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SPaMCAST 486 features our interview with Daniel S. Vacanti.  Mr. Vacanti is the author of Actionable Agile Metrics for Predictability: An Introduction.  We discussed the concepts in the book, answered a question from Steven Adams, and talked about his new book.  It was great to talk about a book with the author after the re-read.

Daniel Vacanti’s Bio:

Daniel Vacanti is a 20-plus year software industry veteran who has spent most of his career focusing on Lean and Agile practices.  In 2007, he helped to develop the Kanban Method for knowledge work and managed the world’s first project implementation of Kanban that year.  He has been conducting Lean-Agile training, coaching, and consulting ever since. In 2011 he founded ActionableAgileTM (previously Corporate Kanban) which provides industry-leading predictive analytics tools and services organizations that utilize Lean-Agile practices.  In 2015 he published his book, “Actionable Agile Metrics for Predictability”, which is the definitive guide to flow-based metrics and analytics. Daniel holds an M.B.A. and regularly teaches a class on lean principles for software management at the University of California Berkeley.

Contact Information:

Twitter:  @danvacanti





Re-Read Saturday News
We will begin the full-scale re-read of L. David Marquet’s Turn the Ship Around! next week and I am stoked. Buy your copy and listen to the interview I did with Mr. Marquet (SPaMCAST 202) to get involved in the re-read.  I am going to lead the re-read from my 2012 (7th printing) copy.  The book has 29 chapters, not including the forward, a cast of characters, index, afterword, and a glossary. The book is an easy read because Marquet is such an excellent communicator.  My intent is to knock out the preface material next week and then begin delivering 2 chapters per week. If my estimating ability holds true, we will complete our re-read in 18 weeks. I expect to miss two weeks due to travel. (more…)

Cover of Actionable Agile Metircs

A New Copy!

The Oscars are being announced March 4, 2018. At some point in the process, someone will call for the envelope and boom: the big reveal. So in the spirit of the moment, we have our next book for the Re-read Saturday. We will begin re-reading Turn the Ship Around by L. David Marquet in two weeks. I have interviewed Mr. Marquet twice for the podcast; I have gotten a ton from his books and the interviews, so I am pumped. I also want to announce the book after that, The Checklist Manifesto by Atul Gawande (I recently bought a copy and want to share what I have gotten out of it). Now on with the main attraction!

The title of Chapter 16 is Getting Started, in Daniel S. Vacanti’s Actionable Agile Metrics for Predictability: An Introduction (buy a copy today). The never-ending journey of process improvement needs to begin at the beginning. In this chapter, Vacanti lays out an outline for adopting a process improvement approach that uses the metrics discussed earlier in the book. (more…)

A New Copy!

Before we dive into Chapter 15  (two chapters left, and chapter 17 is a case study!), I want to alert you to the poll at the end of this entry.  It is time to choose the next book in the re-read series. Feel free to start a write-in category.

Chapter 15 is titled, Monte Carlo Methods Introduction in Daniel S. Vacanti’s Actionable Agile Metrics for Predictability: An Introduction (buy a copy today).  FYI, I interviewed Daniel Vacanti and will post the interview at the conclusion of the re-read (it was wicked cool). (more…)

A New Copy!

One note to start with: we are on Chapter 14 today out of 17. So, after today, we have approximately four more weeks. As a result, we will have to choose another book in the next couple of weeks.  I have received some suggestions, and I have also asked the interviewees that appeared in the Software Process and Measurement Podcast in 2017 which was the most impactful book they have read. I would also like your input. What do you suggest that we read next?  

Chapter 14 is titled Introduction to Forecasting in Daniel S. Vacanti’s Actionable Agile Metrics for Predictability: An Introduction (buy a copy today)

One of the definitions of predictability is the ability to make a quantitative forecast about the future state of a process. In this light, a forecast is just a calculation about the probability of the occurrence of some future event; an estimate might be a forecast. At one point in my career, the group I was part of had to collect data on a nightly file maintenance process so we could determine whether the process could finish within the required time window.   (more…)


A New Copy!

Chapter 13, Pull Policies, of Daniel S. Vacanti’s Actionable Agile Metrics for Predictability: An Introduction (buy a copy today) begins Part 4: “Putting It All Together for Predictability” . Pull policies define how work is accepted by a team and gets worked on. Pull policies are important because they affect cycle time and predictability.

Chapter 13 Pull  policies

Almost everyone that has been introduced to the concepts of flow,  kanban, or scrumban has been introduced to the idea of class-of-service (CoS).  Arguably, if you have ever stood in a line only to see someone go around the line understands different classes of service. A family member works in the airport, they always go to the head of the queue; airport employees are a class of service.  Vacanti uses the airport example in great detail at the beginning of the chapter to illustrate the impact of classes of service. I suggest reading the example at least twice before you finally put the book away (it is that good).  

Class of service is “a policy or set of policies around the order in which work items are pulled from a given process once those items are committed to.”   (more…)

Is value limited?

Organization or team decides to embrace agile and lean techniques for many reasons. Arguably there may be a disconnect between the reasons why people say they are addressing a method and the real reason.  How people are incented (paid or bonused) and how people are measured might be more a accurate representation. For example, if product cost in important to an organization, measures will have a systems perspective; however, if cost is important without a systems perspective the focus may be on the cost of components or individual components. The nine of the most commonly mentioned reasons for adopting agile are all can be measured however, some attributes are more or less difficult to measure. Common metrics include (note we will come back to how useful each is in the next entry in this series): (more…)

A New Copy!

Chapter 12 of Daniel S. Vacanti’s Actionable Agile Metrics for Predictability: An Introduction (buy a copy today) is titled Service Level Agreements.  Service Level Agreements (SLA) are an agreement to perform within certain limits based on past performance.  SLAs can be derived based on data visualization.  As with previous chapters, Vacanti begins with a reminder. In this case, the reminder concerns the percentile lines that were drawn on scatter plots in chapter 10.  The percentile lines tell us the probability of a story completed in an amount of time up to a specific cycle time.  In our discussion of chapter 10 we drew a line on a scatter plot where half of the observations were above the line and half below. The percentile line can be used to define an SLA. (more…)