Oct 27, 2010

It's begining to look a lot like Christmas... I mean Kanban

There was a workshop on Technical Debt this morning at the 2010 Cutter Summit in Cambridge, MA, Given by Israel Gat and Jim Highsmith. It was a good one, although short, in which several important points were discussed and I decided to blog on one specific point.

Towards the end of the workshop Israel proposed an event-driven process control (EDPC) based on the Ken Schwaber's process control view of Scrum. The fundamental idea is to replace the daily scrum meetings with on-demand meetings triggered by failure events on the project's continuous integration activity. That is, daily standups are to be no longer and instead the meeting will occur between all stakeholders involved with the failure at continuous integration time. This is motivated by the lean manufacturing modus operandi of stopping the production line when a defect is detected. The determinant is created by using Statistical Process Control over defects, in which the trigger is a policy. Israel emphasized on the fact that quantitative data enhances the power of scrum to reduce technical debt.

This was a rush of fresh air. Kanban does that! ...and more. Anyway, the point is, as agile methodologies mature they are gradually moving towards where Kanban already is. Kanban offers quantitative metrics such as statistical process control over delivered value and other policy-driven factors, cummulative flow, mean lead time, and other.