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Month: June 2016

Kanban Flow Simulator – First Blood

Managing flow is not easy and sometimes counter-intuitive. Limiting work in progress will decrease lead time while not affecting throughput – really? You should reduce variability in the input to increase predictability of your system – always? You can hear about such principles here and there. There are mathematical models available to deduce if that advice is right or wrong, but they are very complex, as the system we’re dealing with is very complex. Lots of things are happening at the same time – variable tasks size, variable entry times, variable team size, skills, limits, priorities, value…

When I decided that I wanted to learn more about those principles (after reading a book by Donald G. Reinertsen: The Principles of Product Development Flow) I realised that solving the related mathematical puzzle was probably too hard for me. The other thing I was concerned about was that I wasn’t sure if, when successful, I would be able to explain and convince others quickly about my findings. So an idea came to my mind – a flow simulator. A simulator, where anyone could easily be able to play with all the variables and observe the outcomes. Where anyone could instantly see the outcomes of limiting WIP, decreasing variability, pair programming, multitasking, different prioritisation methods and so on.

After a month of evenings working, the first version of the Kanban Flow Simulator is available here.

Continue reading Kanban Flow Simulator – First Blood

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