Metrics have played a key role in the introduction of Kanban to this IT Operations department and are now firmly in the hands of the workers as a tool for improvement. Management have been warned not to use the Kanban metrics as a tool for cross-team performance measurement.
Due to not all work being tracked electronically, the teams opted to use a very manual process for capturing metrics. They’ve started with a sticker on each card capturing dates to enable them to work out Lead time and Cycle time for each piece of work coming through their value stream. In addition to the dates they estimate size. Sizing the jobs up whilst in the backlog assists with prioritisation discussions and enables them to look for signals in SPC charts.
The teams use SPC charts to analyse lead and cycle times. In the chart above you’ll notice a piece of work that was estimated as a small – turned out to be more like a large. A number of blockers were the cause of delay in this case and the team were able to suggest changes for improvement.
Throughput metrics visualised through Cumulative Flow Charts and Statistical Process Control charts are used by the teams to understand the impact of changes they make in their process.