DevOps, Lean Kanban & Critical Chain

It’s hard not to become a Theory of Constraints aficionado. If you’ve read The Goal by Eli Goldratt, you know what I mean. Process throughput is a function of your slowest process. It’s common sense. Improve the throughput of the slowest process and you have increased the velocity of your system. Combine these principles with Lean and Six Sigma, and you’ve just concocted a very powerful system that decreases the time work spends inside your system. The top three reasons why we care about work spending as little time inside the system are:

  1. Decrease time to market
  2. Increase feedback frequency
  3. Improve quality

If these reasons matter to you, you need an agile mindset to figure out what will  work for your team and your culture. There’s been a proliferation of agile frameworks over the last decade. But the key in knowledge work is knowing why these frameworks work and adapting them to your culture.

The jargons – DevOps, TechOps, Lean Kanban, Critical Chain

I would encourage you to read “The Phoenix Project“. As a program or a project manager, your work does not end once your application or infrastructure has been deployed and is live. You need to ensure that the deliverables of your project can now be maintained by operations. Executed properly, ITIL processes can help you make it a smooth transition. This is specially true when executing enterprise projects. DevOps or TechOps are a set of principles that use Agile and Lean practices to improve operations. Again, the goal is to ensure ops resolve issues fast, improves quality of deliverables and creates value add by putting in practices that prevent issues in the first place.

If you are an enterprise, chances are you have some sort of governance structure. It is also possible that your agile journey will need a structured and disciplined approach. Critical Chain and Lean Kanban are two approaches that can help bring about an evolutionary change to your program management processes AND get your programs done faster. In some cases, I hypothesize, you can even complete your programs faster AND reduce costs.

This blog will document my experiences with agile across industries, functions and companies. Once you understand the core principles, you can also apply it to improve your productivity in your personal life.

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