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InfoQ Homepage Presentations Second Generation Lean Product Development: From Cargo Cult to Science

Second Generation Lean Product Development: From Cargo Cult to Science



Don Reinertsen discusses the concepts behind second generation lean product development. He shows some of the quantifiable economic trade-offs associated with queue management, batch size reduction, WIP constraints, cadence, and flow control. He explains why the ideas of lean manufacturing, though perfect for the predictable work of manufacturing, are inadequate for product developers.


Don Reinertsen is recognised internationally for his contribution to the management of product development. In 1983 he wrote a landmark article that first quantified the value of development speed,indicating that 6 months delay can be worth 33 percent of lifecycle profits.

About the conference

The Lean and Kanban 2009 event was created to drive further progress in software development by providing a unique opportunity to share best practices and innovation within the growing community of software engineers, managers, and executives adopting Lean and Kanban systems. It provides a unique opportunity to meet with and learn directly from industry luminaries and practitioners from around the world.

Recorded at:

Jan 22, 2010

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Community comments

  • Great Webminar except for Deming part ;)

    by lepine kong,

    Your message is awaiting moderation. Thank you for participating in the discussion.

    Sorry for my poor english if ever because I'm not english native.

    I have really appreciated this Webminar. I've been a Quality Engineer in traditional Industry myself before going into IT and what Don Reinertsen says about the huge difference between the two is really true. This seems common sense for people operationally involved in software development but not always at the management level, that's at least my experience in France where Management is often about managing people not process (which is in the hand of Governance which mostly do not deal with concrete stuffs) and who have some difficulty to just realize that building a software is not exactly like building a product in a factory especially with the rise of so called "Software Factory". I have created an analogy with Fractal Theory to explain that to Managers here

    As for Deming, I don't agree with Don because it's a very huge misunderstanding about what Deming means by system. I have met a friend of Deming who translated 2 of his Books in French 20 years and so I think I can tell I know Deming's spirit nearly first hand.

    Don has probably known Deming through the huge misleading theory of Six Sigma or ISO stuff with which Deming did not welcome Deming Philosophy is more about Psychology of People than about Statistical Systems (see direct testimonies of CEOs from both Fortune 500 US and Japan companies from Continuously training People for excellency of the system is part of his 14 points of Deming Management in his book "Out of the Crisis"

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