Friday, May 13, 2016

Why Kanban Doesn't Have Sprints. Agile Austin Lunch May 13, 2016

Thirty Agile Austiners attended a free lunch at Kasasa to discuss with value of time boxing a sprint.

What are benefits of timebox?
Predictability / Focus Priorities / Cadence / Estimation  / well documented, it comes in a box

 Problems with Timebox:
1.  If testing takes four days at the end of a sprint, what are the developers doing those last four days?
Timebox encourages crossfunctional team members; developers that test the last few days.  Is this the best use of their time?
2.  No room to do important bug fixes or building infrastructure.  Too much noise to estimate accurately.
3.  Have to do lots of padding for noise.
4.  Poor quality, and no refactoring, results from cramming something in at the last minute.
5. Timebox has a negative effect on morale, as a sprint is considered a failure if only 9 of 10 items were done.  When this goes on sprint after sprint morale suffers.  Then developers start to pad estimates which then starts to look excessive.

Kanban - one piece flow - watch a single work item carefully to see blockers
Kanban is flow based, Scrum is iteration based.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Photos from Agile Austin May 10, 2016 "Implementing Kanban at Drilling Info"

Jay Paulson from Drilling Info presented the history of Kanban at Drilling Info to 36 people.

My random notes:
Jay took all the Jira issues, put them on sticky notes, and posted them on a wall.  50 items were in QA.  The physical visibility surprised people.

Service Delivery Manager shepherds items through the system.

Four Principles of Kanban
Flow like water around the rocks of resistance
1. Start with what you do now
2 Agree to pursue evolutionary change
3 Initially respect current processes roles, responsibilities, and job titles
4. Encourage acts of leadership at every level in your organization from individual contributor to senior management.  Encourage feedback.

Jay used the getKanban board game
used physical and electronic tool (Rally)
Columns on Board:
Ideas / Robert / Acceptance / Grooming / Implementation / Demo / Release / Verify

Jay is writing

Little's Law Metric
Delivery Rate = WIP/LeadTime
Teams own their own process

David Anderson's book.

Daily Standup - team creates agenda, place for feedback, customer focus
Replenishment / Commitment Meeting  - part of Planning Session
Delivery Planning Meeting / Weekly
Risk Review - look at blocker to understand risks, review hidden risks, review WIP
Strategy Review / Quarterly - review metrics (lead time, quality, capacity)
Service Delivery Review - weekly
Operations Review / most important monthly meeting of all the managers

Recommended Books:
The Goal /
The Phoenix Project /
Kanban from the Inside by Mike Burrows
Actionable Agile Metric for Predictability by Vacanti

Highly measured process, Key Performance Indicators

Many agile projects fail from lack of discipline in developers.  Agile is not a silver bullet.  Developers need to be disciplined.

Monday, May 02, 2016

Sleep Number Bed Smells Bad When New

We love Sleep Number beds - the kind with an air bladder and remotes to get the right level of firmness.  Recently we bought two new ones for the kids.  But the smell of all the off-gassing of the Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) was overwhelming for our highly allergic and sensitive family.

We left the mattresses in a spare room with the window open to air out for a few days without success.  They still reaked of plastic.  The smell was in the air bladders and was trapped inside the mattress covers.

I removed the inner bladders and hung them in the garage on some rope to air out.
Over the course of a few weeks the smell of plastic slowly died down.
I put the bladders back in the mattresses and they smelled fine.
We love our new Sleep Number beds now.