Lean Simulation Small batch release

This simulation will prove how small batch release wins over big bang release.

Big bang release – In traditional software development, we develop for years and release everything together. This creates a lot of issues like long lead time, skyrocketing levels of WIP (work in progress), long waiting, increasing development cost, low quality and more.

Small batch release – To create a smooth and fast flow of work with high quality we need to work in small batch sizes.

Lean Thinking: Banish Waste and Create Wealth in Your Corporation by James P. Womack and Daniel T. Jones.



I have conducted this simulation at Apttus Bangalore hosted by CodeOps Technologies

Team exercise: we have ten brochures to send and mailing each brochure requires four steps:

  1. Fold the paper
  2. Insert the paper into the envelope
  3. Seal the envelope
  4. Stamp the envelope.

We have created 4 teams. 2 teams will be doing in Big Bang way and 2 teams will perform in a small batch release.

Small Batch release team started all the steps required to complete each brochure are performed sequentially before starting on the next brochure. they fold one sheet of paper, insert it into the envelope, seal it, and stamp it—only then they start the process over with the next sheet of paper.

Fold one sheet of paper, insert it into the envelope, seal it, and stamp it and repeat
By  3 minutes Small batch release team finished product delivery!! 🙂

Big Bang release team started to sequentially perform one operation on each of the ten brochures. First fold all ten sheets of paper, then insert each of them into envelopes, then seal all ten envelopes, and then stamp them.

By 5 minutes Bing bang release team was still working. 😦

Learnings from Game:

  1. Time-to-market – Small batch releases deliver products faster.
  2. MTTR – If any bugs found this can be addressed immediately without much of rework as feedback is received early in development.
  3. Quality – Small batch releases product with high quality.
  4. Waste – Small batch release eliminates waste.
  5. WIP – work in progress items will be reduced as team concentrates on single-piece-flow.
  6. continuous deployment – where each change committed to version control is integrated, tested and deployed into production.

Reference/further reading:


DevOps Handbook

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