"Let me introduce you to Portfolio Kanban."
Work item arrival rate, work item departure rate, work item ageing are key factors to consider for faster service delivery or project delivery.
When we start work as soon as it arrives irrespective of our availability work items age and the number of work items in progress grow resulting in longer lead time which causes dissatisfaction.
Faster Organisation: The quickest way to deliver a work request is to start it when we have availability to work on it usually this means delaying starting it.
"Retrospective: A coach and a framework are just guides. The ownership and accountability for the transformation sits with the leadership of the organization. Do not shift accountability to a consultant, framework, or methodology."
Never a truer set of words, words from the the LeSS Case Study for Antartica Investment Bank .
Aside, consider in the above chart, if a journey is a long standing cross-component cross-functional large group of say 300 people to deliver a services, these journeys tend to get blocked when they still have more component teams to integrate work with. More structure change would be needed in that case, supported by leaders.
I liked the way the prioritization of improvements had leadership focus in the Cash in Comfort LeSS case study. I loved the organizational impediment focus ion the Agfa healthcare LeSS case study. The focus on feature team adoption for the entire system at Thales Surface Radar looks very impressive to me; a case of a LeSS Adoption for multiple products/a product line and leaders as coaches.
I colloborated with colleagues on causal loop diagrams for the current state and the potential future state of a huge organization. The interesting thing is I learnt about causal loop diagrams from the 1st LeSS book . As a result of the exercise, it transpired in our case that f ramework alone didn't look like it would materially move any dials. We needed leaders who were serious about busting organizational impediments and proactively supporting enablers such as structure change for a customer-oriented product/service organization. And the leaders needed to allow teams to use whatever methods & frameworks work for them.
Whether or not it's ok to have a super-structure/framework at a huge scale, I say don't make the mistake of forcing everyone to use that same lowest common denominator framework at every level. Figure out a way to interface to the mother ship framework while keeping autonomy and alignment. Ideally use LeSS at all levels, if you're serious about blowing away silos and exorcising fake agility. But let people own their system, let's not just copy & paste from some other successful company. Products are well handled by LeSS, LeSS Huge, and huge LeSS Huge.
Check out the annual LeSS conference, in London 13-14 Sep to see the LeSS inventors, LeSS trainers and LeSS practitioners in action.
Have more than one product? First of all check that your product is customer oriented, e.g. mortages. If your product is something a customer still doesn't understand you might need to abstract up another level. Consider one of the adoption tools, a Feature Team adoption map. By using Feature Team Adoption Maps, one can extend LeSS Huge beyond the product to the system, as was the case for Thales Surface Radar.
If you really are dealing with multiple products and you're not quite ready for system level feature teams, my personal suggestion is to consider Discovery Kanban and Beyond Budgeting at super-portfolio and portfolio levels; portfolios of products/services as opposed to super-batches of requirements like program portfolios. Discovery Kanban is great for managing options across products and reducing batch sizes. Beyond Budgeting changes the way we finance our work so we avoid project based financing and instead embrace long term stable teams.
Views are personal.
The annual LeSS conference is in London, UK this year. This is so nice for me, as I live in London, and I am in the early days of a LeSS adoption. It will be so cool to hang out with the thought leaders of LeSS. As far as I can tell, there are only 10 certified LeSS trainers in the world and most if not all of them will be at this conference, not to mention the candidate LeSS trainers and people with real-life experience & case-studies of LeSS and LeSS Huge. You can even see and feel a self-designing teams workshop - that will be so cool.
Most people have an idea what value an Agile/agility coach offers. We see loads of debate about mentoring versus coaching and let’s not add to that debate.
One piece flow
Imagine everyone who is required to ensure the work item is delivered to the customer is ready and waiting for the work and doesn't work on anything else.
So as soon as the work is passed on, it is worked on, so the waiting time for the work item goes down to zero and the lead time significantly reduces.
During a recent engagement, at the IT head-office of a modern, large corporate organisation, agile was set as the ‘go-to approach’ for most of their new initiatives, this after experimenting with a couple of successful ‘projects’.
1. How knowable are the steps?
What is the mismatch between the conceptual model (plan) and the observed reality? The greater the impact of this mismatch the more appropriate it is to navigate the uncertainty using probes and experiments. Experiment to invalidate your hypothesis, look for weak signals and sense widely.
We crave certainty and create certainty even when none exists, the more unknowable the domain that we are working in the more we need to probe.