Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Mapping Agile Success

So, I am wondering if Agile successful adoption levels have been mapped. When I say mapped, I mean mapped in two dimensions, Value Stream Mapping and Momentum Mapping (R. Ryan Nelson and Karen J. Jansen (University of Virginia) MIS Quarterly Executive – September 2009).

I am not a Lean expert, but from what I know, delivering projects via waterfall creates waste, mainly due to "partial work done." Delivering incremental value reduces waste, but by how much? Can this be mapped?

VSM (Coarse-grained)
1. First, VSM the the current waterfall delivery processes, indicating waste points.
2. Next, over time, adopt an Agile methodology.
3. Finally, re-map your delivery methodology under the new Agile processes. Shouldn't the second VSM now show less waste?

Perhaps this is a good place to start: The Art of Lean Software Development: A Practical and Incremental Approach

Granted this is a contrived example, but if Agile delivers value incrementally, before and after VSMs should be able to show the decrease in waste and increase in value.

Understanding value streams is all fine and good, but to me Agile is also very dependent on the team positivity or negativity. How they perceived the progress of the sprint or project can drive how they are open to adopting or adapting to Agile. Emotional Seismographs (Esther Derby) can be used to map "...how people responded to events....and provides clues on where the real juice is for a particular project community..." These seismographs are also know as Momentum Maps.

So between the two mapping methods, we can get an reading on waste-removal and value-added as well as how well our teams are adjusting and implementing Agile.

There is more to come on this topic as I work through the mechanics of these two techniques.

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