Easy way to Poka Yoke for Agile – 1

LittleCrowd-poka-yokePoka Yoke is a term from the Toyota’s Lean management to mistake proof our operations. It is a way to keep Agile as a way of life as simple as possible.

Agile as a strategy: Fail fast is the basic tenet of agile software development. This helps in creating a cross functional team with common goals, improve communication and facilitates usage of software to validate assumptions.

Rituals to structure daily and sprint activities: Structure follows strategy is the norm. Once the structure is established to have daily sprint meetings and sprint planning meetings, how do we do poke-yoke for these. Some of the practices that we have seen are

  •    Having an ice-cream meter with all team members to be collectively conscious.
  •    Visual representation of velocity, cycle time metrics and alignment towards goals.
  •    Stories get tested by non-developers in the development and testing environment and provide feedback.

DevOps:  Leveraging the DevOps practices to test in unit, functional and UI level helps in mistake proofing issues in the build quickly and with minimal effort.

  • Having the build installed in a virtual machine along with running a few unit tests to flag the red or green build.
  • Keeping the build machine in a central and visible manner as well as having some sound effects to indicate a failed build would make it fun as well as help the teams to take timely action

Visual RAIDs: Keep all the Risks, Assumption, Issues and Dependencies (RAIDs) visually represented. If there are changes in them, keeping them updated as well as looking at sprint goals always helps. Having them visual and keeping the change log well represented keeps the RAIDs valid and upto date.

Retrospectives are great places to see where the mistakes are made and how to fix them, in a fun and light-weight manner. More about this in the next post.

Don’t forget to chime in your feedback and what are your mistake proofing that you have built in for you and the teams.

Gayatri D Kalyanaraman

Gayatri is an Agile Evangelist helping clients in maximizing business value using Technology as a strategic lever. I recently helped product development started using strangler and agile methodology I have 16+ years of experience in the Software industry performing various roles across program, change and transition management, technology consulting and strategic sourcing. Worked across India, US & UK with several clients in BFSI sector. Led delivery for one of the strategic accounts in the Europe region within specialization in retail and consumer banking. Led the solution development for strategic deals with good understanding of sourcing needs across the horizontals of validation, infrastructure, enterprise solutions. Specialties: Agile Coaching, Agile development, Large account software delivery, Solution & Execution of large IT projects, Client interfacing, Banking and Capital markets Technology solution, Branding of solutions

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