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One-piece flow How a high-level view of the process flow can improve productivity, enable agility and reduce the effects of hand-offs Silviu Eigel 10/20/2011

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Page 1: One piece flow

One-piece flow

•How a high-level view of the process

flow can improve productivity, enable

agility and reduce the effects of hand-


•Silviu Eigel


Page 2: One piece flow


Why are we here?

• Architect

• Manage

• Analyze

• Develop

• Test

• Support

Not true reasons True reasons

• Provide value to the customer

• Ship products and deliver value

Page 3: One piece flow


Illusion in corporate enterprise

• Jobs descriptions: "...ability to multi-task"

• Lack of ability to focus

• High productivity -> people need to be busy

• Working on almost the most important tasks

• Windowing operating systems made it ok

• "I'm productive because I'm keeping busy“

• Organization can be more Agile by having lots of projects in flight

• We must move resources around

• Assign people to multiple projects

• Silos of subject matter experts

• "The hand-off organization"

• Little or no visibility on capacity or impacts of waste

• Hides wasteful activities and delays

Page 4: One piece flow


DemoOne-piece flow vs. Mass production

• One-piece flow vs. Mass production

• Mass production

• Waste

• Work in process - inventory

• Defects

• Chaos

• Customer continues to wait

• More WIP

• One-piece flow

• calm

• in control

• problems can't hide

Page 5: One piece flow


10 tasks story

Page 6: One piece flow


How can we provide value?

• Continuous improvement

• Agile development ensures value is continuing to be

maximized throughout the development process

• Deliver working software early and often

• Agile development accelerates the delivery of initial

business value

• Adaptation

• Iterative planning and feedback loops align the delivered

software with desired business needs

• Visibility

• Sustainability

• It is all about feedback

Page 7: One piece flow


Cycle time

• Time between

• Starting detailed specification of a feature

• Having that feature completed.

• The shorter you make the time between concept and completion, the more roadblocks you face that have little

to do with actual engineering. Fixing those problems unleashes productivity.

• Cleaning up a large bug backlog before release can really slow down cycle time.

• Demands immediate bug fixes.

• Enables fast feedback loops and constant improvement.

Page 8: One piece flow


Inventory – Uncompleted features

• Mary: In software development inventory is anything that you’ve started and you haven’t gotten done. It’s

“partially done” work. … If you started developing something and it’s not done, it is inventory. … You want to go

from understanding what you’re supposed to do to having it done and deployed and in somebody’s hands as

rapidly as possible.

• Having too much work in progress adds to the waste of the system

• Makes it harder to detect and fix problems

• Hides your manufacturing issues.

Page 9: One piece flow


Little’s LawQueuing theory

• Inventory = Throughput × Flow Time(cycle time)

• Fundamental and simple

• Relates 3 critical performance measures of any production system

• Much deeper

• it applies to single stations, production lines, factories, supply chains

• it applies to systems w/ or w/o variability

• it applies to non-production systems where inventory represents people

• Average Completion Rate = Things-in-Process/Throughput

Page 10: One piece flow


DemoDots Game

Page 11: One piece flow



• Distractions and task shifting reduce individual efficiency with 20% for each interruption

• Cycle time increases and predictability decreases as larger pieces of work are loaded into the system

• Bottlenecks

• People doing work in front of a bottleneck that adds to the queue of the bottleneck are actually causing


• If there is no productive work you can do

• It is better to do something outside of the value stream

• Reducing them

• Best way to ensure focus at all levels in the organization

Page 12: One piece flow


thank you

Silviu EigelSenior [email protected]