CT-SPIN #64: Taming the customer support queue: A Kanban Experience Report

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Update: This talk by Karen Greaves has been accepted for the Agile 2011 Conference, August in Utah. Be the first to hear it at CT-SPIN in February.

In Aug 2010 we reduced the size of our development team. We needed to handle customer support issues and new development with the 3 remaining teams. We had over 600 open defects and the list was growing daily. On top of that our first clients were going live. Clearly some radical change was needed. We implemented Kanban.

The result? In Dec 2010 we had no open severity 1 issues. Our queue was down to 54 issues. SLAs are met in most cases, and our resolution rate exceeds our incoming rate.

I’d like to share our story, and inspire you to tame your support queue too!

Snacks kindly sponsored by ScrumSense.

Slides: A Kanban Experience Report

Wednesday, 16th February 2011, 18h15
Bandwidth Barn
Cape Town

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Venue

Bandwidth Barn
125 Buitengracht Street
Cape Town

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Agenda

18:15 Welcoming and Introduction
Herman Lintvelt
18:20 Taming the customer support queue: A Kanban Experience Report
Karen Greaves
19:20 Closing and Thanks
Herman Lintvelt
19:25 Networking & Discussion

Abstract

In Aug 2010 we reduced the size of our development team. We needed to handle customer support issues and new development with the 3 remaining teams. We had over 600 open defects and the list was growing daily. On top of that our first clients were going live. Clearly some radical change was needed. We implemented Kanban.

The result? In Dec 2010 we had no open severity 1 issues. Our queue was down to 54 issues. SLAs are met in most cases, and our resolution rate exceeds our incoming rate.

I’d like to share our story, and inspire you to tame your support queue too!

I’ll use a presentation with a few slides, mostly showing pictures of our board or graphs and metrics we collected. I’ll talk through our story, and allow lots of time for discussion and questions about some of the mistakes and decisions we made.
Talk Outcomes:

 


Speaker Profiles

Karen Greaves

I’ve been involved with software development for my whole working career. I’ve been a tester, developer, project manager, program manager, implementation manager, project office manager, scrum master, and product owner. I’ve used RUP, V-Model, XP, Scrum, fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants-and-pretend-its-a-process. I’ve got just about all the project management credentials you can get: PMP, Prince 2 Practitioner, Certified Scrum Master, Certified Scrum Product Owner and Certified Scrum Professional.

All of this has lead me to where I am today. I’m passionate about building good software, and using agile methods to do so. I think building great teams is the foundation of agile, and spend most of my time focusing on that. I’m currently the software development manager at Fundamo, and thinking about embarking on a journey to become a Certified Scrum Trainer and Coach.

You can find out more about me on Linked In: http://za.linkedin.com/in/karengreaves

  • Practical tips you can use to actively manage your customer defect queue
  • What metrics to track with Kanban to help make informed decisions
  • How to go about designing and evolving a Kanban board and setting WIP limits
  • Getting stakeholder buy in to a new process especially with looming deadlines