How to Get Your Leadership Team on Board with Kanban Analytics
Every business strives to realize more revenue with less cash burn while continuing to delight their customers. Often though, the main sources of inefficiencies preventing business success are invisible. You need to turn on the light and reveal the current state of your workflow to be able to see what’s preventing your business from achieving better results.
Sometimes, it can be hard to communicate the benefits of adopting a Kanban analytics solution. Exposing its strategic perspective and the huge rewards that it brings to your company, is not always straightforward. That’s the main reason why we present this business case today. We strongly believe it will help you communicate the benefits of Kanban analytics and the tremendous impact that it can have on your company profits. This use case will enable you to confidently demonstrate the concept to your leadership team and get approval for adoption. And now, the stage is all yours.
Your Business Case
Let’s first emphasize why adopting Kanban analytics within your business makes perfect sense.
Kanban Analytics Makes It Easier to Manage Your Work
The main goal of a Kanban analytics solution is to expose the current state of your process and enable you to evaluate any potential opportunities for improvement. It brings clear visibility on your delivery times, your capacity and all the impediments that prevent you from realizing your team’s full potential.
Resolving bottlenecks, eliminating blockers and managing dependencies becomes so much easier when you’re seeing the clear picture in front of you.
The focus moves from starting more work to finishing what’s already been started and delivering results to the market as soon as possible in order to achieve a faster return on your investment.
Getting Started with Kanban Analytics Doesn’t Require Any Drastic Changes
You don’t have to change your processes, your tools, your working practices or your organizational structure in order to get started with Kanban analytics. On the contrary, you just start with what you do now and improve your working practices by making small evolutionary changes that work within your own business context.
Adopting Kanban Analytics Is a Low-Cost, Low-Risk Initiative
Implementing Kanban Analytics is a very cheap initiative as it sits on top of your current workflow, and it doesn’t require any disruptive changes that would be irreversible even if the initiative fails.
In fact, it makes a very powerful financial impact because it works to optimize your delivery speed which ultimately reduces your costs and enables you to deliver results faster and more consistently to the market.
The 3 Main Benefits of Adopting Kanban Analytics In Your Organization
I would like to present to you a success story from one of our customers who initially adopted Kanban analytics for one team, before expanding to integrate it throughout their entire organization. In less than one year, they managed to achieve tremendous success.
Reducing Your Delivery Times
This team used to work on multiple products at a time. They were constantly switching contexts, which introduced dependencies and blocked the workflow of one product while they worked on the other.
Most of the time, your items are stuck waiting to be handled in your process. By revealing the root causes that accumulate waiting time, you achieve transparency and enable major possibilities for improvement within your business.
At the beginning of 2019, they started working on 3 products simultaneously. Following their current practices, they managed to deliver their first product in 4 months, the second one in 6 months and the third one in 9 months. Abandoning work, constant context switching and legacy code was causing frustration and delays. The work was moving back and forth in the process. Every product took longer and longer to be finished.
This is what the annual revenue for these three products looked like at the end of the year:
In 2020, they adopted a Kanban analytics tool and they started evaluating the time they needed to finish their work. It turned out that the biggest contributor to the delivery time for all the three products was the waiting time caused by the same impediment – the team couldn’t keep the work moving through the process, as they were busy working on other products. Since this was a shared team, they were constantly switching the context and blocking each other’s work, which naturally accumulated a huge amount of idle time in their workflow.
In order to lift the dependencies and enable the work to move through the system, in 2020 they decided to initiate one product at a time and only start the next one once they had finished the previous one.
The products were similar in nature to those they’d worked on in 2019, so they set an expectation to reduce their delivery times by 40%. The goal was to eliminate the waiting time in the Development Queue and Testing Queue states, which were caused by the dependencies that they had artificially created.
By keeping their focus on one thing only, they managed to achieve that goal in just 2 months, when they released their first product.
Managing the Flow of Work Effectively
The next step was to evaluate the blockers in their flow of work and eliminate any sources of waiting time in their process. By performing a blocker clustering, they realized that plenty of the time that their work spent blocked was caused by additional requirements being pushed into the process and interrupting the work on the current items in progress. There were two main reasons that caused delays: defects and unplanned additional requests.
In order to overcome this obstacle, they implemented a WIP-limited pull system. The team adopted explicit policies concerning how to manage dependencies, bottlenecks and blockers. Everyone became aware and confident about what they needed to do if any obstacle prevented their progress.
This approach not only eliminated the vicious practice of interrupting work that has already been started but also dramatically improved the quality of the results, as the team was able to work with better precision and focus.
Increasing Your Productivity
They became more self-managed and engaged, and consequently, the quality of their work was outstanding. In the next 6 months, they managed to reduce their delivery times by a further 10%.
By the end of July 2020, they had already released 3 products on the market. Each of the products went live for 2 months. The team had plenty of capacity and they decided to develop 2 more products by the end of this year using that same strategy.
Here is what their revenue looks like in 2020:
All the products were released to the market much faster and, as such, they started to generate revenue earlier and for much longer in comparison to the previous year. Furthermore, they managed to enable two additional revenue channels – instead of 3, they delivered 4 products as of October 2020, and they are currently working on their 5th product, which will be released by the end of this year.
They registered 22% growth in their gross revenue by keeping their focus on one thing at a time, managing their workflows effectively and actively tracking their Kanban analytics.
The Impact of Kanban Analytics
By implementing Kanban analytics in their workflow, this team managed to change their working practices for good and achieve amazing results.
Here are their accomplishments in less than 1 year:
- Improved productivity by 40%
- Reduced delivery times by 50%
- Increase in growth revenue by 22%
- Realized cash flow earlier
- Created capability to deliver 2 new revenue channels
- Improved quality and customer satisfaction
- Improved social culture at the team
- Established a predictable delivery system
Numbers don’t lie. Run a trial, explore your data and show the numbers to your leadership team. Show them how much more productive, cost-effective and profitable you could become in the short term. Adopting Kanban analytics within your organization is ultimately a low-risk experiment with a massive reward.
Meet the Author
Sonya Siderova is a passionate product manager and a driving force behind Nave, a Kanban analytics suite that helps teams improve their delivery speed through data-driven decision making. When she's not catering to her two little ones, you might find Sonya absorbed in a good heavyweight boxing match or behind a screen crafting a new blog post.