Thursday, January 13, 2011

Lean Principle “See the whole”

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The remaining work report showed a clear buildup in items that were “Ready to Test” indicating a bottleneck somewhere in the process. I was wondering what was going on… I was under the assumption that the tester did not have any time to test these items (he had some work with existing customers who had to generate some kind of annual reports, so I was waiting for this surge to end). But after asking the tester what was going on he was quite surprised and responded that he only had 12 items that were ready to test instead of the more than 40 shown in the report. After some asking around the root cause of the problem was that the development team did not release a version to the test environment yet so the tester was not able to test the other items.

This example clearly shows that the reporting help you in making bottlenecks visible. However they don’t show you exactly what the root cause is. You always have to keep in mind to See the Whole.