Operations review

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Why do you want to hold operations review meetings:

I also am very pleased by the recent operations review meeting. The presentation by the groups was concise, had good KPIs showing where the stood and resulted in meaningful discussion and action items that actually make a difference in how we get our work done. I was really impressed by how the teams worked together to help each other.
Mike Couvillion, CTO, DrillingInfo, December 22, 2015

Since metrics drive behavior, an operations review:

  • reminds everyone that we are running a business;
  • presents a summary of the overall performance for the month;
    • budget details;
    • throughput;
    • headcount;
    • tells how well we are managing against budget, and, therefore, how much slack we have to do kaizen, buy items like flat-screen monitors and new computers or throw a party.
  • builds on the financial data of the previous time period, so takes place after the books for the prior month are closed
  • preferably takes place on a fixed day of the week, for example on the second Friday of the subsequent month;
  • compares planned versus actual numbers;
  • is the feedback loop between adjacent layers in the holarchy:

A mini operations review:

  • is an objective, data-driven retrospective on the squad's or organization’s performance rather than the more subjective, anecdotal, qualitative management.
  • is above and beyond any one sprint or project;
  • sets an expectation;
  • provides the feedback loop that enables growth of organizational maturity and organization- level continuous improvement.
  • reviews data like:
    • defect rates
    • average lead time distribution
    • throughput
    • value-added efficiency, and, occasionally,
    • a specific report that would drill into some aspect of our process on which the business needs more information
  • wraps up with questions & answers, comments, and suggestions from the floor for a few minutes.

To keep our costs under control, guest sponsors food—Invite a vice president from another part of the company so that our value-stream partners take an interest, show interest in them and invite them to present.


  • Kanban—Successful Evolutionary Change for Your Technology Business, David Anderson