Using ball flow exercises to highlight bottlenecks in software delivery

Experience DevOps

One of the exercises we do during the Experience DevOps workshop is a ball flow scenario inspired by the Ball Point game. We set up different combinations and topologies of Dev teams and Ops teams, and then see how many balls the teams can pass in (say) 60 seconds.

Experience-DevOps-ball-flow-exercise

When we ran the workshop recently in Bangalore, we had a large number of participants, which enabled some interesting experimentation with the topology of the teams. In the exercise, the ‘Dev’ team takes balls from the ‘backlog’, and eventually passes the balls to the ‘Ops’ team, who must ‘make the features live’ under some constraints designed to simulate real-world physical constraints.

Experience-DevOps-in-Bangalore

With the large group of participants in Bangalore, we experimented with multiple value streams (or products). After ‘warm-up’ runs using a single ‘product’ (value stream) and therefore a single Dev team and a single Ops team, we split people into two separate…

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