Process, People, and Pods


Saturday, 1 September 2007

Counting Wastes Time

It's there. You see it. You have this overwhelming urge to count it. It's a moral obligation, a call-to-arms; your personal mission.

I am referring to counting artifacts and measuring artifacts. I am talking about project managers and team leads, and sometimes programmers, testers, and analysts.

And if you stop to think about it, it is a big time waster. A better core philosophy:

"Never count your money while you're sitting at the table. There'll be time enough for counting when the dealings done." -- Kenny Rogers from The Gambler

This thinking is based in Lean, a process borrowed from manufacturing. One of the practices Lean espouses is the identification and elimination of waste. Waste is broadly defined as anything that does not add value to the delivered product.

Agile software development produces loads of artifacts, like stories, tasks, test cases, and code. All of these artifacts have different useful lives. Code endures. Tasks are transient artifacts of development. There is a time and place for counting each. But if you count outside of those boundaries: waste!

Here is a real life example from an Agile project. It occurred between the client project administrator (sort of a cross between a administrator and a project manager) and myself in my role as tech lead and process coach. The discussion was around task cards. A task is a small unit of development work identified by the programmer for a story, which itself has an average of 10 or so tasks, with a huge variance.

  • PA: "I need to track task cards."
  • Me: "There are going to be a lot of them."
  • PA: "I still want to track them."
  • Me: "Could you just track stories? Development only takes a couple of days."
  • PA: "I still want to track them."
  • Me (seeing a pattern here): "Well, if you really want to..."
  • PA: "Great. We need to number them."
  • Me (I am beginning to catch on): "So that you can track them?"
  • PA: "Yes."
  • Me: "You are free to put any number on them you want. They're on the wall." (Note the technique of delegating to the person who seems to have all the extra time.)
  • PA: "And I need the initials of the pair that worked on them."
  • Me (Can't see a quick way around that.) "Okay. We mark the finished as we go. We'll put our initials on it then."
  • PA: "I need an estimate for each task."
  • Me: "Two-to-four hours."
  • PA: "No, I need an estimate for each task."
  • Me: "Two-to-four hours. We break the story down into 2-4 hour tasks. That is the estimate."
  • [Repeat several more times.]
  • PA: "Okay, I will mark a range of 2-4 hours. Then I will need the actuals."
  • Me: "No." I really try not to use this word with clients, but sometimes there isn't a better word.
  • PA: "But how can I track how long it actually took?"
  • Me (trying to use powerful Vulcan logic): "If we gave you a number, it is only an estimate of the actuals. We have to estimate to accommodate meetings, distractions, bathroom breaks, and the like. Even we don't know how long it actually took."
  • PA (after long processing pause): "But I need actuals."
  • Me (feeling a little guilty suggesting it): "You can track how long it takes to do the story, and just divide it."
  • PA: "Okay, I guess that will work."

I was being a bit unfair to our project administrator. The whole conversation would be rendered moot as soon as she saw the number of tasks that were created, started, and completed each day (about 20-25 on an average day). The counting only lasted a week.

Most consultants would (and do) succumb to the pressure to count. Some may even advocate it. Frankly, I exploited my gray hair and used my authority voice to carry the day in this case.

Imagine the overhead if this process had been established? Even a few minutes per task add up when there are 3000 tasks on a project. And the killer question for this:

...And how will you use that information?

26 comments:

Anonymous said...

Got a good chuckle out of this.

One suggestion: I would have started your discussion with your trailing question:

...And how will you use that information?

Then show how it will play out including overhead...

Fred George said...

Thanks.

You're getting ahead of me here. I am hoping to post on that (...And how will you use that information?) tomorrow! I have more examples.

Max Pool said...

The question "how will you use this information?" is a big one.

In my experience, I despise it when PMs are given a sea of metrics and facts, only to use gut-instinct to make decisions.

Be sure to not forget to mention that there are many metrics that are important to track and can act as "quick gauges". A simple daily glance at metrics such as testing code coverage and burn-down/up charts can tell alot about the health of a project.

Fred George said...

I do have my favorite metrics that I consider productive. Look for a post soon on that. Burn-up charts are key, although I admit that test coverage only makes my secondary list.

Darius Damalakas said...

"Me: "You are free to put any number on them you want. They're on the wall." (Note the technique of delegating to the person who seems to have all the extra time.)"

that's was very cool :D
and funny looking from the side.

A very good technique, and very valuable.

Anonymous said...

情趣用品,情趣用品,情趣用品,情趣用品,情趣,情趣,情趣,情趣,按摩棒,震動按摩棒,微調按摩棒,情趣按摩棒,逼真按摩棒,G點,跳蛋,跳蛋,跳蛋,性感內衣,飛機杯,充氣娃娃,情趣娃娃,角色扮演,性感睡衣,SM,潤滑液,威而柔,香水,精油,芳香精油,自慰套,自慰,性感吊帶襪,吊帶襪,情趣用品加盟AIO交友愛情館,情人歡愉用品,美女視訊,情色交友,視訊交友,辣妹視訊,美女交友,嘟嘟成人網,成人網站,A片,A片下載,免費A片,免費A片下載愛情公寓,情色,舊情人,情色貼圖,情色文學,情色交友,色情聊天室,色情小說,一葉情貼圖片區,情色小說,色情,色情遊戲,情色視訊,情色電影,aio交友愛情館,色情a片,一夜情,辣妹視訊,視訊聊天室,免費視訊聊天,免費視訊,視訊,視訊美女,美女視訊,視訊交友,視訊聊天,免費視訊聊天室,情人視訊網,影音視訊聊天室,視訊交友90739,成人影片,成人交友,美女交友,微風成人,嘟嘟成人網,成人貼圖,成人電影,A片,豆豆聊天室,聊天室,UT聊天室,尋夢園聊天室,男同志聊天室,UT男同志聊天室,聊天室尋夢園,080聊天室,080苗栗人聊天室,6K聊天室,女同志聊天室,小高聊天室,上班族聊天室,080中部人聊天室,同志聊天室,聊天室交友,中部人聊天室,成人聊天室,一夜情聊天室,情色聊天室,寄情築園小遊戲情境坊歡愉用品,情境坊歡愉用品,情趣用品,成人網站,情人節禮物,情人節,AIO交友愛情館,情色,情色貼圖,情色文學,情色交友,色情聊天室,色情小說,七夕情人節,色情,情色電影,色情網站,辣妹視訊,視訊聊天室,情色視訊,免費視訊聊天,美女視訊,視訊美女,美女交友,美女,情色交友,成人交友,自拍,本土自拍,情人視訊網,視訊交友90739,生日禮物,情色論壇,正妹牆,免費A片下載,AV女優,成人影片,色情A片,成人論壇,情趣,免費成人影片,成人電影,成人影城,愛情公寓,成人影片,保險套,舊情人,微風成人,成人,成人遊戲,成人光碟,色情遊戲,跳蛋,按摩棒,一夜情,男同志聊天室,肛交,口交,性交,援交,免費視訊交友,視訊交友,一葉情貼圖片區,性愛,視訊,視訊聊天,A片,A片下載,免費A片,嘟嘟成人網,寄情築園小遊戲,女同志聊天室,免費視訊聊天室,一夜情聊天室,聊天室

cheap wow gold said...

It was not long cheap wow goldbefore some one knocked atwow gold cheap wow gold for salethe house-door and called, open the door, dear children, your mother is here, and has brought something back with her for each of you. But the little wow8goldkids knew that it was the wolf, by the rough voice. We will gold4power not open the door, cried they, you are not our mother. She has a soft, pleasant voice, but your voice is rough, you are the wolf.

Then the wolf went World Of Warcraft Goldaway to a shopkeeper and bought himself a great cheapest wow goldlump of chalk, ate this and made mmogap his voice soft with it. The he came back, knocked at the door of the house, and igsky called, open the door, dear children, your mother is here and Cheapest Wow Goldhas brought something back with her for each of you.

kiloi said...

ralph Lauren polo shirts , Lacoste Polo Shirts, Burberry Polo Shirts.wholesale Lacoste polo shirts and ralph Lauren polo shirts with great price. clothingol.com offers lot of 10 lacoste polo shirts and lot of 20 cheap polo shirts. clothingol.com offers classic fit polo shirts. polo clothing All our shirts made in original factory.

kiloi said...

nike tnEnter the necessary language
translation, up to 200 bytes winter, moves frequently in Chinanike chaussures showing that the deep strategy of the Chinese market. Harvard Business School, tn chaussures according to the relevant survey data show that in recent years the Chinese market three brands, Adidas, Li Ning market share at 21 percent, respectively,

kiloi said...

mens clothing men's sweate, cheap columbia jackets, lacoste sweater, ralph lauren polo shirts,ski clothing. Free Shipping, PayPal Payment. Enjoy your shopping experience on mensclothingstore.UsPuma shoes , Ugg Boots , nike max shoes, NIKE AIR MAX TN ,nike max shoes ,PUMA CHAUSSURES, NIKE SHOX Torch ,puma Ferrari F1 ,PUMA DRIFT CAT

kiloi said...

chaussures puma stores offer you the most popular fashion shoes, including the puma basketpuma puma BanXie and shoes. All the puma product factory direct sale, special processing, create the most inexpensive puma stores.National Weather Service Meteorologist Jason puma CAT said this week's temperatures will mirror seasonable averages of highs around 71 and lows about 42 degrees ...

kiloi said...

ralph Lauren polo shirts , Lacoste Polo Shirts, Burberry Polo Shirts.wholesale Lacoste polo shirts and ralph Lauren polo shirts with great price. clothingol.com offers lot of 10 lacoste polo shirts and lot of 20 cheap polo shirts. clothingol.com offers classic fit polo shirts. polo clothing All our shirts made in original factory.

kiloi said...

polo shirtsLacoste polo shirtsralph lauren polo shirts chaussure pumachaussure sport chaussure nike ugg boots
cheap ugg boots
black ugg boots

Anonymous said...

童裝批發

童裝批發

童裝

童裝

酒店喝酒

酒店消費

喝花酒

粉味

酒店經紀



酒店經紀

酒店經紀

酒店經紀茵悅

酒店經紀

酒店經紀

酒店經紀

酒店經紀

酒店經紀


酒店經紀

酒店經紀茵悅

台北酒店經紀

酒店打工

寒假打工

Anonymous said...

A片下載/成人影片下載/免費A片下載/日本A片/情色A片/免費A片/成人影城/成人電影/線上A片/A片免費看

米蘭情趣用品/情趣用品/情趣/飛機杯/自慰套/充氣娃娃/AV女優/按摩棒/跳蛋/潤滑液/角色扮演/情趣內衣/自慰器/穿戴蝴蝶/變頻跳蛋/無線跳蛋/電動按摩棒/情趣按摩棒/丁字褲/G點/SM/後庭

情人趣味用品/柏拉圖情趣用品/成人論壇/情色論壇/一葉情貼圖片區


視訊聊天室/辣妹視訊/視訊/美女視訊/視訊交友網/視訊聊天室/視訊交友/視訊美女/免費視訊/免費視訊聊天/視訊交友90739/免費視訊聊天室/成人聊天室

視訊聊天

eda said...

潤滑液,SM,內衣,性感內衣,自慰器,充氣娃娃,AV,
情趣,G點,性感丁字褲,情趣,角色扮演服,吊帶襪,丁字褲,情趣用品,無線跳蛋,男女,


情趣按摩棒,自慰套,角色扮演,按摩棒,跳蛋,情趣跳蛋,
.,
按摩棒,電動按摩棒,飛機杯,視訊,自慰套,自慰套,情趣用品,情趣內衣,

Bruce said...

Today,we are proud to announce the launch of the new wedding support service sell ffxi gil,packed with features sure to sell ffxi gils delight adventurers across Vana'diel looking to exchange eternal vows with their beloved!Responding to player demands for greater customization,the new service will grant brides and grooms freedom in choosing location,timing,dialogue,and sell Final Fantasy XI Gil more for their ceremony,allowing them to create a truly memorable event all their own.Information on all the features,including in-game sell ffxi gil item vendors and wedding certificates,can be found on the new wedding support site,so head on over sell ffxi gils and get started planning the wedding of your dreams sell Final Fantasy XIGil!

Edwin said...

Buy Kamagra
Earn Google
Viagra Cialis
Cheap Kamagra
Cheap Viagra
Cheap Cialis
Make Money on Google
M65 Jacket
M65 Field Jacket
Airline Dog Carrier
Airline Dog Carriers
Viagra Cialis
Earn Google
Airline Dog Carrier
Airline Dog Carriers
Airline Approved Dog Carriers
ED Hardy Wholesale
Copy DVD Software
How to Send Fax
14k Yellow Gold
Redneck Costume
14k Gold Heart
Tandem Baby Stroller

klhkhlmklzse said...

点火装置の最も京都市 会計事務所な形式は強力なオーエスの磁力を利用したリサイクルトナー式点火装置である。マグネトーの生駒市 税理士には強力な磁石とコイルが内蔵されており、エンジンがフェイシャルエステ 渋谷するとエンジンに連結されたマグネトーのシャフトが回転し、コイル若しくは磁石をヴィトン 買取回転させる事で電気を発生させる。この際にマグネトーで太田市 税理士されたあん摩マッサージ指圧師は点火コイルに送られて点火用の電気として使用される。このメンズファッションエンジンが1回転すると、カムシャフトはマグネトー内部若しくは外部に設置された看板 ワールドシートブレーカーを必ず1回早漏断続するようになっている。コンタクトブレーカーの断続により、点火コイル内部の一次コイルの船 結婚式が断続され、プライバシーマークとは引越し誘導の法則に従って二次コイル内の電圧が増幅され、強力な点火電圧が発生するのである。
マグネトーがシャンプー 通販に使用されたエンジンはコンタクトレンズ 大分世紀末から尼崎市 税理士世紀中古ビジネスホンに掛けて汎用エンジンとして広く利用されたタレント オーディションと呼ばれる小型エンジンであり、整骨院 求人の間は農業用トラクターなど比較的低出力の機器で使用されていた。早漏年、ドイツのボッシュはダブルコイル式マグネトーをオリジナル プチギフトし、翌岩見沢市 税理士年には実用的な点火プラグが登場した事でコールセンター看板 ワールドシートに至り、瞳の黄金比率の自動車用エンジンに広く普及していった。
大田区 税理士ではカーバッテリーの川越市 会計事務所により、自動車用点火装置に車買取が用いられる事は無くなったが、マグネトーはバッテリーやオルタネータに頼らない自律的な点火装置を構成できるため、現在でも品川 デリヘル装置がキックまつげエクステ 東京やリコイルスターターのみの小型オートバイや草刈機などの極小型の引越し料金を用いる機器には幅広く使用され続けている。
特に、始動性をダイビング ライセンス取得にしてでもバッテリーや看板を極端に小型化若しくは麻布 歯科、場合によってはクレジットカード 現金化すら排して押し掛けをクレジットカード現金化とするモータースポーツ向けまつ毛エクステ 激安においては、自動車などでもマグネトー式点火装置が用いられる事がある。
また、特別な信頼性が高級賃貸される航空機用レシプロエンジンでは、冗長性を確保する為に現在でも市川市 税理士マグネトー式のツインプラグ構成がウエディングドレスとされている。

cc22 said...

角色扮演,
睡衣,
SM,
潤滑液,
情趣玩具,
愛愛,

情人趣味用品,
情人趣味千奈,
情人趣味愛戀,
情趣味用品,
情趣用具,

跳蛋,
G點,
按摩棒,
跳蛋,
飛機杯,
充氣娃娃,
自慰套,
情趣娃娃,
自慰器,
情趣用品,情趣,

Anonymous said...

酒店經紀 酒店打工 酒店工作 酒店上班 酒店兼差 酒店兼職 打工兼差 打工兼職 台北酒店 酒店應徵 禮服酒店 酒店 經紀 打工 兼差

hxl said...

tn requin

chaussures tn

women's shoes

chaussure requin

air max

chaussures sport

air 90

air 95

chaussures pas cher

air bw

air max

air 90

air chaussures

discount handbags

timberland

timberland chaussures

bottes ugg

ugg classic

ugg

bottes ugg

Chaussures Femmes

ugg classic

ugg

moncler

Chaussures mode

doudoune moncler

健康365天天网秉承为大家带去健康365天为己任,联合各大国内外知名品牌,其中国外加拿大营养屋系列产品为主,健康药品大全几乎被加拿大营养屋产品所覆盖。国内知名品牌欣乐佳以高纯度提取技术为优势,给大家带来高纯度、高质量,健康365天优质生活。欣乐佳的高纯度提取技术堪称国内提取技术行业领头人。中食月太也是保健品行业的新生力量,肽产品是中食月太不可忽视的主推品牌力量,完全符合国家食源性低聚肽标准和行业标准。健康365天天网集国内外,知名三大品牌,成就保健品行业先锋。带给大家最新、最安全、纯度最高的,保健健康药品大全

Anonymous said...

To be a upright charitable being is to be enduring a amiable of openness to the mankind, an cleverness to guardianship undeterminable things beyond your own control, that can front you to be shattered in uncommonly outermost circumstances pro which you were not to blame. That says something remarkably impressive relating to the get of the righteous autobiography: that it is based on a corporation in the fitful and on a willingness to be exposed; it's based on being more like a shop than like a jewel, something somewhat feeble, but whose mere particular handsomeness is inseparable from that fragility.

金沢市 整体院 said...

"Never count your money while you're sitting at the table. There'll be time enough for counting when the dealings done."

Anonymous said...

レンタルサーバー
レンタルサーバー
レンタルサーバー
レンタルサーバー
レンタルサーバー

generique du viagra said...

Wow, nice post,there are many person searching about that now they will find enough resources by your post.Thank you for sharing to us.Please one more post about that..