- Sep 4, 2005While I agree that cycle time (the time from customer request to
customer fulfillment) is the most important measure I do wonder how
you can get any software organization to buy into it. I have found
that simple elegant measures, really anything simple, to be too
simple for the people with the $BIG$. The people in charge seem to
think "hey if it really was that simple everyone of my peers would
be doing it this way...NAH this can't work it's a complicated job
and complicated jobs require complicated ______" In this can
measurement is the fill in the blank.
So how do the people in group handle my perceived conundrum?
"I have opinions of my own -- strong opinions -- but I don't always
agree with them."
- George Bush
--- In email@example.com, "Mary Poppendieck"
> Actually, I don't think that WIP is the important measurementhere - cycle
> time is the standard Lean measurement. You can start and stop thecycle
> time clock whenever you want (accepted story to tests passed, forexample),
> depending on what cycle really counts. However, most Leancompanies measure
> cycle time from customer order to delivery of order, since thefocus is on
> delivering customer value as fast as possible. Thus a softwareorganization
> taking a customer perspective would measure cycle time fromcustomer request
> to deployed feature. An organization with a service levelagreement, for
> example, does this routinely.development
> Of course, there are usually more requests than a software
> organization has the capacity to fill, so there needs to be a wayto
> distinguish between work that is within the capacity of theorganization and
> work that just can't be accommodated. But still, IMHO, if anorganization
> cares about customer response time, the cycle time of the acceptedrequests
> would be measured from the time the customer placed the request(not when it
> was accepted) until the time the software to satisfy the request isthe
> It is usually beyond the capability of a development team to limit
> amount of work in its queue, but it is not beyond the capabilityof the
> management team to do so. A measurement of the cycle time fromrequest to
> deployment does an good job of encouraging an organization'smanagement to
> limit the amount of work it accepts to its capacity to respond.When this
> happens, customer requests flow through the system much faster,and this can
> result in a significant competitive advantage.
> Mary Poppendieck
> Author of: Lean Software Development: An Agile Toolkit
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