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New Book on Lean Software Offers Practical Advice

by Deborah Hartmann Preuss on Sep 18, 2006 |

In 2003, Mary and Tom Poppendieck's Lean Software Development introduced development techniques that adapt the principles of Lean manufacturing and logistics (like the Toyota Production system, which revolutionized the automobile industry) for use in software development. 

Since the publication of the first book, the benefits of lean and agile software development have become widely known and appreciated, and the Poppendiecks have traveled around the world, visiting organizations as they implement these new approaches, and continuing to learn from their interaction with people working to improve the way they develop software.  Still, demand for further information has led to their second book, Implementing Lean Software Development: From Concept to Cash, which offers a companion guide: a blend of history, theory, and practice which shows exactly how to implement Lean software development, hands-on.

The new book draws on the their extensive experience helping development organizations optimize the entire software value stream, an important approach which Mary practiced years ago at 3M, where software development is seen as as simply one part of the entire product development process, or "value stream". They present the right questions to ask, the key issues to focus on, and techniques proven to work.

In the exclusive InfoQ book excerpt, Chapter 2: Principles, the authors look at how manufacturing and supply chain management differ from IT, and how they needed to adapt Lean's basic ideas to the characteristics of software development. They then discuss each of the seven principles they developed: Eliminate Waste, Build Quality In, Create Knowledge, Defer Commitment, Deliver Fast, Respect People, and Optimize the Whole:

The authors point out that a lean organization optimizes the whole value stream, from the time it receives an order to address a customer need until software is deployed and the need is addressed.  They point out that, if an organization focuses on optimizing something less than the entire value stream, it's almost guaranteed that the overall value stream will suffer.  This is a major theme of the book, which offers the tools to root out sub-optimization and other forms of inefficient process.

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Broken link by Eric Torreborre

Hi, the link to the sample chapter is broken,...
Thanks,
Eric.

Re: Broken link by Deborah Hartmann

Links work for me... what browser are you using? Pls send further details to me at deborah a t infoq d o t com - I'll see what I can do. Thanks for letting us know.

Re: Broken link by Eric Torreborre

Hi Deborah,

I tried this link in both Firefox and IE
www.infoq.com/resource/news/poppendieck-impleme...

and got a:

"Oops! The server couldn't find the requested information" message.

Anyway, I can wait for the book, I have pre-ordered it 3 months ago,...

Re: Broken link by Deborah Hartmann

Solved. Thanks for your patience.

ERROR : broken link even today by anjan bacchu

www.infoq.com/resource/news/poppendieck-impleme...

is broken. Monitoring comment logs for strings like broken/error can make it easy to manage forums like these.

BR,
~A

Re: ERROR : broken link even today by Deborah Hartmann

Uh oh, there were two links, only one got fixed. Done.

Allowed html: a,b,br,blockquote,i,li,pre,u,ul,p

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