Conference PaperPDF Available

Process Efficiency - Adapting Flow to the Agile Improvement Effort

Authors:
Process Efficiency Adapting Flow to the Agile Improvement Effort
Frank Verbruggen Jeff Sutherland Jan Martijn van der Werf Sjaak Brinkkemper Alex Sutherland
Hi Efficiency Scrum Inc. University Utrecht University Utrecht Scrum Inc.
feamar@icloud.com jeff@scruminc.com j.m.e.m.vanderwerf@uu.nl s.brinkkemper@uu.nl alex@scruminc.com
Abstract
In Scrum, we measure performance using
velocity. However, the velocity of one team cannot be
compared to the velocity of another, since it is a
relative measure that is only of meaning to the team
using it. So can we objectively measure the
performance of teams?
Measuring Value Added Time as a percentage of
Total Time is a metric that is used in Lean
Manufacturing to help get a better understanding of
production processes and optimize those processes.
This paper introduces an adaptation of this
metric to the Agile environment. Giving teams an
objective insight into their efficiency helps them
optimize their efficiency and compare themselves to
other teams. This adapted metric is called Process
Efficiency and is comparable across teams,
technologies, and domains of practice.
1. Introduction
Efficiency and effectiveness are measures of
how good any entity can deliver value to its clients.
While effectiveness focuses on doing the right thing,
efficiency is focused on how quick that value is
delivered. Faster delivery lowers the cost of
production in many environments. A small reduction
in cost can produce a significant gain in profitability.
It can also increase effectiveness. The Chief
engineers at Toyota drive 95% of the profitability by
(1) designing a highly desirable product and (2)
designing for low cost to increase market penetration
[1]. In this paper, we focus on efficiency as a driver
for delivering value to customers.
In the context of this paper, we define being
efficient to mean having a low amount of waste in the
production process. So, an increase in efficiency is
directly linked to a decrease of waste. Waste is
defined as any activity that does not add value to the
product. Focusing on efficiency in this way is at the
core of the Toyota Production System [2].
Whilst focusing on effectiveness is very
important, in teams with very low efficiency
focusing on efficiency could drive production up by a
factor of up to 2098 [3]. This means that focusing on
efficiency could be the difference between delivering
value in 1 day or 6 years.
To give development teams insight into their
efficiency, this paper introduces a metric called
Process Efficiency and it is defined within the Scrum
way of work [4]. Scrum derives from observations of
Lean hardware teams [5]. Process Efficiency is
derived from a standard metric used for decades in
Lean Manufacturing - value-added work time divided
by clock time [6].
In practice, Process Efficiencies exceed 25% for
processes that have been improved through the use of
Lean methods [6] whereas the average Scrum team
Process Efficiency for completing a Product Backlog
Item is on the order of 5-10% according to polls of
participants in Scrum classes in the U.S. and Europe
[7]. Measuring Process Efficiency can significantly
improve the performance of Scrum teams as it is
directly correlated with increase in team performance
[4]. It also has the advantage of being independent of
teams, technologies, or domain of work.
This paper defines how to measure Process
Efficiency, allowing any Agile team to start using it
right away and gain insight on their productivity. A
previous study at a CMMI Level 5 Scrum company
[4] showed that improving Process Efficiency
doubled productivity. This was enabled with a
checklist that determined whether a story was
“Ready” to be brought into a sprint. Published
research on this effect led to introduction of the
concept of “Ready” in the Scrum Guide [8] and
publication of a pattern called “Definition of Ready”
by ScrumPlop.org [9].
The remainder of this paper is structured as
follows. Based on a discussion of the current
situation in Section 2 and an analysis of the problem
in Section 3 we define the metric Process Efficiency
and how to calculate it. Section 4 defines how to
measure and calculate Process Efficiency. Initial
measurements on Process Efficiency, presented in
section 5 allows teams to study their production
process. Section 6 lays out future steps to enable this.
We conclude the paper with some final thoughts.
Proceedings of the 52nd Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences | 2019
URI: hps://hdl.handle.net/10125/60134
ISBN: 978-0-9981331-2-6
(CC BY-NC-ND 4.0) Page 6981
2. The current situation
Both governments and companies invest heavily
in their development efforts. They spend large
amounts of their budget on development of better
services and products for their customers and
civilians. The forecast for IT spending worldwide in
2018 is $3700B [10], about 4.4% of global GDP.
Getting maximum value from such investments is in
the interest of companies and society alike.
There are big differences in the productivity of
development teams. Some data suggests that the
difference in efficiency between an efficient team and
an inefficient team can be as much as a factor of
2098, although a more realistic range might be to a
factor of 310 [3].
Using only velocity [11], it is difficult to know
how efficient you are as a team as compared to other
teams. Velocities of different teams are not
comparable. This is because velocity is measured in
story points, and every team can assign their own
unique meaning to what a story point is and signifies.
Therefore, velocity cannot give insight in the
efficiency of a team as compared to other teams nor
can it directly point out how to increase velocity.
Many optimization efforts focus on improving
velocity [9]. However velocity is a relative metric.
Consequently, if efficiency is low, a relatively high
optimization in velocity still yields low waste
reduction, and thus low Process Efficiency.
Consider a team that is improving its velocity by
10%. If it is a very inefficient team with 99.9%
waste, then waste reduction is only 0.01%. On the
other hand, a very efficient team with 60% waste,
reduces waste by 4%. In both cases velocity is
increased by 10%. However the difference is a factor
of 400. Consequently, using only velocity as a metric
does not provide enough insight to improve their
production process. Therefore, we need an additional
metric that gives more insight into team efficiency.
Process Efficiency as a metric can help both
beginning and advanced teams. For beginning teams,
in order to understand how well they are doing, they
need to be able to compare their own efficiency to
that of others. For a more advanced team, in order to
further improve their process, they need to have an
absolute measure to know where in the process they
still can improve.
3. Understanding what is wrong
That we are experiencing low efficiency stems
from a misconception. We assume that high
efficiency is achieved by maximizing the utilization
of all the parts. This idea is called resource utilization
maximization and it is applied throughout society
[12].
Because being efficient means having low waste
in your production process, let’s take a look at
resources utilization maximization from the
perspective of a single feature that needs to finish.
Consider the following example. BizzCorp, a
supplier of a CRM solution CustomerFirst, has a
team that is fully dedicated to maintaining
CustomerFirst. Elizabeth, a customer, has informed
BizzCorp about a bug in CustomerFirst.
The maintenance team does daily standups every
morning, and during the daily standup they discuss
what to do during the day, since they all want to be
working.
Figure 1: Inefficient process
Early that day, the bug is being reported by
Elisabeth. About 4 hours later, the Product Owner
checks the bug, and decides that it needs to be fixed.
All the developers are busy with the work they took
in during the daily standup, so no one can take the
task, and they decide that it will be postponed to the
day after.
The developer fixes the bug in 5 minutes of
coding, and then wants to pass it on to the tester. The
tester has already been fully booked for the day
though, so testing will be postponed to the day after.
Testing also takes 5 minutes and after approving the
team decides to deploy it the day after, because the
deployer was fully booked. Then finally can
Elizabeth can get value from a bug free product
again.
The problem in this example and so many others,
is that by maximizing the utilization of resources,
these resources work together in a poor way. And
queue’s and wait times start to appear.
Page 6982
Figure 2: Efficient process
Instead, focusing on throughput maximization
i.e. finishing stories as soon as possible results in
better efficiency from the user’s/client’s perspective.
To do anything and everything to make sure that a
story spends as little time in progress as possible, so
that Elizabeth has to wait the shortest time possible to
get her bug fixed.
So the waste in this process is 31 hours and 40
minutes. And while in this example Elizabeth gets
her value in 4 days, she could have also gotten it in
20 minutes. Had the team worked together in an
efficient way, like in figure 2, they would have
delivered value 95 times faster.
Lean Manufacturing uses this knowledge and
focuses on elimination of waste to improve Process
Efficiency [13].
4. Process Efficiency
This section introduces the Process Efficiency
metric and how teams can measure it. It is a relative
metric on a scale from 0 to 100% that can be used to
do absolute comparisons. The 0% efficiency
represents products that never go to production,
where a 100% means complete uninterrupted focus
from start to end on adding value for the customer.
Process Efficiency is interesting for any development
team that wants to improve on their performance. It
adapts a metric that is well known in Lean
Manufacturing. It does so in a way that is natural for
Agile teams by giving teams insight in the amount of
time that they are adding value and the amount of
time they are wasting. In this section, we define the
elements a team needs to measure to calculate their
Process Efficiency for user stories.
The goal of introducing Process Efficiency in
development teams is to reduce throughput time for
stories and create focus on more rapidly fulfilling the
needs of the customers of those teams. In this way,
Process Efficiency fits well with teams that focus on
Throughput Maximization, instead of Resource
Utilization Maximization. As desired side effects,
Process Efficiency promotes swarming [9] and doing
detailed analysis on the waste in the development
process.
4A. Measuring Process Efficiency
To help teams reduce waste and improve their
delivery speed, they need to focus on measuring and
optimizing Process Efficiency. Process Cycle
Efficiency is a metric that comes from Lean
Manufacturing, and it describes the relative amount
of time spent on adding value vs. not adding value to
the product (or story). From [6] we get that Process
Cycle Efficiency= Value Added Time / Total Lead
Time. We use this definition to mean Process
Efficiency in this paper.
Adapting this to a development environment, we
create a definition for software development teams to
work with. Intuitively, two things have to be
measured by teams to calculate Process Efficiency.
They are:
1. the total time the story was in progress,
ending when the story is successfully put to
production;
2. the total time that the team was prohibited
from adding value to the story.
The first metric is Cycle Time. Cycle Time
represents the total amount of time spent on realizing
the story. Cycle Time is measured in hours, and only
working hours count. So, work starting on Friday at 4
PM and ending at Monday at 10 AM has a Cycle
Time of 2 hours (assuming a 9 AM to 5 PM working
days).
To calculate Cycle Time, teams must keep track
of when they start work on the story and when it’s in
production.
Cycle Time: The total time the story was in
progress, measured in working hours. Calculated as:
Time Story In Production Time Start of Story
The second metric is Interruption Time.
Interruption Time represents the sum of all the times
that the team got interrupted from adding value to
their story. Interruption Time is also measured in
hours, and only working hours count, similar to
Cycle Time.
The reason to use interruption time instead of
trying to measure value added time is twofold. First
of all, either one of these metrics is good enough,
Page 6983
they simply add up to the total time. The second
reason is that we observe that people in teams don’t
like to measure strictly when they are working. In our
experience they do like measuring when they are
prohibited from working.
Activities that add value to the story are
considered to be value added time. Activities that do
not add value to the story are considered to be
interrupts.
Since teams consist of many people, it is
possible that at any one time, some people are adding
value, while others are not. If the people that are not
adding value cannot add value at that time, that is not
waste. If however some of the people that can add
value are not adding value, that is considered waste.
An interrupt can therefore be partial, when some
people that could add value are not adding value.
Without proper tools, the amount of effort to measure
this in practice is too high (for teams that were part of
the initial measurements this was reported as a
problem or potential problem).
When approximating partial interrupts, we
propose to measure the length of interrupts by
defining that a team is interrupted when a team
member that can add value to the story isn’t adding
value to the story. As this approximation allows for
less ways to game the system.
To calculate Interruption Time, teams must keep
track of when they are interrupted from adding value
to the story, write down when that interruption started
and write down when they can resume work again.
Examples include, but are not limited to:
1. Meetings;
2. Manual Testing;
3. Manual Deployment;
4. Working on something else than the story;
5. Non Team members that prohibit the team
from adding value (e.g. security checks).
These examples are all potentially time
consuming activities which do not add value to the
story (over their automated counterparts
respectively). Yet these activities are common in the
workplace. Examples 1, 4 and 5 are literally doing
something else than working on the story, while
examples 2 and 3 are activities that do not fit with
today’s standards about Continuous Delivery [14]. If
a team isn’t forced to stop working on a story, but
decides to not work on a story (e.g. because they are
multi-tasking), that counts as interruption time.
Interruption Time: The sum of the time the
team was interrupted. Where each interruption is
measured in working hours. Calculated for each
interruption as:
Time Work ResumedTime Start of Interruption
Because of our definition of interruptions,
whenever a team is not interrupted, they are adding
value to the story. Similar to the Process Cycle
Efficiency in Lean Manufacturing, Process
Efficiency can be calculated as the fraction of Value
Added Time and Total Time.
Process Efficiency: The time spent adding value
to the story as a percentage of the total time spent on
the story. Calculated as:
(Cycle Time Interruption Time) / Cycle Time
So, for a team that has worked on a story from
Monday 9 AM to Friday 5 PM the Cycle Time is 40
hours (given an 8 hour workday). Assume that the
team had 5 meetings which took a total of 5 hours.
And they had to wait for approval from an external
party before they pushed their product to production
for 10 hours. In this example the process efficiency is
(40 (5+10)) / 40 = 25 / 40 = 5/8 = 62.5%.
5. Initial Measurements: 4 companies, 5
teams
5 teams volunteered to help by collecting data on
their process efficiency. The results have varied
immensely.
Team Harold from the Port of Rotterdam had a
story that they finished in 1 day. They kept close
watch on their interruptions:
Team Harold
Start
End
Story 1
09:10
17:20
Daily Meeting
9:30
9:45
Discussions about priorities
10:00
10:35
Manual Deploy
16:00
16:25
Discussions about prod issues
13:00
13:35
Their cycle time for story 1 was 490 minutes.
Their interruption time was 110 minutes. Making
their process efficiency 380 / 490 = 77.6 %
Team Harold also provided some data about
another story they had finished, which started on
Wednesday and was put into production on
Thursday.
Team Harold
Start
End
Story 2
13:50
10:35
Production issues
14:40
15:15
Helping other people
15:50
16:15
Analyzing pull requests
17:25
17:40
Page 6984
Daily Meeting
9:30
9:45
Their cycle time for story 2 was 285 minutes.
Their interruption time was 90 minutes. Making their
process efficiency 195 / 285 = 68.4 %.
Team Pronto, also from the port of Rotterdam,
also wanted to participate and had a story that ran
from 5-7-2018 to 5-9-2018.
Team Pronto
End
Story 3
5-7-2018 8:00
5-9-2018 8:05
Blocked by
other story
5-7-2018 11:00
5-8-2018 12:30
PR
5-8-2018 13:10
5-8-2018 13:35
Their cycle time for story 3 was 1100 minutes.
Their interruption time was 655 minutes. Making
their process efficiency 445 / 1100 = 40.5 %
A postal delivery company that wishes to remain
anonymous provided data on 3 stories that they
worked on. They did not keep track of what their
interruptions were, but they did keep track of when
they were:
End
Story 4
5-7-2018 9:00
5-15-2018 13:20
Inter 1
5-7-2018 9:00
5-14-2018 14:30
Inter 2
5-14-2018 16:45
5-15-2018 13:20
Their cycle time for story 4 was 3140 minutes.
Their interruption time was 3005 minutes. Making
their process efficiency 135 / 3140 = 4.3 %
End
Story 5
5-15-2018 9:00
5-22-2018 17:00
Inter 1
5-15-2018 9:00
5-15-2018 14:30
Inter 2
5-15-2018 15:00
5-15-2018 17:15
Inter 3
5-16-2018 9:00
5-16-2018 10:30
Inter 4
5-16-2018 11:00
5-16-2018 12:00
Inter 5
5-16-2018 13:00
5-22-2018 17:00
Their cycle time for story 5 was 2880 minutes.
Their interruption time was 2655 minutes. Making
their process efficiency 225 / 2880 = 7.8 %
End
Story 6
5-15-2018 17:45
5-25-2018 13:00
Inter 1
5-15-2018 17:45
5-25-2018 8:30
Inter 2
5-25-2018 9:30
5-25-2018 10:30
Inter 3
5-25-2018 12:00
5-25-2018 13:00
Their cycle time for story 6 was 3615 minutes.
Their interruption time was 3465 minutes. Making
their process efficiency 150 / 3615 = 4.3 %
A bank that wishes to remain anonymous also
tracked their process efficiency. After several weeks,
they came with the following data:
The story was first submitted to our team on 4-
20-2018, and we processed the story to be ready to be
put on our backlog until 5-16-2018. It was now ready
to get pulled into our sprint, which it did on 5-23-
2018. We had refined and estimated the story, but
had to conclude that other stories that hadn’t been
finished yet from previous sprints took more time
than we had anticipated. At the current moment 6-1-
2018, we have decided to remove the story from the
sprint.
Their process efficiency for this story so far is
therefore 0 %.
Scrum Inc., a Scrum training and consulting
company had their Webside team provide data from
two stories that they worked on.
Team
Webside
Start
End
Story 7
5-14-2018 9:00
5-15-2018
17:00
Working on
interrupt
5-14-2018 11:00
5-8-2018 12:00
Working on
interrupt
5-15-2018 9:00
5-15-2018
10:00
Working on
interrupt
5-15-2018 13:00
5-15-2018
14:00
The cycle time for the story was 960 minutes.
The interruption time was 180 minutes. Thus the
process efficiency was 780/960 = 81.25%
Their second story was a smaller story that was
able be delivered independently. The team completed
the story in an uninterrupted four hour period.
Team
Webside
Start
End
Story 8
5-17-2018 8:00
5-17-2018
12:00
As there were no interruptions the process
efficiency was 100%. Small independent stories that
can be driven to completion by the team in under a
day will often result in high process efficiency.
Page 6985
6. Follow up
The next step is to get a large number of teams to
participate in data gathering and plotting all of their
Process Efficiencies. The expectation is that levels of
Process Efficiency can be identified that separate
teams from each other with a factor of about 10. The
collection of the data will include metadata. We want
to then check if certain attributes in the metadata
correlate strongly with certain levels of Process
Efficiency. All of these results will be published in
the next paper.
Process Efficiency lends itself to benchmarking
of this sort because it is a relative measure with a
fixed range (0-100%). This percentage is not
dependent on the size or complexity of the story. It is
not dependent on team size, technology used or the
domain of the team.
What we can do is measure the Process
Efficiency of a lot of different teams and a lot of
different stories. If we have sufficient data points, we
can see how much Process Efficiency varies across
many different teams and many different stories.
From such data, any team can see what their
current Process Efficiency is, and compare it to other
teams and stories. From this, any such team can know
how efficient they are, and how much room for
improvement exists.
Based on the conclusions and the experience
gained, treatments will then be defined to help teams
gain significantly in Process Efficiency. These
treatments will be applied in a smaller group of teams
that can stand to benefit from them, and results of
applying the treatments on Process Efficiency will
then be published in further papers.
7, Scrumban, Kanban, Continuous Flow
Scrumban was proposed by Corey Ladas in 2008
[15] to solve the problem of Scrum implementations
that were not lean. Takeuchi and Nonaka [5] defined
the term Scrum by looking at lean manufacturing
teams so Scrum derives from the Toyota Production
System [2]. Ladas proposed to fix bad Scrum by
focusing on flow.
David Anderson formalized the Kanban process
for software development in 2010 [16] and Henrik
Kniberg [17] has nicely summarized the key features
of Kanban and compared them to Scrum. Kanban has
three primary attributes make work visible, limit
work in progress, and measure cycle time. Scrum
adds a Team, a Product Owner, Daily Scrums, Sprint
Planning, Sprint Review, and Retrospectives. In order
to gain high performance Kanban has to have a team
with the basic Scrum events. High performing
Scrums today are doing continuous delivery,
essentially deploying each backlog item as it is
complete, so it looks like Kanban. The Scrum
Patterns Group has shown how to setup a buffer for a
Scrum team to enable interrupt driven work without
losing performance [18]. Thus the current approach
maximizing flow is now called DevOps, assuming
DevOps means automating deployment using Scrum
as it is at Amazon [19].
Kanban measures cycle time which is the clock
time it takes for a unit of work to complete. It is not a
good measure of process efficiency at the unit level.
A WIP limit and cycle time do not clearly indicate
whether a team is lean. By definition, lean = process
efficiency > 25%. Process Efficiency helps self-
organizing teams by giving them clear insight into
where their time is spent and how to lean out their
approach.
Similar to “Getting Things Done [20], Process
Efficiency helps people understand how much of
their time is spent on other things than achieving the
goal. Teams with low PE can set goals for increased
productivity by seeing which goals others have
successfully achieved in similar situations.
Process efficiency teaches the team that taking a
story end to end without stopping, they will produce
more and better work. This “single-piece continuous
flow” is a core objective of the Toyota Production
System and to achieve it, Taiichi Ohno told his
Project Managers they needed to eliminate Kanban
which he viewed as waste [21].
8. Conclusions
Process Efficiency is a team metric that helps
teams get an insight in how efficient they are
realizing their stories. It can vary greatly depending
on a number of factors, ranging from 0% to 100%.
Process Efficiency can, together with Lean
practices, help a team to improve their way of work
and become more efficient.
By following many teams and tracking their
Process Efficiency, we will create a benchmark for
team efficiency. With such a benchmark available,
teams can then see how well they are doing and
identify how big the improvement to their process
should be.
Process Efficiency will help teams understand
how well they are currently doing, as compared to
how well they could be doing. This gives teams a
perspective that Story Points can never give.
Page 6986
9. References
[1] T. Sakai, The Secrets Behind the Success of
Toyota: Privately Published, 2018.
[2] T. Ohno, Toyota Production System: Beyond
Large-Scale Production: Productivity Press,
1988.
[3] W. Myers, "Why Software Developers
Refuse to Improve," Computer, vol. 31, pp.
112, 110-111, 1998.
[4] C. R. Jakobsen and J. Sutherland, "Scrum
and CMMI Going from Good to Great," in
Agile Conference, 2009. AGILE '09., 2009,
pp. 333-337.
[5] H. Takeuchi and I. Nonaka, "The New New
Product Development Game," Harvard
Business Review, 1986.
[6] M. L. George, Lean Six Sigma: Combining
Six Sigma Quality with Lean Speed:
McGraw Hill, 2002.
[7] ScrumInc. (2018, 15 Jun 2018). Scrum
Courses and Training. Available:
https://www.scruminc.com/scrum-
training/scrum-courses-list/
[8] K. Schwaber and J. Sutherland, "The Scrum
Guide: The Definitive Guide to Scrum, The
Rules of the Game," scrumguides.orgMarch
2017.
[9] J. Sutherland, N. Harrison, and J. Riddle,
"Teams that Finish Early Accelerate Faster:
A Pattern Language for High Performing
Scrum Teams," in 2014 47th Hawaii
International Conference on System
Sciences (HICSS), Waikoloa, HI, USA,
2014.
[10] J.-D. Lovelock, A. O’Connell, W. L. Hahn,
A. Adams, D. Blackmore, R. Atwal, S. H.
Hong, N. Gupta, and P. Niketa, "Forecast
Alert: IT Spending, Worldwide, 1A18
Update," Gartner, Stamford, CT2018.
[11] J. Sutherland and J. Sutherland, Scrum : the
art of doing twice the work in half the time,
First Edition. ed. New York: Crown
Business, 2014.
[12] N. Modig and P. Åhlström, This is Lean:
Resolving the Efficiency Paradox:
Rheologica Publishing, 2014.
[13] S. Shingo, Fundamental Principles of Lean
Manufacturing: Productivity Press, 2017.
[14] N. Forsgren, J. Humble, and G. Kim,
Accelerate: Revolution Press, 2018.
[15] C. Ladas, Scrumban and Other Essays on
Kanban Systems for Lean Software
Development. Seattle: Modus Cooperandi
Press, 2008.
[16] D. J. Anderson, Kanban: Successful
Evolutionary Change for Your Technology
Business: Blue Hole Press, 2010.
[17] H. Kniberg, Kanban and Scrum - making the
most of both: lulu.com, 2010.
[18] ScrumPlop.org. (2018, 26 Aug). Published
Patterns: Illigitimus Non Interruptus.
[19] R. Monica, "Amazon Deployment Data
from Roy Monica, Head of Engineering
Amazon Devices Demand Forecasting,"
Seatlle: Amazon.com, 2018.
[20] D. Allen, Getting Things Done: The Art of
Stress-Free Productivity, Revised Edition.
New York: Penquin Books, 2015.
[21] J. Coplien, "An Alternative to Kanban: One-
Piece Continuous Flow," in Scruminc.com
vol. 2018, ed. Cambridge, MA: Scrum Inc.,
2011.
Page 6987
... Scrum is designed to minimize meetings and reports as these are the largest source of waste in most organizations. They significantly reduce process efficiency [28], which radically reduces throughput. Systematic, a large consultancy in Europe operating at CMMI Level 5, implemented Scrum and cut project costs in half [29]. ...
... The constant monitoring and quantification of the effects of a job in modern society is a necessary element of its successful implementation, no matter what type of process it is and from which field of human activity it originates from. Logistics processes are crucial for achieving this, and the basic indicator is the definition of the relationship between the results achieved and the resources invested, which is called efficiency [1]. Measuring and increasing efficiency is a necessary prerequisite for the implementation of efficient logistics systems, which is why it is a significant scientific discipline represented in the world literature and practice [2][3][4]. ...
Article
Full-text available
Local self-government has the task of enabling stable economic development, in addition to enabling a normal quality of life for citizens. This is why the state government should provide guidelines that will improve the local business climate, and by doing so enable local economic development. This can be done through the introduction of a business-friendly certification procedure, which is influenced by uncertain inputs and influences many output factors. Each local government has the important task of determining its rank of efficiency in this process. A number of methodologies developed to solve this problem are generally divided into two groups: Parametric and non-parametric. These two groups of methodologies could provide quite different results. Therefore, the purpose of this paper was to create a model using both approaches to achieve a balanced symmetrical approach that produces better results than each approach individually. For this purpose, the paper describes a multicriteria decision aid-based model of optimization to evaluate the effectiveness of this process, integrating classification, data envelopment analysis, and stochastic frontier analysis, as well as its application in a case study of business-friendly certification in the Republic of Serbia.
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Recent surveys show that 42% of Agile projects are successful. While this is three times better than traditional projects, 49% of Agile projects are late or over budget and 9% are total failures. There is a better way to help Agile teams to implement Scrum. At the 2013 Scrum PLoP Conference held in Tisvildeleje, Denmark thought leaders in the Agile community reviewed a set of Scrum Patterns that together generate a high performing Scrum team. During this editorial process it became apparent that a combination of nine Patterns in conjunction with the Scrum framework could help teams achieve Hyper-Productivity, more than a 400% increase in velocity over a team's initial velocity.
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Projects combining agile methods with CMMI combine adaptability with predictability to better serve large customer needs. The introduction of Scrum at Systematic, a CMMI level 5 company, doubled productivity and cut defects by 40% compared to waterfall projects in 2006 by focusing on early testing and time to fix builds. Systematic institutionalized Scrum across all projects and used data driven tools like story process efficiency to surface product backlog impediments. This allowed them to systematically develop a strategy for a second doubling in productivity. Two teams have achieved a sustainable quadrupling of productivity compared to waterfall projects. We discuss here the strategy to bring the entire company to that level. Our experiences shows that Scrum and CMMI together bring a more powerful combination of adaptability and predictability than either one alone and suggest how other companies can combine them to achieve Toyota level performance - 4 times the productivity and 12 times the quality of waterfall teams.
Book
With first-chapter allusions to martial arts, "flow," "mind like water," and other concepts borrowed from the East (and usually mangled), you'd almost think this self-helper from David Allen should have been called Zen and the Art of Schedule Maintenance . Not quite. Yes, Getting Things Done offers a complete system for downloading all those free-floating gotta-do's clogging your brain into a sophisticated framework of files and action lists--all purportedly to free your mind to focus on whatever you're working on. However, it still operates from the decidedly Western notion that if we could just get really, really organized, we could turn ourselves into 24/7 productivity machines. (To wit, Allen, whom the New Economy bible Fast Company has dubbed "the personal productivity guru," suggests that instead of meditating on crouching tigers and hidden dragons while you wait for a plane, you should unsheathe that high-tech saber known as the cell phone and attack that list of calls you need to return.) As whole-life-organizing systems go, Allen's is pretty good, even fun and therapeutic. It starts with the exhortation to take every unaccounted-for scrap of paper in your workstation that you can't junk, The next step is to write down every unaccounted-for gotta-do cramming your head onto its own scrap of paper. Finally, throw the whole stew into a giant "in-basket" That's where the processing and prioritizing begin; in Allen's system, it get a little convoluted at times, rife as it is with fancy terms, subterms, and sub-subterms for even the simplest concepts. Thank goodness the spine of his system is captured on a straightforward, one-page flowchart that you can pin over your desk and repeatedly consult without having to refer back to the book. That alone is worth the purchase price. Also of value is Allen's ingenious Two-Minute Rule: if there's anything you absolutely must do that you can do right now in two minutes or less, then do it now, thus freeing up your time and mind tenfold over the long term. It's commonsense advice so obvious that most of us completely overlook it, much to our detriment; Allen excels at dispensing such wisdom in this useful, if somewhat belabored, self-improver aimed at everyone from CEOs to soccer moms (who we all know are more organized than most CEOs to start with). -- Timothy Murphy In today's world of exponentially increased communication and responsibility, yesterday's methods for staying on top just don't work. Veteran management consultant and trainer David Allen recognizes that "time management" is useless the minute your schedule is interrupted; "setting priorities" isn't relevant when your email is down; "procrastination solutions" won't help if your goals aren't clear. Allen's premise is simple: our ability to be productive is directly proportional to our ability to relax. Only when our minds are clear and our thoughts are organized can we achieve stress-free productivity and unleash our creative potential. He teaches us how to: Apply the "do it, delegate it, defer it, drop it" rule to get your in-box empty Reassess goals and stay focused in changing situations Overcome feelings of confusion, anxiety, and being overwhelmed Feel fine about what you're not doing From core principles to proven tricks, Getting Things Done has the potential to transform the way you work -- and the way you experience work. At any level of implementation, David Allen's entertaining and thought-provoking advice shows you how to pick up the pace without wearing yourself down. """The personal productivity guru"" (Fast Company) delivers powerful methods that vastly increase your efficiency and creative results-at work and in life In today's world, yesterday's methods just don't work. In Getting Things Done, veteran coach and management consultant David Allen shares the breakthrough methods for stress-free performance that he has introduced to tens of thousands of people across the country. Allen's premise is simple: our productivity is directly proportional to our ability to relax. Only when our minds are clear and our thoughts are organized can we achieve effective productivity and unleash our creative potential. In Getting Things Done Allen shows how to: Apply the ""do it, delegate it, defer it, drop it"" rule to get your in-box to empty Reassess goals and stay focused in changing situations Plan projects as well as get them unstuck Overcome feelings of confusion, anxiety, and being overwhelmed Feel fine about what you're not doing From core principles to proven tricks, Getting Things Done can transform the way you work, showing you how to pick up the pace without wearing yourself down."
Article
Corey Ladas' groundbreaking paper "ScrumBan" has captured the imagination of the software development world. Scrum and agile methodologies have helped software development teams organize and become more efficient. Lean methods like kanban can extend these benefits. Kanban also provides a powerful mechanism to identify process improvement opportunities. This book covers some of the metrics and day-to-day management techniques that make continuous improvement an achievable outcome in the real world. ScrumBan the book provides a series of essays that give practitioners the background needed to create more robust practices combining the best of agile and lean.
Article
Many developers fail to acknowledge that there are more productive environments. When a software organization loses a bidding contest, the losers roll their eyes heavenward and tell each other, “Better luck next time”. Well, this is the reality: There are software development organizations that are more productive than others. “Luck” is not the whole story; you need to look for ways to improve. Use valid process; there are a dozen or so well-regarded methodologies. We especially need to reach two audiences. Sponsors, those who finance new ideas, need information tailored to the functions they perform in adopting and financing new ways of working. Practitioners those actually applying the new ideas, need detailed books, manuals, short courses, helpful supervision, and mentoring. They also need software tools to do what tools can do better than people. Even after simplification, there will still be a lot of changes to implement. Leading companies understand that implementation takes: Investment money up front (sometimes for years before payback begins); a champion; dedicated people, and consistent management, dedicated to long-term financial support. The accomplishment to which the idea leads has to be evident to all, and demonstrated by some type of metrics. The ultimate drivers that influence practitioners and management alike to sue a difficult course are results that establish the course's success
The Secrets Behind the Success of Toyota
  • T Sakai
T. Sakai, The Secrets Behind the Success of Toyota: Privately Published, 2018.
  • H Takeuchi
  • I Nonaka
H. Takeuchi and I. Nonaka, "The New New Product Development Game," Harvard Business Review, 1986.
Lean Six Sigma: Combining Six Sigma Quality with Lean Speed
  • M L George
M. L. George, Lean Six Sigma: Combining Six Sigma Quality with Lean Speed: McGraw Hill, 2002.
The Scrum Guide: The Definitive Guide to Scrum, The Rules of the Game," scrumguides
  • K Schwaber
  • J Sutherland
K. Schwaber and J. Sutherland, "The Scrum Guide: The Definitive Guide to Scrum, The Rules of the Game," scrumguides.orgMarch 2017.
This is Lean: Resolving the Efficiency Paradox
  • N Modig
  • P Åhlström
N. Modig and P. Åhlström, This is Lean: Resolving the Efficiency Paradox: Rheologica Publishing, 2014.