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RE: [scrumdevelopment] WIP

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  • Mike Dwyer
    Ron wrote: Nothing more fun than seeing some pompous manager strip-searched. ;- You may have the germ of the next generation of television shows. The
    Message 1 of 27 , Sep 2, 2005
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      Ron wrote:
      "Nothing more fun than seeing some pompous manager strip-searched. ;->"

      You may have the germ of the next generation of television shows.

      The Apprentice meets COPS. Imagine the possibilities with Martha and Donald
      versus the TSA. We could find out all about the hair and the ankle
      bracelet.

      Michael F. Dwyer

      "Planning constantly peers into the future for indications as to where a
      solution may emerge."
      "A Plan is a complex situation, adapting to an emerging solution."

      -----Original Message-----
      From: scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com
      [mailto:scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Ron Jeffries
      Sent: Friday, September 02, 2005 11:19 AM
      To: scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: Re: [scrumdevelopment] WIP

      On Friday, September 2, 2005, at 11:06:08 AM, Mary Poppendieck wrote:

      > I imagine that managers who get out the whip are the same folks who honk
      > their horns in a traffic jam. Maybe they should check out their whip on
      > servers loaded to 90% capacity and see if it helps move transactions
      trough
      > any faster. Or try it in a security line at an airport....

      I'd love to see that last one. Nothing more fun than seeing some
      pompous manager strip-searched. ;->

      I do think that Agile methods give managers some controls that can
      actually be effective, and that the whip is pulled out for the same
      reason they blow the horn: it's something they can do to express
      frustration. Doesn't speed up traffic, of course.

      So my question:

      >> It seems to take a somewhat enlightened view to get to the next step
      >> -- whatever that might be. How do we bring about that enlightenment,
      >> and get those guys to put down the whip?

      ... is addressing the notion that measuring cycle time will bring a
      need to light, but that we need more than that to bring the
      organization to a higher level. I'm interested in learning more
      about what people do to turn the whip into something actually
      useful.

      Ron Jeffries
      www.XProgramming.com
      In times of stress, I like to turn to the wisdom of my Portuguese waitress,
      who said: "Olá, meu nome é Marisol e eu serei sua garçonete."
      -- after Mark Vaughn, Autoweek.



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    • Ron Jeffries
      ... I d pay to watch The Donald get taken down a notch. You re fired, my ***. You re busted! Ron Jeffries www.XProgramming.com The main reason that testing
      Message 2 of 27 , Sep 2, 2005
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        On Friday, September 2, 2005, at 1:10:01 PM, Mike Dwyer wrote:

        > Ron wrote:
        > "Nothing more fun than seeing some pompous manager strip-searched. ;->"

        > You may have the germ of the next generation of television shows.

        > The Apprentice meets COPS. Imagine the possibilities with Martha and Donald
        > versus the TSA. We could find out all about the hair and the ankle
        > bracelet.

        I'd pay to watch The Donald get taken down a notch. "'You're fired,'
        my ***. You're busted!"

        Ron Jeffries
        www.XProgramming.com
        The main reason that testing at the end of a development cycle finds
        problems is not that problems were put in near the end, it is that
        testing was put off until then.
      • Clarke Ching
        lovely analogy Mary! _____ From: scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com [mailto:scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Mary Poppendieck Sent: 02 September
        Message 3 of 27 , Sep 2, 2005
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          lovely analogy Mary!


          From: scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com [mailto:scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Mary Poppendieck
          Sent: 02 September 2005 16:06
          To: scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com
          Subject: RE: [scrumdevelopment] WIP

          I imagine that managers who get out the whip are the same folks who honk
          their horns in a traffic jam.  Maybe they should check out their whip on
          servers loaded to 90% capacity and see if it helps move transactions trough
          any faster.  Or try it in a security line at an airport....

          Mary Poppendieck
          www.poppendieck.com
          952-934-7998
          Author of:  Lean Software Development: An Agile Toolkit
        • mwpolen
          While 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
          Message 4 of 27 , Sep 4, 2005
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            While 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?

            -Mike

            ------------------------------------
            "I have opinions of my own -- strong opinions -- but I don't always
            agree with them."
            - George Bush

            http://mwpolen.blogspot.com/
            ------------------------------------
            --- In scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com, "Mary Poppendieck"
            <mary@p...> wrote:
            > Actually, I don't think that WIP is the important measurement
            here - cycle
            > time is the standard Lean measurement. You can start and stop the
            cycle
            > time clock whenever you want (accepted story to tests passed, for
            example),
            > depending on what cycle really counts. However, most Lean
            companies measure
            > cycle time from customer order to delivery of order, since the
            focus is on
            > delivering customer value as fast as possible. Thus a software
            organization
            > taking a customer perspective would measure cycle time from
            customer request
            > to deployed feature. An organization with a service level
            agreement, for
            > example, does this routinely.
            >
            > Of course, there are usually more requests than a software
            development
            > organization has the capacity to fill, so there needs to be a way
            to
            > distinguish between work that is within the capacity of the
            organization and
            > work that just can't be accommodated. But still, IMHO, if an
            organization
            > cares about customer response time, the cycle time of the accepted
            requests
            > 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 is
            > deployed.
            >
            > It is usually beyond the capability of a development team to limit
            the
            > amount of work in its queue, but it is not beyond the capability
            of the
            > management team to do so. A measurement of the cycle time from
            request to
            > deployment does an good job of encouraging an organization's
            management 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
            > www.poppendieck.com
            > 952-934-7998
            > Author of: Lean Software Development: An Agile Toolkit
          • Jeff Sutherland
            An issue that is a lot more important than WIP is whether what is in the queue is in the right priority order or is even worth doing. For companies with big
            Message 5 of 27 , Sep 4, 2005
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              An issue that is a lot more important than WIP is whether what is in
              the queue is in the right priority order or is even worth doing. For
              companies with big bucks ready to do a lot of analysis, they should
              use Software by Numbers:
              http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0131407287/002-3446661-8579227

              Denne and Cleland-Huang show that unless you systematically forecast
              cost vs. revenue vs. time for each item in the product backlog you
              will lose at least 25% of the potential revenue and in some cases up
              to 400% of the achievable revenue.

              There is also the issue that 45% of the WIP on the average should
              never be built. A Software by Numbers analysis will do enough
              micro-costing of the product backlog that it should flush most of this
              out.

              People should always start with:

              1. Avoid doing this - where's the revenue time line?
              2. Given the revenue time line, is this the most important thing to do now?

              Software by Numbers nicely factors in architectural change and
              maintenance into the revenue stream, something most other methods
              avoid or do poorly leading to revenue loss.

              Without answers to these questions you should always do nothing with
              the WIP. Every line of code you write you will maintain for the rest
              of your working life (or some poor proxy will maintain it). When it is
              useless code, it is an Albatross that you will wear forever. Be
              extreme and avoid coding at all costs.

              Jeff Sutherland

              On 9/4/05, mwpolen <mwpolen@...> wrote:
              > While 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?
              >
              > -Mike
            • Mike Dwyer
              Thanks for the cite Jeff. Question. How do people handle windows of opportunity ? Since we are living in a world where a product, feature or function can go
              Message 6 of 27 , Sep 4, 2005
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                Thanks for the cite Jeff. Question.

                How do people handle 'windows of opportunity'? Since we are living in a
                world where a product, feature or function can go from innovative to
                commodity in a matter of months, how do you factor in the time it takes you
                to get to market and the time you have in the market before you are copied
                or superceded.

                This pushes the revenue argument to the next level stating that a long ROI
                may in fact be counter productive.

                Michael F. Dwyer

                "Planning constantly peers into the future for indications as to where a
                solution may emerge."
                "A Plan is a complex situation, adapting to an emerging solution."

                -----Original Message-----
                From: scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com
                [mailto:scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Jeff Sutherland
                Sent: Sunday, September 04, 2005 2:10 PM
                To: scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com
                Subject: Re: [scrumdevelopment] Re: WIP

                An issue that is a lot more important than WIP is whether what is in
                the queue is in the right priority order or is even worth doing. For
                companies with big bucks ready to do a lot of analysis, they should
                use Software by Numbers:
                http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0131407287/002-3446661-8579227

                Denne and Cleland-Huang show that unless you systematically forecast
                cost vs. revenue vs. time for each item in the product backlog you
                will lose at least 25% of the potential revenue and in some cases up
                to 400% of the achievable revenue.

                There is also the issue that 45% of the WIP on the average should
                never be built. A Software by Numbers analysis will do enough
                micro-costing of the product backlog that it should flush most of this
                out.

                People should always start with:

                1. Avoid doing this - where's the revenue time line?
                2. Given the revenue time line, is this the most important thing to do now?

                Software by Numbers nicely factors in architectural change and
                maintenance into the revenue stream, something most other methods
                avoid or do poorly leading to revenue loss.

                Without answers to these questions you should always do nothing with
                the WIP. Every line of code you write you will maintain for the rest
                of your working life (or some poor proxy will maintain it). When it is
                useless code, it is an Albatross that you will wear forever. Be
                extreme and avoid coding at all costs.

                Jeff Sutherland

                On 9/4/05, mwpolen <mwpolen@...> wrote:
                > While 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?
                >
                > -Mike



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              • Steven Gordon
                When the numbers indicate that we should not be implementing a particular feature today, that does not mean that the numbers might not change in 3 months, 6
                Message 7 of 27 , Sep 4, 2005
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                  When the numbers indicate that we should not be implementing a particular feature today, that does not mean that the numbers might not change in 3 months, 6 months, or a year from now.  
                   
                  Doing the requisite analysis to project the value of a feature over time is not free, so there is a tendency to not redo them every quarter.  Or worse, when updating the calculations, not taking the time to questioning whether an assumption that made sense when the value was first calcuated still makes sense today.
                   
                  So, when the numbers tell us not to implement a feature this quarter, should we tell the customer:
                  1. The feature will not be done this quarter, but we will keep it on our backlog and look at it again next quarter, or
                  2. The feature will not be done now and we will therefore remove it from our backlog - you can resubmit it next quarter if you think it makes sense then.
                   
                  The second one reduces cycle time at the expense of forcing the customer to resubmit feature requests periodically.  I prefer the first, but I am not the customer.
                   
                  One instance where I am a customer is when I submit a resume for a job.  If the response is that I am not a good fit for any of their current openings, I would rather that they keep my application on file than to ask me to resubmit my application whenever I think they might have some new openings that I would fit.
                   
                  Steven Gordon
                   
                  On 9/4/05, Jeff Sutherland <jeff.sutherland@...> wrote:
                  An issue that is a lot more important than WIP is whether what is in
                  the queue is in the right priority order or is even worth doing. For
                  companies with big bucks ready to do a lot of analysis, they should
                  use Software by Numbers:
                  http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0131407287/002-3446661-8579227

                  Denne and Cleland-Huang show that unless you systematically forecast
                  cost vs. revenue vs. time for each item in the product backlog you
                  will lose at least 25% of the potential revenue and in some cases up
                  to 400% of the achievable revenue.

                  There is also the issue that 45% of the WIP on the average should
                  never be built. A Software by Numbers analysis will do enough
                  micro-costing of the product backlog that it should flush most of this
                  out.

                  People should always start with:

                  1. Avoid doing this - where's the revenue time line?
                  2. Given the revenue time line, is this the most important thing to do now?

                  Software by Numbers nicely factors in architectural change and
                  maintenance into the revenue stream, something most other methods
                  avoid or do poorly leading to revenue loss.

                  Without answers to these questions you should always do nothing with
                  the WIP. Every line of code you write you will maintain for the rest
                  of your working life (or some poor proxy will maintain it). When it is
                  useless code, it is an Albatross that you will wear forever. Be
                  extreme and avoid coding at all costs.

                  Jeff Sutherland

                • David J Anderson
                  In my work (and my book) I modeled it as investment. The thinking it up can be time-boxed or controlled in some manner. Answer the question... How much are
                  Message 8 of 27 , Sep 6, 2005
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                    In my work (and my book) I modeled it as investment. The thinking it
                    up can be time-boxed or controlled in some manner. Answer the
                    question...

                    How much are willing to invest in our next innovative idea?

                    This is usually constrained in most companies by the funding for the
                    marketing department. One of the challenges is that often cost
                    accounting prevents technical people from engaging at an early
                    enough stage to improve the quality of the ideas.

                    David

                    --- In scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com, Ron Jeffries
                    <ronjeffries@X...> wrote:
                    > On Tuesday, August 30, 2005, at 1:15:06 PM, David J Anderson wrote:
                    >
                    > > To my mind, it is clearly not WIP unless it has been started,
                    and
                    > > that ought to involve a commitment back to the customer
                    detailing
                    > > when it will be delivered. In manufacturing terms a "due date".
                    >
                    > > Simply identifying it for the backlog does not count as starting.
                    >
                    > > The fact that the customer has dreamt it up and considers it
                    part of
                    > > their value stream is not justification for it becoming WIP. To
                    use
                    > > the manufacturing term, you could consider it "stock" i.e. it is
                    in
                    > > inventory, but it isn't WIP until a commitment is made and
                    resources
                    > > are assigned to work on it.
                    >
                    > Suppose that thinking it up was costly. Would we still not list it
                    > as WIP? I think we would. Perhaps WIP is supposed to be measured in
                    > dollars or time, not number of items?
                    >
                    > Ron Jeffries
                    > www.XProgramming.com
                    > Example isn't another way to teach, it is the only way to teach.
                    > --Albert Einstein
                  • David J Anderson
                    Dollar Days is all about amplication. It s about improving signal to noise ratio in management accounting. From the perspective of this thread, it is largely
                    Message 9 of 27 , Sep 6, 2005
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                      Dollar Days is all about amplication. It's about improving signal to
                      noise ratio in management accounting. From the perspective of this
                      thread, it is largely irrelevant. We're deciding where to start the
                      WIP measurement and the lead time measurement.

                      David


                      --- In scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com, "Clarke Ching" <lists@c...>
                      wrote:
                      > Ron wrote:
                      > >Perhaps WIP is supposed to be measured in dollars or time, not
                      number of
                      > items?
                      >
                      > Goldratt recommends using "Dollar-days" to measure WIP in factories -
                      thus
                      > taking into account both time and dollars. I've posted a note below
                      > describing Dollar-Days, which I originally sent to Kent Beck's
                      Software in
                      > Process yahoo group.
                      >
                      >
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