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An Introduction to Lean Thinking

Lean software development, which we hear a lot about these days, may be still a bit of a mystery for people who come to Agile via Scrum or XP.  Earlier this year, at an Open Party was sponsored by InfoQ China, Ning Lu of ThoughtWorks China offered an introduction to Lean thinking, and said the biggest obstacle to Lean thinking can be the manufacturing mindset.

He explained how to recognize and eliminate waste with The 5 Lean Principles with examples, and listed out several typical phenomena which always accompany waste:
  • Inventory
  • Batch processes and waiting in queues
  • Unbalance
  • Complication
  • Focus on "following the regulations"
He also talked about the kinds of waste defined in Lean, especially "necessary waste", and summarized several interesting patterns that are commonly used to reduce those forms of waste:
  • Treat it positively
  • Change personal tasks to "team tasks"
  • Separate responsibilities between people and machines
  • Do work ahead of time, and frequently
Please read the full InfoQ article: An Introduction to Lean Thinking for Software.

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