Lean & Agile

Lean and Agile is the philosophy and toolkit to continuously enhance the customer value of your products, to improve the way you make them and to develop your team members, taking a long term view.

Definitions & Language

What is an obeya?

An obeya is a single meeting room, large enough to accomodate the entire project team, including seperate corners for discussion, planning boards, and visual controls for continuous improvement.

What is the gemba?

The gemba is the workfloor. It's where the action happens. For projects, it's often the project site, or the target audience – it's the real world. In lean we like to be as close to the real world as possible – we don't like to theorize, we like to see the actual situation and understand it from there.

What is a program?

A program is a group of projects which for some reason are grouped: Either for the same clients, or for a defined geographical region, a certain subject or theme, or for any other attribute.

What is a project?

A project is an amount of work with a clear beginning and end. A project is also different from routine jobs, as the work tends to be unique and non recurring.

What is a release?

A release is the end delivery of the project, linked to a pre-defined date. When a project holds a lot of work, it may be usefull to distribute this amount of work among different releases. Releases are always sequential. It's impossible to plan two or more releases of the same project in parallel or simultaneously.

What is the release date?

The release date is the end date or date of delivery of the release. In Lean Project Management it is important to always respect and meet (or beat!) the release date.

What is a feature?

Features are attributes of a service or a product, easily recognizable by a client. Normally, features consist of several user stories.

What is a user story?

User stories are phrases describing the client, the functionality and the value for that functionality. The value element differentiates the user story from most other functionality tools: the value being defined, usually helps the project team to determine what exactly needs doing and also allows a search for alternatives. A user story is a phrase like this: As a {user} I want {functionality} in order to {value}.

What is a user story meeting?

The user story meeting is a meeting with clients, stakeholders (including user proxies) and the production team where user stories are written and hung up on a white board, cork board or wall. All different points of view are collected simultaneously, so every one understands the concerns of all those who are involved. Sometimes conflicting user stories emerge right away. The user story meeting usually lasts up to two hours.

What is Planning Poker?

Planning poker is a joyful way to estimate how much work it will be to deliver a task, user story or feature. With Planning Poker we attribute story points to user stories.

What are story points?

Story points are a relative measure, allowing one to compare how much work it will be to accomplish a certain task or user story, as compared to another task or user story. Story points are no time measurements: professionals at different skill levels will need different amounts of time to accomplish the same job.

What is a priority?

Priorities indicate the importance of a user story. We normally use the distinction between MUST HAVES (basic needs, dissatisfiers or high priorities), SHOULD HAVES (satisfiers, or medium priortities), COULD HAVES (delighters, low priorities). It's good to strive for a normal distribution: 20 – 60 – 20. Priorities are set at the beginning of an iteration.

What is team velocity?

Team velocity is the amount of story points your team is planned to produce (or burn down) during an iteration. The team velocity is dependent on the amount of team members, the amount of available hours per team member and the amount of story points per hour.

What is a release planning?

A release planning is a planning of the (delivery dates) of the different releases for your project. It's often usefull to split a project in different releases (or stages).

What is an iteration planning?

An iteration planning is a planning of the iterations within the release. Part of the iteration planning is the distribution of user stories among different iterations.

What is an iteration meeting?

An iteration meeting is a meeting to evaluate the progress made during the last iteration, to solve problems and to look ahead at the next iteration. It's advisable to include all stakeholders and the client: during an iteration meeting user stories and priorities may be adjusted.

What is release meeting?

The release meeting is the last iteration of the release. Usually it's a longer version of the iteration meeting. During the release meeting, cross-iteration issues may be evaluated, as well as the quality of the product itself.

What is a task?

A task is a clearly identified unit of work within a user story, which can be concluded by one single team member and within one iteration. To identify the load of work of a task, we estimate the time needed to accomplish it.

What is a bug?

A bug is an amount of work needed to fix something that went wrong previously. A bug is quite common in software development, but can be the result of any other job that was not performed 'first time right'. Making the distinction between a task and a bug is useful, because it allows is to assess our ability to do it right the first time. To identify the load of work of a task, we estimate the time needed to accomplish it.

What is an impediment?

Impediments are amounts of work which block the completion of the project or release if not taken care of. Impediments are not bound to an iteration, they are bound to a release. Impediments may need to be taken care of by a client, supplier, other stakeholder, by a project manager, or any other team member.

Waypoint is project management software to support the execution of Lean and Agile projects, in software development, new product development, construction, Waypoint is software to support lean project leaders and teams. The software allows to budget, plan, report, standardize and improve project execution, along the principles of Lean Project Management and Agile Programming and Planning. Waypoint is offered by Heyunka, a provider of on-line tools for the implementation of lean management and agile development.Heyunka's tools are web-based and require standard compliant browser. Clients are charged only for actual usage -from one to as many users as you like and for as long as you need it. Tools are sold on-line. No IT needed.

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