More conference coverage

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Kanban makes SPC easy!

I’ve talked a bit before about how kanban systems facilitate basic Statistical Process Control by creating an event-rich environment that produces meaningful and timely data about team performance. Benjamin Mitchell has written a helpful article on using control charts to understand variation in user story completion using a kanban system.

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Obligatory conference post

I’m at the Lean&Kanban conference in Miami.  Mike Cottmeyer has done a nice play-by-play of the conference so far.  Overall, I thought today’s speakers were very good.

I should be more enthusiastic, but I bit down on a stone in my food and broke a tooth yesterday.

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Agile zeitgeist

Jurgen Appelo has put up a survey of Agile practices.  While I consider myself and this blog to be decidedly post-Agile, I also love survey data and the concerns of practitioners.  Plus, critical analysis of the survey itself makes for great sport.

The Big Agile Practices Survey

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Three ways to go about queue sizing

  1. Start every limit at 1.  Add tokens 1 at a time until one person is always busy, then apply Theory of Constraints.
  2. Start every limit at an arbitrarily large value, like 10.  Subtract tokens 1 at a time until flow is observed.  Then start looking for a way to remove 1 more.
  3. Create a Value Stream Map and measure the time-on-task distribution of each activity. Use Little’s Law to calculate the corresponding queue sizes.

Notice that “match the number of people currently available” is not one of the ways.  You’re trying to discover how many people you need not how many you have.

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