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pre-mortem outcomeoptimistic planningdelays in approvalscontinuous changes in prioritiespeople moved to different projectsprojects ‘forgotten’ in a dormant statespecs change, even late in the projectproduction costs higher than expected
summing it upmost operational issues somewhat knownsome dismissed as irrelevant, some simply notaddressed for the time beingdispirited employeesmanagement caught completely off-guard byreported lack of transparency and communicationand by employee’s demotivation
active learning “we want prescriptions not principles” Agile & Lean Values interactions, communication, self-organization queues, WIP limits initial misunderstandings and annoyance by people “multitasking is a used to being told justnatural and effective what to doapproach to address overload” (!)
initial goalsmap the real process visualize all ongoing activitiesexpose dysfunctions measure and analyze data
a perfect recipe for failure Development/ Concept Production Prototyping CKP CKP CKP CKP CKP I II III IV V DRW DRW DRW I II IIIfeatures, cost and shipment date set here Involved Depts: Engineering, Operations, Quality Control, Test Lab
work-item type analysis project typical average size duration delay (months) (months) small 6-9 2-3 medium 9-12 3-6 large 12-18 6-9 small modiﬁcations / /each project leader is in charge of multiple projects
we used this board for three weeks tounderstand which kind of information we couldget from itwe started tracking time information to collect(partial) cycle time data
some issues with our boardoverloading and queues exposed but only partiallypreventedpriorities still ‘suggested’ by managementwith no objective selection criteriaproject ownership changes during the project life,this was not visible on the board
time for daily standups andweekly retrospectives
standups & retrosinitially, engineers found these activities useless andboringstandups were too long and repetitious as they wereused just to report status to a managerso we changed approach and started focusing only onhighlighting problems and collaboratively decide whatto do
the path to a new boardassign value and priorities to projects based on businessvalue, cost of delay, due dates, etc.deﬁne and set WIP limits (“wow!”)pull approach to select and move forward projectspolicies to rule transitions from one state to anotherdeﬁne relevant data to represent on cards to help intaking decisions and deﬁning further policies
WIP limitseach project leader is in charge of multiple projects at a given timeinitially assigned WIP = 1 to each project but this was not very usefulproject characteristics including size, cardinality and parameters like machining orforming complexity were then used to weigh WIP (deﬁned by engineers...)this resulted in each project inducing 0,2 to 2 in terms of WIPspeciﬁc WIP limits have been set for resources (mostly hardware and used also forstandard production) like molding machines, test lab and ﬁnal prototypingsome of these limits are not constant but may vary in time as they have to lookahead to take into account standard production needs and to anticipate the loadinduced by projects in progresswhenever WIP limits are reached, a project is tagged with a blue square symbol andput on hold until resources are available (waiting time is measured)
too many columns? we tried multiple simpler boards it did not work (people rejected it)reality is complex, better to see it clearly
metrics used(sub)cycle timeactive vs. idle timecumulated WIP by project leader per projectphase (to check perceived vs measuredoverburden)
decreased (sub)cycle time Development/ Concept Production PrototypingCKP CKP CKP CKP CKP I II III IV V DRW DRW DRW I II III -50% -30% -20% -25%
sm M 0.50$ 1.00$ 1.50$ 2.00$ 2.50$ 3.00$ ay 0.50$ 1.00$ 1.50$ 2.00$ 2.50$ 3.00$ +1 Jul+10$Aug+10$ Ju $ n+ Ju $ 10 l+1 0 0 al lpSep+10$ Au $ g+Oct+10$ 10 Se $ ro p+Nov+10$ j 10 Oc $Dec+10$ t+1 No 0$ ecJan+11$ v+ 1 De 0$Feb+11$ c+ 10 tsMar+11$ Ja $ n+ 11 DRW$I$Apr+11$ Fe $ DRW$III$ b+ 1May+11$ M 1$ ar +1 1Jun+11$ Ap $ r+1 Jul+11$ M 1$ ay +1Aug+11$ 1$ LCL$ avg$ UCL$ LCL$ avg$ UCL$ DRW$III$ DRW$I$ 0.40$ 0.60$ 0.80$ 1.00$ 1.20$ 1.40$ 1.60$ 1.80$ 1.00$ 1.20$ 1.40$ 1.60$ 1.80$ 2.00$ Sep,10$ Jun,10$ Oct,10$ Jul,10$ Nov,10$ Aug,10$ Dec,10$ Sep,10$ before... Jan,11$ Feb,11$ Oct,10$ Mar,11$ Nov,10$ Apr,11$ Dec,10$ May,11$ Jun,11$ Jan,11$ Jul,11$ Feb,11$ CKP$IV$ DRW$II$ Aug,11$ Mar,11$ Sep,11$ Apr,11$ Oct,11$ May,11$ Nov,11$ Dec,11$ Jun,11$ LCL$ avg$ LCL$ avg$ UCL$ UCL$ CKP$IV$ DRW$II$
ec ts rojsm al lp ...after DRW$I$ DRW$II$ 3.00$ 2.00$ 1.80$ 2.50$ avg$ 1.60$ avg$ 2.00$ 1.40$ LCL$ LCL$ 1.50$ 1.20$ UCL$ UCL$ 1.00$ 1.00$ pre$avg$ pre$avg$ 0.80$ DRW$I$ DRW$II$ 0.50$ 0.60$ $ $ 1$ $ $ 2$ $ $ 1$ $ $ $ $ 2$ $ 2$ 2$ 2$ 11 11 11 11 11 11 11 11 12 12 12 t+1 +1 t,1 +1 ,1 r+1 r,1 g+ p+ v+ c+ g, p, v, c, n, b+ b, n ar ar Oc Oc Ap Ap De De No No Au Au Se Ja Se Ja Fe Fe M M DRW$III$ CKP$IV$ 3.00$ 1.60$ 2.50$ 1.40$ avg$ avg$ 1.20$ 2.00$ LCL$ LCL$ 1.00$ UCL$ 1.50$ UCL$ 0.80$ pre$avg$ pre$avg$ 1.00$ 0.60$ CKP$IV$ DRW$III$ 0.50$ 0.40$ Oct,11$ Nov,11$ Dec,11$ Jan,12$ Feb,12$ Mar,12$ Apr,12$ $ 1$ $ $ $ $ 2$ 2$ 11 11 11 12 12 t+1 +1 r+1 p+ v+ c+ n+ b+ ar Oc Ap De No Se Ja Fe M previous range
extending Agile/Lean to other departmentsthey asked for it :), but obviously they wantedjust to “copy” the practicesin marketing: iteration-based approach toprepare a product-launch (4 weeks)in sales: kanban board to visualize and optimizeﬂow of sales activitiesretrospectives rocked again
achievements ings you do, how m any th eate” “it ’s not value you cr t how much bubetter predictability for Small andMedium projects; reduced cycle timesvalue + cost of delay based selectionreduced overburdenengineers are more engaged and efﬁcien cies ismotivated delays and in g fast” “rem oving han ju st goin impo rtant t more
differences with sw teamsno pursuing of technical excellenceengineers feeling and acting as individuals.they did not feel they were part of a team.they had their own independent goals and were focusedjust on themnote: standups and retrospectives helped a lot in providing ateam-forming glueno “works on my machine” syndrome
open challengespeople are inclined to rest on their laurels andto stop pursuing continuous improvementlead time (concept to cash) is still too longeconomy in Italy has worsened, the companyhas a new Managing Director, still not clearwhat’s going to happen
in closingAgile+Lean in non-software context yes!
on December 2011 I got another call “we need help”I am doing it again: currently working with a Power Transmission company “look ma, no software!” to be continued...