.LEANability.com
others
test env.
not ready
reviewer X
not available
47 days
11 days
32 days
waiting for
...
@klausleopold www.LEANability.com
content
missing
109 days
?- WHY is content missing?
!- The customers don’t send it.
?- W...
www.LEANability.com@klausleopold
(3)
ANALYZE
IN PROG. DONE IN PROG. DONE
(3)
DEVELOP
(3)
TEST
(6)
DEV READY
VERIF. ACC.
READY 2
DEPLOY
(∞)
Features —>
Rewo...
@klausleopold www.LEANability.com
collect blockers
payment
module
24 days
(3)
ANALYZE
IN PROG. DONE IN PROG. DONE
(3)
DEVELOP
(3)
TEST
(6)
DEV READY
VERIF. ACC.
READY 2
DEPLOY
(∞)
Features —>
Rewo...
(3)
ANALYZE
IN PROG. DONE IN PROG. DONE
(3)
DEVELOP
(3)
TEST
(6)
DEV READY
VERIF. ACC.
READY 2
DEPLOY
(∞)
Features —>
defe...
(3)
ANALYZE
IN PROG. DONE IN PROG. DONE
(3)
DEVELOP
(3)
TEST
(6)
DEV READY
VERIF. ACC.
READY 2
DEPLOY
(∞)
Features —>
DEFE...
@klausleopold www.LEANability.com
collect blockers
@klausleopold www.LEANability.com
collect blockers
CLUSTER BLOCKERS
UAT not
passed
92 days
@klausleopold www.LEANability.com
?- WHY are we blocked by UAT?
!- Customers are not satisfied with
what we deliver.
?- WH...
@klausleopold www.LEANability.com
what’s worth
collecting & analyzing?
BLOCKERS
- anything that prevents flow of work item...
@klausleopold www.LEANability.com
We’re often fooled by biases…
-The ones with the highest delay
-The ones “we” own – beca...
@klausleopold www.LEANability.com
1. Fix clusters that constrain the system
content
missing
109 days
test env.
not ready
4...
@klausleopold www.LEANability.com
1. Fix clusters that constrain the system
(4)
ANALYZE
IN PROG. DONE IN PROG. DONE
(4)
DE...
@klausleopold www.LEANability.com
(4)
ANALYZE
IN PROG. DONE IN PROG. DONE
(4)
DEVELOP
(4)
TEST
(4)
DEV READY
VERIF. UAT
RE...
@klausleopold www.LEANability.com
hard to solve
moderate
easy to solve
lowmediumhigh
time blocked
solvability
3
1 2
4
5 6
...
@klausleopold www.LEANability.com
(3)
ANALYZE
(2)
DEVELOP
(2)
TEST
(4)
DEV READY
VERIF. ACC.
READY 2
DEPLOY
(3)
REVIEW
Is ...
@klausleopold www.LEANability.com
(3)
ANALYZE
(2)
DEVELOP
(2)
TEST
(4)
DEV READY
VERIF. ACC.
READY 2
DEPLOY
(3)
REVIEW
Is ...
@klausleopold www.LEANability.com
ECONOMIC SIMULATION
download it for free: www.focusobjective.com
@klausleopold www.LEANability.comdownload it for free: www.focusobjective.com
Completes Days Staff Cost Cost of Delay Days...
@klausleopold www.LEANability.com
€ 0
€ 5.000
€ 10.000
€ 15.000
€ 20.000
€ 25.000
€ 30.000
Baseline Halved Eliminated
+
+
...
@klausleopold www.LEANability.com
BLOCKER HANDLING
- collect & cluster blockers
- understand problem
- find solution
- eva...
@klausleopold www.LEANability.com
performance
time
CADENCE
- trade-off: quantity of blockers vs. 

narrow time frame
- 4-w...
(2)
ANALYZE
IN PROG. DONE IN PROG. DONE
(2)
DEVELOP
(2)
TEST
(3)
DEV READY
VERIF. ACC.
READY 2
DEPLOY
(∞)
DEV-WORK —>
IMPR...
order at http://bit.ly/kcl-wiley
25% off promo code VBJ24
Thanks to Troy Magennis for working with me on this topic!
“Usin...
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Blocker Clustering reloaded (V2)

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A central component of Kanban is to make invisible knowledge work visible. However, you will notice quite often that you very often cannot work, but are blocked. Waiting for the test environment, requirements unclear, or missing customer information are only a small part of blockages that prevent us from continuing to work. These blockages are in most cases not a singular event, but have a systemic cause. In other words, it is very unlikely that a blockage occurs only once in the history of a company. Normally the same blockage occurs again and again.

What can one do about it? Jumping out of the window in despair would be a possible approach. Another idea would be to see the blockages for what they are: Treasures of improvements. In this session, we show you how to harvest these treasures and to improve sustainably your working system. In addition, we will present a model that shows with the help of a few simple number games, which blockages need to be removed to achieve the greatest possible leverage.

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Blocker Clustering reloaded (V2)

  1. 1. Dr. Klaus Leopold web: www.LEANability.com blog: www.klausleopold.com mail: klaus.leopold@LEANability.com
 twitter: @klausleopold Blockers - Treasures of Improvement Lean Kanban North Amerika - LKNA15, June 9, 2015, Miami Beach, FL
  2. 2. @klausleopold www.LEANability.com (3) ANALYZE IN PROG. DONE IN PROG. DONE (2) DEVELOP (2) TEST (4) DEV READY VERIF. UAT READY 2 DEPLOY (∞) ?? What could we do? —> increase WIP limit in DEV —-> solve problems
  3. 3. @klausleopold www.LEANability.com
  4. 4. www.LEANability.com@klausleopold
  5. 5. @klausleopold www.LEANability.com collect blockers 
 Text and photos for reservation page missing (Customer X) [DEV] DAYS BLOCKEDACTIVITY SOUND REASON
  6. 6. @klausleopold www.LEANability.com others test env. not ready reviewer X not available 47 days 11 days 32 days waiting for backend 87 days content missing waiting for UX 109 days 22 days no pictures customer A waiting for texts customer B missing pictures customer D UX for app x not ready waiting for backend backend not ready no test environment cluster blockers
  7. 7. @klausleopold www.LEANability.com content missing 109 days ?- WHY is content missing? !- The customers don’t send it. ?- WHY don’t they send it? !- Often they don’t know what we need. ?- WHY don’t they know what we need?!- We don’t tell them always. —> Maybe it’d be smart to tell them ALWAYS… Add an item to the Definition of Done checklist in the ANALYSIS activity: —> INFORM CUSTOMER ABOUT CONTENT DELIVERIES understand problem find solution
  8. 8. www.LEANability.com@klausleopold
  9. 9. (3) ANALYZE IN PROG. DONE IN PROG. DONE (3) DEVELOP (3) TEST (6) DEV READY VERIF. ACC. READY 2 DEPLOY (∞) Features —> Rework —> payment module payment module payment user profile search A large percentage ofSUPPORT REQUESTSis actually rework! REWORK and SUPPORT are blocking you from doing valuable stuff!
  10. 10. @klausleopold www.LEANability.com collect blockers payment module 24 days
  11. 11. (3) ANALYZE IN PROG. DONE IN PROG. DONE (3) DEVELOP (3) TEST (6) DEV READY VERIF. ACC. READY 2 DEPLOY (∞) Features —> Rework —> defect!
  12. 12. (3) ANALYZE IN PROG. DONE IN PROG. DONE (3) DEVELOP (3) TEST (6) DEV READY VERIF. ACC. READY 2 DEPLOY (∞) Features —> defect! don’t allow return traffic BUG FIXING IS NO NEW WORK Rework —>
  13. 13. (3) ANALYZE IN PROG. DONE IN PROG. DONE (3) DEVELOP (3) TEST (6) DEV READY VERIF. ACC. READY 2 DEPLOY (∞) Features —> DEFECTS ARE BLOCKERS! Rework —>
  14. 14. @klausleopold www.LEANability.com collect blockers
  15. 15. @klausleopold www.LEANability.com collect blockers CLUSTER BLOCKERS UAT not passed 92 days
  16. 16. @klausleopold www.LEANability.com ?- WHY are we blocked by UAT? !- Customers are not satisfied with what we deliver. ?- WHY aren’t they satisfied? !- There’s a mismatch on what they want and what we deliver. ?- WHY is this mismatch? !- … UNDERSTAND THE PROBLEM FIND A SOLUTION -introduce review activity after analysis -participants: customer, BAs, DEVs & Testers UAT not passed 92 days
  17. 17. @klausleopold www.LEANability.com what’s worth collecting & analyzing? BLOCKERS - anything that prevents flow of work items BUGS & DEFECTS - anything you have to spend additional effort on because of bad quality (bugs, defects, etc.) CONSCIOUS POLICY VIOLATIONS - write the reason of the violation on a sticky and attach it to the work item - collect & cluster policy violations - understand & improve REWORK & SUPPORT REQUESTS - defects in the live environment - queries from customers
  18. 18. @klausleopold www.LEANability.com We’re often fooled by biases… -The ones with the highest delay -The ones “we” own – because we’re in control -The simple ones – because we want to see quick results -The most recent ones – they’re fresh in memory -… What cluster should you solve first? test env. not ready reviewer X not available 47 days 11 days waiting for backend 87 days content missing waiting for UX 109 days 22 days UAT not passed 92 days
  19. 19. @klausleopold www.LEANability.com 1. Fix clusters that constrain the system content missing 109 days test env. not ready 47 days waiting for UX 22 days Text and photos for reservation page missing (Customer X) [DEV] ACTIVITY (4) ANALYZE IN PROG. DONE IN PROG. DONE (4) DEVELOP (4) TEST (4) DEV READY VERIF. UAT READY TO DEPLOY (∞)
  20. 20. @klausleopold www.LEANability.com 1. Fix clusters that constrain the system (4) ANALYZE IN PROG. DONE IN PROG. DONE (4) DEVELOP (4) TEST (4) DEV READY VERIF. UAT READY TO DEPLOY (∞) content missingwaiting for UX test env. not ready 109 days 47 days 22 days
  21. 21. @klausleopold www.LEANability.com (4) ANALYZE IN PROG. DONE IN PROG. DONE (4) DEVELOP (4) TEST (4) DEV READY VERIF. UAT READY TO DEPLOY (∞) content missingwaiting for UX test env. not ready 109 days 47 days 22 days 1. Fix clusters that constrain the system
  22. 22. @klausleopold www.LEANability.com hard to solve moderate easy to solve lowmediumhigh time blocked solvability 3 1 2 4 5 6 7 8 9 2. Weight resolution effort against blocker impact content missing 109 days solution: DoD-Item to inform customer about content waiting for backend 87 days solution: merge/restructure back-end and front-end teams reviewer X not available 11 days solution: talk to reviewer X and find a solution with him
  23. 23. @klausleopold www.LEANability.com (3) ANALYZE (2) DEVELOP (2) TEST (4) DEV READY VERIF. ACC. READY 2 DEPLOY (3) REVIEW Is it economically meaningful to implement solution? SOLUTION -introduce review activity after analysis -participants: customer, BAs, DEVs & Testers UAT not passed 92 days PROBLEM 3. Think about economics
  24. 24. @klausleopold www.LEANability.com (3) ANALYZE (2) DEVELOP (2) TEST (4) DEV READY VERIF. ACC. READY 2 DEPLOY (3) REVIEW Is it economically meaningful to implement solution? LET’S THINK ABOUT IT… - additional review increases lead time for all work items * higher lead time —> worse TTM & pot. higher CoD - lower lead times for items with potential defects * lower lead times —> improved TTM & less CoD - less effort for defect fixing - …
  25. 25. @klausleopold www.LEANability.com ECONOMIC SIMULATION download it for free: www.focusobjective.com
  26. 26. @klausleopold www.LEANability.comdownload it for free: www.focusobjective.com Completes Days Staff Cost Cost of Delay Days Late Total Cost Total Saving Baseline 20.Feb.15 79 € 79,000 € 35,714 50 € 114,714 € - Halved 13.Feb.15 74 € 74,000 € 30,714 43 € 104,714 € 10,000 Eliminated 30.Jän.15 64 € 64,000 € 20,714 29 € 84,714 € 30,000
  27. 27. @klausleopold www.LEANability.com € 0 € 5.000 € 10.000 € 15.000 € 20.000 € 25.000 € 30.000 Baseline Halved Eliminated + + + Completes Days Staff Cost Cost of Delay Days Late Total Cost Total Saving Baseline 20.Feb.15 79 € 79,000 € 35,714 50 € 114,714 € - Halved 13.Feb.15 74 € 74,000 € 30,714 43 € 104,714 € 10,000 Eliminated 30.Jän.15 64 € 64,000 € 20,714 29 € 84,714 € 30,000
  28. 28. @klausleopold www.LEANability.com BLOCKER HANDLING - collect & cluster blockers - understand problem - find solution - evaluate clusters * think about constraints * weight effort against impact * economics is your friend
  29. 29. @klausleopold www.LEANability.com performance time CADENCE - trade-off: quantity of blockers vs. 
 narrow time frame - 4-weekly cadence is a good start - adapt cadence to your needs MEETING FORMAT - Use established improvement meetings for it - participants: * on team level - the team * on higher flight levels, multi-tier systems - work with delegates WHAT ELSE TO CONSIDER? fucked-up performance time j-curve
  30. 30. (2) ANALYZE IN PROG. DONE IN PROG. DONE (2) DEVELOP (2) TEST (3) DEV READY VERIF. ACC. READY 2 DEPLOY (∞) DEV-WORK —> IMPROVEMENTS —> (2) PREPARE (1) REALIZE (2) VALIDATE IN PROG. DONE IN PROG. DONE SUCCESS FAILED (1) READY
  31. 31. order at http://bit.ly/kcl-wiley 25% off promo code VBJ24 Thanks to Troy Magennis for working with me on this topic! “Using Blocker Clustering, Defect Clustering, and Prioritization for Process Improvement”, Klaus Leopold and Troy Magennis, InfoQ, http://bit.ly/InfoQblocker
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    Dec. 11, 2020
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    Feb. 22, 2019
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    Sep. 23, 2017
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    Nov. 3, 2015

A central component of Kanban is to make invisible knowledge work visible. However, you will notice quite often that you very often cannot work, but are blocked. Waiting for the test environment, requirements unclear, or missing customer information are only a small part of blockages that prevent us from continuing to work. These blockages are in most cases not a singular event, but have a systemic cause. In other words, it is very unlikely that a blockage occurs only once in the history of a company. Normally the same blockage occurs again and again. What can one do about it? Jumping out of the window in despair would be a possible approach. Another idea would be to see the blockages for what they are: Treasures of improvements. In this session, we show you how to harvest these treasures and to improve sustainably your working system. In addition, we will present a model that shows with the help of a few simple number games, which blockages need to be removed to achieve the greatest possible leverage.

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