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Lean Software Development: An Agile Toolkit Paperback – 8 May 2003
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From the Back Cover
Lean Software Development: An Agile Toolkit
Mary Poppendieck Tom Poppendieck
Forewords by Jim Highsmithand Ken Schwaber
- Adapting agile practices to your development organization
- Uncovering and eradicating waste throughout the software development lifecycle
- Practical techniques for every development manager, project manager, and technical leader
Lean software development: applying agile principles to your organization
In Lean Software Development, Mary and Tom Poppendieck identify seven fundamental "lean" principles, adapt them for the world of software development, and show how they can serve as the foundation for agile development approaches that work. Along the way, they introduce 22 "thinking tools" that can help you customize the right agile practices for any environment.
Better, cheaper, faster software development. You can have all three―if you adopt the same lean principles that have already revolutionized manufacturing, logistics and product development.
- Iterating towards excellence: software development as an exercise in discovery
- Managing uncertainty: "decide as late as possible" by building change into the system.
- Compressing the value stream: rapid development, feedback, and improvement
- Empowering teams and individuals without compromising coordination
- Software with integrity: promoting coherence, usability, fitness, maintainability, and adaptability
- How to "see the whole"―even when your developers are scattered across multiple locations and contractors
Simply put, Lean Software Development helps you refocus development on value, flow, and people―so you can achieve breakthrough quality, savings, speed, and business alignment.
About the Author
MARY POPPENDIECK, Managing Director of the Agile Alliance (a leading non profit organization promoting agile software development), is a seasoned leader in both operations and new product development with more than 25 years of IT experience. She has led teams implementing solutions ranging from enterprise supply chain management to digital media, and built one of 3M's first Just-in-Time lean production systems. Mary is currently the President of Poppendieck LLC, a consulting firm specializing in bringing lean production techniques to software development.
TOM POPPENDIECK was creating systems to support concurrent development of commercial airliner navigation devices as early as 1985. Even then, the aerospace industry recognized that sequential development of product design, manufacturing process design and product support was costly and non-competitive. His subsequent experience in software product development, COTS implementation, and most recently as a coach, mentor, and enterprise architect support the same conclusion for software development. He currently assists organizations that need to improve their software development capabilities apply the lean principles and tools described in this book.
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Top customer reviews
Lean development was started by Toyota in the 50s when Ford was selling more cars in a day than they were in a decade. They looked at all their development activities to see how they could develop quicker and cheaper and get closer to what the customer wanted. They were so successful that now all car manufacturers have to follow the principles they developed just to remain competitive.
The Poppendiecks' book shows how to apply these lean principles to software development. The first chapter gives an overview, including listing the seven principles. They then take a chapter per principle, showing how to apply this principle to software development. The final chapter is a "warranty" and guidelines for applying the principles usefully (basically think about them, don't apply them blind).
The seven lean principles are:
1. Eliminate waste - anything which doesn't add value to the end product
2. Increase feedback - iterate so you can get early feedback
3. Delay commitment - so you can decide with the best knowledge
4. Deliver fast - so you can afford to delay commitment
5. Empower the team - they're the ones closest to the information
6. Build integrity in - have an integrated product team, use refactoring to keep the code clean, and use test-driven development to make sure it's all tested and you have a reason for doing everything.
7. See the whole - measure UP not DOWN - measuring details encourages micro-optimisation which tends to give overall suboptimisation. If you measure at a level higher you get global optimisations.
I found this book compulsive reading and difficult to put down. So much of it fitted with my experience running projects - they recommend the things I found worked, and avoid the things I found didn't. And the rest of it provided useful extra techniques. Buy it. You won't regret it. But don't expect silver bullets - you will have to work at it to get the benefits.
Now to carry on trying to implement these in my day-to-day work...
Karma being what it is; I actually left this book on a train some months later. I hope someone else got as much use out of it as I did.
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