Little’s Law

What is Little’s Law?

During the mid of the 1900s, John little presented a law which is clearly related to business community. In this law, he presented that the company have equal ratio between the multiplication of rate of the customer arrivals by the time which a customer spends and regular number of customers of company, it is called Little’s law.

Its commonly used expression is L = λW, which is explained like this,

  • “L” shows the average number of customers,
  • “λ” is denoted for the customers arrival average and
  • “W” is for time which customer spends in the system.

When the number of customers are increasing in a system and the arrival rate remains constant then average time of the customer will be increasing in the system. Simply we can say that when the number of customers is increased it means that the time required to serve each of them is also increased.

How is it used in Kanban?

If little’s law is used in Kanban it make sense and relationship between, average number of customers, average rate of customers and time spent by the customers in the system.

If customers arrive at the rate of 10 per hour, staying average is 0.5 per hour. Find the average number of customers in the system.
Here, λ= 10, W= o.5 then L=?

L= λ*W
L=10*0.5
L=5

There are different terms use in Kanban according to the Little’s law. The most common term WIP, Work in Progress is used.

WIP= rate of customers * spending time by customers, here WIP=L

The number of items on which team is working is denoted as WIP. In Kanban different things can be taken as a measurement unit such as, situations, cards, stories related users and more.

Why it matters?

Any system that mean waiting time then Little’s Law can be used there, in the real world situations measurement of inflow is difficult than measurement of outflow.  This is a general formula and its generality makes it easy to use and to be in different time related situations.

— Slimane Zouggari

Kantree

If you are looking for a user friendly data base for project management then Kantree is the best visual project management tool for you. The team can adapt it very easily as it work to allow all the teams in the company to work together so that the project’s success rate is increased. All kinds of projects can be managed with ease as all the information is shared so the team can process it without any hassle.

How does it work?

Teams can communicate with each other and they get a clear idea of everything that is going on around the company and they can communicate with each other on how to improve the efficiency of the teams for the betterment of the company.

This exceptional tool increase the participation of different teams in a project and thus the managers can resolve other issues coming in the way of project so taking the company to new heights.

Features

Let us have a look on the features of Kantree and the benefits you will get when using this amazing tool:

  1. It is a planning tool as you know that project management needs historical data to know the future of that project, now with Kantree it is easy to make decisions for the future of the projects by analyzing the history of the previous projects. We all know that all the projects are different from each other but this tool is customized to fulfill all the needs that are required in project management. User freedom is provided by this tool so that the user can specify and organize multiple projects.
  2. Project can be analyzed in different formats and angles, as it can be done by checking it in different views. After searching through the cards, the user can filter them immediately; moreover there is a list view that will allow the manager to do planning of the project.
  3. By using this tool you will be able to cooperate and collaborate with many users real time.
  4. It supports French and English.

Competitors

Redmine and Trello comes as the competitors of Kantree, but Kantree with astounding features managed to stand out.

— Slimane Zouggari

Kanban – classes of services

What are classes of Services in Kanban?

Kanban is a board by which company’s agile development, set their goals and services and categorizes them into different classes.

In this context, Kanban has different classes of specific services that are change and unique to each other.

When we classify the services in different categories, then it becomes easy to understand and implement. It is beneficial to divide the work according to its urgency and its impact on the line of business. By doing this team of the company workers can do their project with more reliability and validity.

More often these classes of service are based on delivery time, cost of products, quantity and standards.

Why it matters?

Well, there are tickets which have classes of service that help in progress the tasks that are found on the board. We need to identify the most important tasks and need to do them first as they are needed to be done first. After selecting the tasks the time required to process a task and then all the issues in the task are resolved and the task is processed further. This is all you get when you are using the classes of services in Kanban board.

How is it used?

When the work items on which the team needs to work are distinguished on the basis of priority, then we can say that this is the class or services in Kanban. These items are treated according to the urgency then the team can make the reliable forecasts and the time frame in which the order needs to be delivered can be set so that it can be done in time.

This class of service is actually based on the risk information about the economic impact of the work item that can it be delayed or not.

Benefits

  • The flow of work can be improved
  • Delivery deadlines met
  • Effective work
  • Issues solved

It is clear that classes of services in Kanban ought to be used for effective work and less load on the team.

— Slimane Zouggari

Why limiting the WIP

Limiting the WIP (work in progress) means that it restricts the maximum amount of the items on which we are working in the Kanban board in order to set the workflow. If you are working on multiple items at a time then you should limit the WIP it will allow you to complete the single items in no time, eventually it will help the team to focus on the current going tasks and work effectively.

Now, when you are limiting the WIP then they can work effectively and their work processes can be enhanced for good. These limits are actually considered beneficial for the deadlines as it will be easy to meet the deadlines for the products, production rate will be increase likewise.

Benefits

We can say that limiting WIP is a valuable asset when working with the Kanban board. Let us have a look on the benefits more closely:

  • When we are talking about agile development then limiting the WIP can help to make the identification of inefficiency easier, and the team’s workflow can be managed easily.
  • We can see the improvement in the end product
  • Smaller set of tasks can be done more efficiently by the team.
  • The bottlenecks and the blockers become more visible.
  • The issues that were a hurdle or were blocking can be understood by the teams and they can resolve them accordingly.
  • Flow of work is attained when the blockers are removed
  • The focus on the tasks is increased and task switching is reduced
  • When the customers are getting the items on time, then increased feedback will be noticed from the customers.
  • If the team is working smoothly on Kanban board from left to right and they are facing less overload of work then the efficiency of work is increased

No doubt, limiting the WIP is an imperative tool in the agile development and no one can deny its importance in Kanban board. There are a lot of benefits of limiting the word in progress and the work can be more effective in this way so it is recommended that you should limit the work in progress whenever needed.

— Slimane Zouggari

How to read a CFD?

The Cumulative Flow Diagram, alternatively known as the CFD, is an excellent tool to determine and forecast pending projects. You can consider using it to determine the current status of the project, the percentage of work completed, its current progress, and the pending work stored in the backlog. You can read a CFD by understanding a Cumulative Flow chart, which is geared towards learning the issues in a project, cycle time of the project, and the probable completion dates of the projects. In addition, the CFD is also crucial for identifying the occurrence of bottlenecks in a project.

The above given diagram is a representation of a CFD, and it has highlighted the occurrence of tasks in individualistic stage of the process, which grows further with the passage of time. The color band represents each task in different column on a board. As apparent from the given diagram, it is apparent that the navy and blue areas indicate the incomplete tasks, the red area signifies the work in progress, and the purple area is a representation for the finished tasks.
When observing the CFD, it is highly imperative to pay heed to the red area, if it is subjected to a change with time, it shows the presence of bottlenecks in a project, which signifies that the project is more likely to be delayed.
In addition to that, the process of reading a CFD is comparatively simple and straightforward. The vertical axis given in the diagram represents the number of tasks associated with a project, and the horizontal line represents the timeline of the project. The occurrence of the curves in the diagrams indicates the number of items given in a timely perspective. The entire settings of the curves and axis are represented in a cumulative manner.
The use of reading a CFD is geared towards visualizing the process of the project and workflow across the time. This process could be utilized to score a customer-valued related work, which is furthermore inclusive of scrum and product development teams in an agile industry. In addition, familiarizing yourself with reading a CFD pertains to learning the significance of various areas of the diagrams, and the corresponding factors which influences it.

— Slimane Zouggari

STATIK

STATIK is an acronym for System Thinking Approach to Implementing Kanban. If you are considering implementing Kanban in your organization, you are required to familiarize yourself with the workability of the system prior to its execution in the organization. STATIK is a method of learning the workability and functionality of the system as a whole rather than analyzing its components individually.

Prior to the implementation of STATIK, you are required to introduce the facets of Kanban in your organization. The arrangement of the steps are independent of a sequence but, these steps unlock the next step to exhibit in a collaborative manner.

How Does it Work?

The application of STATIK is limited to one service; however, if you are considering adding more services, you are required to take Kanban practices to equate the demand and flow across the manifold services, which are improved over the course of time. However, you can go through the given steps to learn the workability of STATIK in an organization:

Analyzing the capability

In this step, the historical data regarding the service delivery is studied, and it is studied in accordance with lead time and quality. It is also studied in conformation to the regulatory standards or requirements that occurs during the process. In addition, it also takes the functional and non-functional quality of the data into its consideration.

Modeling the workflow

In this step, it is believed that the workflow modeling should be carried out individually for each type of a work item. It is highly significant to consider to the individualistic value of workflow, and it should not be intertwined with its counterparts like Gemba Walk techniques or Value Stream Mapping. Working in a professional setting requires Kanban to develop and model a workflow that is geared towards the STATIK approach for its accomplishment in an organization.

Designing the kanban system and negotiating its implementation in the organization:

A Kanban system compromises of four essential elements, which are the Kanban system, its corresponding Kanban, the design of the ticket, the design of the board, and adjustment to existing meetings. It also includes introducing new facets to adjust the Kanban Cadences, the feedback loops, to complete the design of the system.

In addition, for completing the design of the Kanban system, there is a requirement for implementing a workflow model which caters to various types of work, classes of service, and the state of work required for discovering latest information.

The inclusion of STATIK method motivates the collaborative workshops to indulge in the formation of the Kanban boards and systems in the organization, which correspondingly results in its design prepared for implementation in the organization.

— Slimane Zouggari

Kanbanize

Do you work in a team or a group? DO you want to improve the efficiency of your work? Various agile methodologies, especially kanban, are becoming more and more popular.
Have you ever heard about the kanban method before? Most people have not. But even if you never heard about it, you probably hung color papers out in your workplace with current work tasks. If so, you are already a little familiar with the classical method of project management called kanban.
When you work in a team, no matter how many people you work with, each of them has an own task list and simultaneously works on several tasks, projects or with several clients. Kanban methodology allows you and your company to systematize work, achieve the greatest efficiency and reduce costs.
Nowadays, we cannot imagine the project manager drawing graphs on the wall and fixing cards to it. Instead, there are services providing the kanban boards online. One of the services is Kanbanize. Let’s review its capabilities.

What is Kanbanize
Kanbanize is an online tool for managing tasks and projects, employees and shared interface features. Kanbanize allows you to balance the working process, keep time management and assess the staff. And also create several permissions, establishing a hierarchy within all team. Plus, you can print and export data to Excel, even create graphs and charts for analysis.
Kanbanize is known for its powerful analytics module and several diagrams with automatic filling. Kanbanize supports aggregate flow, cycle time, task distribution, and much more.

Key Kanbanize features:
● Privileges and roles of every user in a team.
● Mobile applications for Android and iOS.
● Statuses of tasks, for example, to do, in progress, done.
● The system is based on WIP (work in progress).
● Custom fields in tasks, so you are able to add everything you need.
● Reminders and notifications to ensure you and your colleagues do everything in time.
● Daily backup to prevent data loss.
● Technical online and phone support.
● Relations between tasks.
● Runtime policy — create your own rules for each project.
● Email integration.
● Timesheets and event log.
● HTTPS access.
● Custom domains.
● Dedicated cloud capabilities.
● A lot of free training and teaching materials.
● VPN access through Amazon VPC.
● LDAP integration.
● Kanban boards to modify your project in the most efficient way.
● Comments and metrics.
● Schedule in Excel.
● Branding managing.
● The colors of tasks, terms, and executors.
● Task templates.
● Complete task history.
● Attachments from your local PC and Dropbox.
● Export search results to Excel.
● Work in Helpdesk mode by e-mail.
● Solutions for lean project management, IT operations, software and product development, as well as agile marketing.
● Flexible plans.

Competitors
Trello is one of the most popular project management systems online, which is in high demand among small companies and startups. It allows you to organize your work effectively with kanban boards. The tool has a simple interface, provides almost unlimited free access, is very convenient and is able to integrate with other popular tools.
YouTrack. A task management system designed specifically for teams of programmers, developers, companies which use the agile project management method. Capabilities: time management, kanban boards, flexible reports with graphs and diagrams, customization and commenting on tasks.
Zoho Sprints. Web-based platform for agile planning in teamwork. Capabilities: backlog management, kanban board, time management, Gantt chart, sprint management, event tape, schedule, meeting management. There is a free plan for 5 users and 5 projects.

— Slimane Zouggari

Scrumban

What is Srumban?

Scrumban claims to be an Agile management technology that describes hybrids particularly of Scrum as well as Kanban. It was originally designed specifically as a method to transition precisely from Scrum to Kanban.

Nowadays Scrumban is a management framework which comes up when teams use Scrum in the form of their selected way of working moreover employ the Kanban Method in the form of a lens through which they can view, understand as well as keep on improving how they work.

The history of Scrumban

As the Kanban method actually was becoming more popular, then Scrumban was formed as a way to make it simpler and easier for present Scrum teams to start exploring Lean as well as Kanban concepts.

It can be seen that the first article concerning Scrumban that employs the spelling “Scrum-ban,” explains some levels to transition particularly from Scrum to Kanban.

Scrumban is actually distinct from Scrum precisely in the way that it emphasizes some various principles as well as practices which are majorly different particularly from Scrum’s traditional foundation. Scrumban is also distinct specifically from the Kanban Method.

The principles, as well as practices that are embedded within Scrumban, claim not to be unique when it comes to the software development procedure. You should know that they may be easily applied in some different contexts, giving a common language as well as shared experience present across interrelated business functions.

It has been claimed that this, in turn, may enhance the type of organizational alignment which is an important characteristic when it comes to success.

How it works, advantages and limitations

In Scrumban, it has been said that the teamwork is organised in small iterations moreover monitored with the aid of a visual board, this is similar to Scrum as well as Kanban boards. When it comes to illustrating each stage of the work, teams that are working particularly in the same space usually employ post-it notes. A large whiteboard may also be used.

When it comes to decentralized teams, it has been claimed that visual management software like Assembla, Targetprocess, Eylean Board, Agilo for Trac or even JIRA are usually employed.

Planning meetings are held to settle what user stories actually to complete particularly in the next iteration. After this, the user stories get added to the board moreover the team completes them, with the team functioning upon as few user stories in one time as is practical (i.e., the work-in-progress, or also WIP, limit).

To allow iterations to remain short, WIP limits get used. A planning trigger tends to be set in place particularly for the team to be able to have an idea when to plan next, i.e., when WIP tends to fall under a predetermined level.

You should know that no predefined roles are present in Scrumban. The team stays with the roles that they already possess.

The advantages include:

● Quality
● The benefit of just-in-time whereby decisions, as well as facts, are present precisely when needed
● Short lead time
● Kaizen (i.e. continuous improvement)
● Limiting waste (i.e. everything which is not giving value to the customer)
● It is said to provide process improvement particularly by adding some values specifically of Scrum. This is as and when required

Disadvantages

The disadvantages of Scrum includes:

● It needs an experienced team
● There are time expenses
● Scrum does not possess a defined end date.
● The Scrum estimation claims to be one of the toughest as well as wasteful parts

The disadvantages of Kanban includes:

● Less effective precisely in shared-resource situations
● Inflexible in demand changes along with product mix
● Variability elimination
● Production flow

— Slimane Zouggari

Lead time vs Cycle time

In terms of software development for Kanban, both the lead time and measuring cycle are very essential. However, most people are confused about their definitions. Sometimes, they are even mistaken on how to use them for process improvement. Using these two vital metrics interchangeably can lead to a serious problem such as failure to analyze the process as a whole.

What is lead time and cycle time in Kanban?

In cases that you don’t clearly understand the idea of the two and their relationship, it is necessary for you to have a basis or reference of knowledge for your benefit. Lead time and cycle time are used today for measuring the capacity of a project or process to be completed within a given period of time. Majority of project systems take advantage of the level of productivity that project managers can get out of.

What are the differences?

For those who get some confusion about the meaning of cycle and lead time, here’s what you have to understand. Cycle time is the process itself. It is the mechanical measurement of the entire process. Meanwhile, the lead time is dependent on the customer and to what they see.

The clock of the lead time starts to count the moment that a request is made and stops once the delivery is scheduled. On the other hand, cycle time begins to count once the work starts on the request made or when the request is now being processed. The cycle time will only stops by the time that the item is prepared for delivery.

Say for example, you are working in a maintenance team and you rely on time for measuring your production within the day. Let’s assume that it is a ticket system like Jira. The time that you will count is between the ticket was created and was live. The whole span of time between the two is the lead time. In some cases, lead time may be spent in 100 days without getting into account the number of hours that worked to fix any problem in the ticket system. Take note, lead time is not the effort but it is the time itself.

Cycle time is defined as the time from which you started the work of fixing the problem until reaching the ticket live. Don’t ever think that the cycle time is the effort exerted on the project. What is important for you to remember is that the lead time is longer than the cycle time. It cannot be shorter at any manner. Most commonly, the lead time always grow larger and longer.

If you are dealing with system development or any kind of project, you should learn how to effectively use these metrics to get the most out of them. By the time that you fully understand how they work, you are sure of managing every project at stake. It matters that you have complete comprehension of how these metrics are used in the field.

— Slimane Zouggari

Why use Kanban boards

The Kanban board is a work and workflow visualization tool allowing people to customize their work flow. There is a physical Kanban board, which commonly uses sticky notes on a whiteboard for the communication of progress, status, and issues. There is also an online Kanban board, which draws upon a whiteboard metaphor using a software.

Kanban boards are offering a way to visually manage your work. If you have used a sticky note to get yourself reminded about something that you need to do, you are using visual management. This type of management enables the team to see works in progress and understand the complicated information like task relationships, processes, and risks with relation to the capability of a team to complete the work on time.

  • Flexible: Using Kanban boards is as easy as writing a sticky note and posting it to a whiteboard, so that anyone will be able to use them for any purpose. This method serves as a guidelines about how to use a kanban board, but there are lots of people who are using this do not follow this methodology. As a user of kanban board, you can find your won method that will work best for you and your certain project.
  • Helps less waste and increase efficiency: A Kanban board has been proven to be the best solution for managers who want to improve the overall efficiency and cut waste. The waste in the world of business may take on some forms, such as defects, motion, inventory, overproduction, non-value-added process, transportation, under-utilizing people, and waiting.
  • Visual: Humans are visual creatures, and so we find it easy to process information with a visual aid than without any. Because of this, a Kanban board will be a perfect tool for helping teams to instantly see and understand all parts of a project, which is popularly known as a visual management.
  • Helpful in team collaboration: People how have ever managed a project may appreciate the effectiveness of having to use a Kanban board as the best way of collaborating. Many project managers may spend less time to communicate status updates through kanban boards because the boards are creating transparency.
  • Easy to use: if you are using sticky notes on a whiteboard for planning and prioritizing your work, you will be able to hit the ground running with an online kanban board. You can create cards in a matter of seconds and you can move them around the board with simple drag and drop.

How does it works

“Kanban” is a Japanese term, which means signboard. The process to implement a Kanban board is by breaking down the tasks into logical categories, which is usually referred to as a workflow, which is categorized in 3 steps:

  1. In-progress step
  2. Queue
  3. Completed step

Every step has limited number of work items assigned, and it is determined by the workflow manager. The card (represented as the work) is added in the queue step, pulled in the in-progress step, and moved to the final step to be completed. It is as easy as 1,2,3 but very effective.

Do not spend all your time looking for information. With kanban board, all the answers to your questions will be found on the board.

— Slimane Zouggari