The Continuous Delivery Pipeline: The Pipeline that Keeps Giving. Part II

Even way back the ancient times, people, thoughtful people, leaders, thought in terms of ‘systems’… small components working as one to deliver value… they have a mantra: ‘maximum value with the least effort!’. You do the same, adopt this Mantra! As Bill Gates has stated, ‘…give the work to a ‘lazy’ person, he will spend the least effort to complete it!’

Balian — in part 1 — clearly knows two SAFe Principles:

SAFe Principle #1: Take an economic view

SAFe Principle #2: Apply systems thinking

Balian thought that having no constant source of water for the already dwindling vegetation is not viable long term — not economical, not survivable. The cost of delay of not solving this situation is too high (his subjects, including him, will die of hunger and malnutrition). By considering the cost of delay, he took an economic view.

Then, after having built a water well, he thought that walking with pails of water from the well to the vegetation is a very manual work and time consuming. So, he developed a system to provide a constant flow of water to the vegetation and to the villagers’ houses. It is via a continuous delivery pipeline — to ‘automate’ the manual delivery of water! He applied systems thinking… and slowly optimized the system … thinking of the system as a whole… not just optimizing pieces of it without thinking of the effect of the optimization to the whole.

The drift of the story — having a continuous flow of value — is true to any person or entity, generation after generation, ad Infinitum. You do want a constant flow of money don’t you? Bernie Madoff did… and he built a system for it… ignoring the morality of it, it is an example just the same… albeit a ‘warning’ kind of example.

A lot fail because they lack a system … a continuous delivery pipeline system. Even if they have a system, they do not know how to achieve a continuous flow of value. Even if they do have a flow, they do not know how to manage it… they clog the system… and it stops working. They are not aware of SAFe Principle #6: Visualize and limit work in process (WIP), reduce batch sizes, and manage queue lengths’. Yup, small batch size promotes flow; large batch size clogs and inhibits / stops flow.

There you have it. Three SAFe Principles in one ancient story or ‘parable’: ‘Kingdom of Heaven’ — watch this film in blue ray… one of the best films I’ve ever seen! Superb filmmaking… an epic with lots of features and lots of stories!

To be continued… part III: The Continuous Delivery Pipeline in SAFe !