In this workshop, we will run through a process I've used with beleaguered deployment and infrastructure teams to help them get a handle on emergent work. Ad Hoc support requests can be debilitating for teams with time boxed or focused work in their backlogs. This kind of support is often a grind; emergent tasks are often not well defined. It is not always clear when, or even if, we should engage with them. When we do, the outcomes are often spotty and hard to measure.
DevOps is largely about breaking down the functional silos between software developers and operations teams. These silos inhibit feedback and create blind spots that effect software quality, deployment process, and operation of production services. This in turn drives unsustainable workloads and a poor customer experience. Kanban provides a path to a sustainable flow of work by shining a bright light on demand and capacity issues and exposing these bottlenecks. The two frameworks taken together work to facilitate continuous improvement of the deployment and operation of live services.
Video games make extensive use of the 'level grind' as a mechanism for improving a character's gear or its stats. The Gore Tusk Liver Grinder (our name for the process) provides a method for decomposing emergent work requests into something we can understand, commit to, and possibly enjoy. We take advantage of the same neural hack used in video games to drive engagement and apply it to 'on demand' work requests.
In this workshop we will learn to implement a basic Kanban board and put it to work as a tool to make better decisions and better commitments. We might also come to enjoy what had previously been a source of anxiety and dread.