Agile Methods The Pune Chapter Meet of the Limited WIP Society was held on Mar 8, 2014. This session objective was to address challenges faced by Lean-Kanban practitioners in their projects. Participants from 4 different organizations attended this session. A couple of problems were posed by the participants ahead of time. We decided to work on the first one for this session. Some projects are fixed scope, fixed budget and have relatively small duration – 3-4 months.

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Tales of LeanThe role of metrics in TPS is crisply explained in Jeffrey Liker’s book “The Toyota Way”. He explains that Toyota prefers simple metrics and does not use many of them at the plant or the company level. Some of my peers may be surprised to hear this! The author highlights his point with a simple example. During one of his visits to one of the Toyota plants, he was told that apart from a few basic metrics (like cost of plant operations, parts per million defects, some safety related and productivity), the metric Toyota finds most useful as a manager is the number of “Andon” pulls made by each Team Member to stop the production line.

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Tales of LeanWe are very honored to publish another case-study on the successful use of SwiftKanban for improvement of Procurement Process for the Brazilian organization Poiesis. The presentation shared in this post was prepared and presented by Clarinha Prado, a consultant with Gigante Consultoria, Brazil.  Clarinha has over 20 years of Business Analysis and IT consulting experience in a variety of fields, especially the financial sector.

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Unverifiable-ProductivityOur Customers range from some of the largest IT Services/ Consulting companies to Corporate IT to ISVs and Engineering organizations inside high-tech manufacturing, System Integration and embedded-systems companies. They have a wide variety of product design and development methods as well as a varying degree of need for standardized processes, collaboration with customers and partners, and the ability to support distributed teams.

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Kanban in a Fixed DurationThis is a common dilemma for teams wanting to use Kanban for 'fixed price, fixed cost" projects.  On the one hand, you have a business demand to commit up-front to a timeline and scope (and cost) to deliver a product; on the other hand, you have a promising tool – Kanban – that completely does away with any concept of time (or scope) bucketing but yet promises higher value and better quality to the customer. I believe the answer lies in both parties in the project - the customer and the vendor (business and IT or external IT vendor)...

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SwiftKanbanHello again! We've improved our card search capabilities with this update and you now have the ability to track throughput for every Smart Lane! You can now filter card lists to show cards satisfying multiple search criteria. All you need to view list of cards with matching text is to type your search string in the required filter box. You can use multiple search strings too, just separate them with commas and search! Also, if you want to exclude search results containing the search string just prefix the first search string with ~ (the tilde symbol).

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Kanban systemSometime back, we published a blog post Due Dates in Kanban Systems – which drew some flak from some folks who objected to the line of reasoning in that post. However, one of the commentators made a good point – that it made sense to have Due Dates in a Kanban system if in fact the process being visualized on the Kanban board already needed Due Dates. The Kanban Method’s fundamental premise is – start with your current process have and improve gradually, in an evolutionary manner.

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Application Lifecycle ManagementApplication Lifecycle Management is – or should be – the management of an application’s (or applications) lifecycle.  An application’s lifecycle really begins from the time it is originally conceived – as a business request to IT to support a specific business function, or as a solution to a strategic opportunity identified during a management review, or a response to a new opportunity for an IT services firm (to bid) for developing a new solution for an external business customer. In response to the request or opportunity, an organization may build a new application from scratch or implement an ISV product (such as an ERP or CRM tool) or even integrate a combination of in-house...

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Capacity PlanningProjects are often executed by dynamic teams. They start with a small core team and as the project gains momentum, add resources over time. This is commonly seen in IT service organizations that do fixed price projects. Fixed price projects have a defined scope that needs to be delivered within a contracted budget and within a negotiated timeline. For the purpose of this experience report, “Dynamic teams” or “Fixed Price projects” will be used interchangeably. Unfortunately, as Ron Jeffries put it, “Agile is founded on management of scope, not predicting when you’ll be done, even if you had fixed team size and “fixed” scope.”

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Archive/ Move Multiple Cards in one go!Hello Folks! We thought we'd begin the new year with a few features that will improve the experience for you in terms of usability. You can now move multiple cards with a single click. Just right-click on any lane header to archive or move all cards in that lane. CTRL + click will let you select a set of cards and right-click will let you move only these cards selectively. Continuing with our theme of adding more configurability in SwiftKanban, you can now customize the appearance and order of Card attributes as they appear on the board.

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