Wednesday, September 15, 2010

latency and banana

Following the same convention from the Agile manifesto, I have came up with a new one:

Latency and throughput over estimation and velocity

Basically I want to emphasize the importance to measure and to act upon reducing latency and improving throughput for the work we do.

All Agile teams I worked with have used some sort of card wall. Cards on the wall typically represent User Stories. The cards move accordingly to the development workflow. For example, the following would be stages for a typical workflow: Next Stories -> In Dev -> In UAT -> Ready to Deploy.

I measure latency quite easily. I write dates at the back of the cards. I calculate latency by doing a simple math: date the story finished minus the date the story started. But text on the back of the cards was not very visible.

But I needed something more visible. That is when my current team came up with the following technique. It is definitely very visible!

I presented this at the Qcon Sao Paulo conference. Folks at the audience really enjoyed it. The best tweet defined it as the banana peel technique. Someone else told me that similarly to code smell, I would get a Story smell for high latency.

Now, I am looking for suggestions for making throughput visible at the wall.

8 comments:

Gitanjali said...

Only suggestion is to substitute banana "peel" instead of banana leaf! ;-)

Great idea.

Gitanjali

Paulo Caroli said...

Thanks Gitanjali!
banana peel, not leaf. text fixed.
I guess a banana leaf would take too much space on teh board :-)

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