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Re: [scrumdevelopment] WIP

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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 1 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 2 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 3 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 4 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 5 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 6 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 7 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 8 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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