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They were not focusing on their lead time, they used a tasks management tool focusing on who is responsible for what and managing queues without limit or flow measurements.
We were also not satisfied with the way we all were working and coordinating our clients.
We had several activities on our hands: business analysis, development, test and functional support.
We were using the Kanban method to guide our collective work and our work improvement.
My goal here is not to cover all those patterns again, which mainly are still a work in progress, but to share a specific story about measuring flow.
In 2010-2011, I was in charge of a software development team located in Paris and Mumbai.
At the beginning they were ignoring measures, just looking at odd graphs.
But one day they had turn-over in their team, and as the new joiners were being trained, and the CFD showed immediately a bottleneck.
In an effort to reduce tool license fees, the IT governance committee is not only hounding developers with endless surveys, the department is threatening developers that their tools will be removed if surveys are not promptly being responded to. A similar tone is used while dealing with 2 year olds: “If you do not play nicely you are a bad boy, and your toy will be removed.” One guy (lets call him Frank) in a team took offense at the emails, responding with Our hero Frank responded with a “copy-all” email to the IT Governance team, the entire development staff (2,000+) initiating a barrage of similar “code emails” back to the IT Governance Team eventually causing the surveys to stop: I hear more and more stories where Kanban has helped team to develop a continuous improvement culture.
During 2012 the Kanban Leadership Retreat in Austria Mayrhofen, Pawel Brodzinski hosted an open space session dedicated to behavioural changes. As Pawel explains in his blog post, we shared stories about emerging patterns from our Kanban experiences.
Thus one day we decided to automatically measure their Cumulative Flow Diagram (CFD) and make it visible.
The average lead time was around 10 days for one very simple request.
We experienced most of the behavioral changes listed above and our cycle time was reducing.