Ative at Work

Agile software development

Ative at Work

“Implementing Lean Software Development: Practitioners Course”, by Mary and Tom Poppendieck

Having attended the two day “Implementing Lean Software Development:  Practitioners Course”, I encourage you to join Mary and Toms classes or speeches if you get the chance, they are very inspiring and their knowledge about lean and agile are amazing. 

Mary and Tom have done a great job in transforming Lean principles from the manufacturing environment to software development. The course take you trough the Lean history, give you a brush up on the theory behind Lean and give you a lot of god techniques, tools and ideas on how to improve your existing projects and use the power of Lean.

 A few “lessons learned”:  
  • Success factor for implementing Lean: look at the whole supply chain, not only development or test. Think products (end to end) and not only projects.
  • Use pull rather than push. Be aware of utilization: an operations manager will react when a servers cpu utilization is getting close to 100% - but what about people utilization …
  • When implementing Lean it isn’t enough just to use Just-in-time and stop-the-line. It is the people doing the actual work that have the potential to make it a success. They have the good answers and ideas.
  • All queues and stacks of work is WASTE. Remove the cues, improve the cycle time and get better overall performance and quality. Value stream maps are a powerful tool to identify queues and their size.
  • Without automatic tests you are asking for trouble. Don’t buy the “we don’t have time to implement automatic tests” excuse, if you wait your problems will grow…
  • And NO it is not ok to have a backlog that contains work for more than 3 iterations, including ideas for the future – get rid of the WASTE and focus on the important stuff that adds value to the customer.


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