Implementing Lean Software Development: From Concept to Cash

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Overview

"This remarkable book combines practical advice, ready-to-use techniques, anda deep understanding of why this is the right way to develop software. I haveseen software teams transformed by the ideas in this book."

--Mike Cohn, author of Agile Estimating and Planning

"As a lean practitioner myself, I have loved and used their first book for years.When this second book came out, I was delighted that it was even better. If youare interested in how lean principles can be useful for software developmentorganizations, this is the book you are looking for. The Poppendiecks offer abeautiful blend of history, theory, and practice."

--Alan Shalloway, coauthor of Design Patterns Explained

"I've enjoyed reading the book very much. I feel it might even be better than thefirst lean book by Tom and Mary, while that one was already exceptionallygood! Mary especially has a lot of knowledge related to lean techniques inproduct development and manufacturing. It's rare that these techniques areactually translated to software. This is something no other book does well(except their first book)."

--Bas Vodde

"The new book by Mary and Tom Poppendieck provides a well-written andcomprehensive introduction to lean principles and selected practices for softwaremanagers and engineers. It illustrates the application of the values andpractices with well-suited success stories. I enjoyed reading it."

--Roman Pichler

"In Implementing Lean Software Development, the Poppendiecks explore moredeeply the themes they introduced in Lean Software Development. They beginwith a compelling history of lean thinking, then move to key areas such asvalue, waste, and people. Each chapter includes exercises to help you apply keypoints. If you want a better understanding of how lean ideas can work withsoftware, this book is for you."

--Bill Wake, independent consultant

In 2003, Mary and Tom Poppendieck's Lean Software Development introduced breakthrough development techniques that leverage Lean principles to deliver unprecedented agility and value. Now their widely anticipated sequel and companion guide shows exactly how to implement Lean software development, hands-on.

This new book draws on the Poppendiecks' unparalleled experience helping development organizations optimize the entire software value stream. You'll discover the right questions to ask, the key issues to focus on, and techniques proven to work. The authors present case studies from leading-edge software organizations, and offer practical exercises for jumpstarting your own Lean initiatives.

  • Managing to extend, nourish, and leverage agile practices
  • Building true development teams, not just groups
  • Driving quality through rapid feedback and detailed discipline
  • Making decisions Just-in-Time, but no later
  • Delivering fast: How PatientKeeper delivers 45 rock-solid releases per year
  • Making tradeoffs that really satisfy customers
Implementing Lean Software Development is indispensable to anyone who wants more effective development processes--managers, project leaders, senior developers, and architects in enterprise IT and software companies alike.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780321437389
  • Publisher: Addison-Wesley
  • Publication date: 9/15/2006
  • Series: Addison-Wesley Signature Series
  • Edition description: 1ST
  • Pages: 304
  • Sales rank: 506,931
  • Product dimensions: 6.97 (w) x 9.20 (h) x 0.64 (d)

Meet the Author

Mary Poppendieck is a seasoned leader in operations and product development with more than thirty 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 the president of Poppendieck LLC, which specializes in bringing Lean techniques to software development.

Tom Poppendieck is an enterprise analyst, architect, and agile process mentor with more than twenty-five years of experience developing and implementing complex systems. He currently assists organizations in applying Lean principles and tools to software development processes.

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Read an Excerpt

The Sequel

Lean was an idea borrowed from the 1990s when we wrote the book Lean Software Development: An Agile Toolkit in 2003. We had observed that breakthrough ideas from manufacturing and logistics often take a decade or two before they are adapted to provide suitable guidance for development efforts. So we decided it was not too late to use well-proven lean concepts from the 1980s and 1990s to help us explain why agile methods are a very effective approach to software development.

The strategy worked. The book Lean Software Development presents a set of thinking tools based on lean thinking that leaders continue to find useful for understanding agile software development. The book has been purchased by many a developer who gave it to his or her manager to read, and many managers have distributed multiple copies of the book to colleagues in support of a transition to lean/agile software development.

Meanwhile, something unexpected happened to lean. In the last couple of years lean initiatives have experienced a resurgence in popularity. The word lean was originally popularized in the early 1990s to characterize the Japanese approach to automobile manufacturing. In recent years, Honda and Toyota have been doing increasingly well in the North American auto market, while Detroit automakers are restructuring. For example, Toyota's profits rose from more than $8 billion in the fiscal year ending March 31, 2003, to more than $10 billion in 2004, $11 billion in 2005, and $12 billion in 2006. Many companies have taken a second look at lean to try to understand what's behind such steady and sustained success.

Lean initiatives seldom start in thesoftware development or product development area of a company, but over time, successful lean initiatives make their way from manufacturing or logistics to development departments. However, lean practices from manufacturing and other operational areas do not adapt easily to a development environment, so lean initiatives have a tendency to stall when they reach software development. While the underlying lean principles remain valid, it is usually inappropriate to apply operational practices and measurements to a development environment. When lean initiatives stall in software development areas, many companies have discovered that the book Lean Software Development gives them a good foundation for thinking about how to modify their approach and adapt lean ideas to a development organization.

The benefits of lean and agile software development have become widely known and appreciated in the last few years, and many organizations are changing the way they develop software. We have traveled around the world visiting organizations as they implement these new approaches, and we have learned a lot from our interaction with people working hard to change the way they develop software. As our knowledge has grown, so has the demand for more information on implementing lean software development. We realized that a new book would allow us to share what we've learned with many more people than we can contact personally. Therefore we have summarized our experiences in this book, Implementing Lean Software Development: From Concept to Cash.

This book is not a cookbook for implementing lean software development. Like our last book, it is a set of thinking tools about how to go about adapting lean principles to your world. We start this book where the last book left off and go deeper into the issues and problems that people encounter when trying to implement lean and agile software development. You might consider this book a sequel to Lean Software Development. Instead of repeating what is in that book, we take a different perspective. We assume the reader is convinced that lean software development is a good idea, and focus on the essential elements of a successful implementation. We look at key aspects of implementation and discuss what is important, what isn't, and why. Our objective is to help organizations get started down the path toward more effective software development.

The first chapter of this book reviews the history of lean, and the second chapter reviews the seven principles of lean software development presented in Lean Software Development. These are followed by chapters on value, waste, speed, people, knowledge, quality, partners, and the journey ahead. Each of these eight chapters begins with a story that illustrates how one organization dealt with the issue at hand. This is followed by a discussion of key topics we have found to be important, along with short stories that illustrate the topic, and answers to typical questions we often hear. Each chapter ends with a set of exercises that helps you explore the topics more deeply.

Mary and Tom Poppendieck
July 2006

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Table of Contents

Foreword by Jeff Sutherland xvii

Foreword by Kent Beck xx

Preface xxiii

Chapter 1: History 1

Interchangeable Parts 1

Interchangeable People 2

The Toyodas 3

The Toyota Production System 4

Taiichi Ohno 5

Shigeo Shingo 6

Just-in-Time 7

Lean 11

Lean Manufacturing / Lean Operations 11

Lean Supply Chain 12

Lean Product Development 13

Lean Software Development 17

Try This 17

Chapter 2: Principles 19

Principles and Practices 19

Software Development 20

The Seven Principles of Lean Software Development 23

Principle 1: Eliminate Waste 23

Principle 2: Build Quality In 25

Principle 3: Create Knowledge 29

Principle 4: Defer Commitment 32

Principle 5: Deliver Fast 34

Principle 6: Respect People 36

Principle 7: Optimize the Whole 38

Try This 42

Chapter 3: Value 43

Lean Solutions 43

Google 43

From Concept to Cash 46

Delighted Customers 49

Deep Customer Understanding 50

Focus on the Job 51

The Customer-Focused Organization 52

Leadership 52

Complete Teams 57

Custom Development 60

From Projects to Products 60

IT--Business Collaboration 62

Try This 65

Chapter 4: Waste 67

Write Less Code 67

Zara 67

Complexity 69

The Seven Wastes 73

Partially Done Work 74

Extra Features 75

Relearning 76

Handoffs 77

Task Switching 78

Delays 80

Defects 81

Mapping the Value Stream 83

Preparation 83

Examples 85

Future Value Stream Maps 92

Try This 92

Chapter 5: Speed 95

Deliver Fast 95

PatientKeeper 95

Time: The Universal Currency 98

Queuing Theory 100

Little's Law 100

Variation and Utilization 101

Reducing Cycle Time 103

Try This 114

Chapter 6: People 117

A System of Management 117

The Boeing 777 117

W. Edwards Deming 120

Why Good Programs Fail 124

Teams 126

What Makes a Team? 126

Expertise 129

Leadership 132

Responsibility-Based Planning and Control 133

The Visual Workspace 136

Self-Directing Work 137

Incentives 141

Performance Evaluations 141

Compensation 143

Try This 147

Chapter 7: Knowledge 149

Creating Knowledge 149

Rally 149

What, Exactly, Is Your Problem? 152

A Scientific Way of Thinking 154

Keeping Track of What You Know 155

Just-in-Time Commitment 159

Set-Based Design 160

Refactoring 164

Problem Solving 168

A Disciplined Approach 169

Kaizen Events 173

Try This 175

Chapter 8: Quality 177

Feedback 177

The Polaris Program 177

Release Planning 179

Architecture 182

Iterations 183

Discipline 190

The Five S's 190

Standards 193

Mistake-Proofing 196

Test-Driven Development 198

Configuration Management 201

Continuous Integration 202

Nested Synchronization 203

Try This 204

Chapter 9: Partners 207

Synergy 207

Emergency! 207

Open Source 209

Global Networks 210

Outsourcing 214

Contracts 217

The T5 Agreement 217

The PS 2000 Contract 218

Relational Contracts 219

Try This 221

Chapter 10: Journey 223

Where Do You Want to Go? 223

A Computer on Wheels 224

A Long-Term Perspective 225

Centered on People 227

What Have We Learned? 229

Six Sigma 229

Theory of Constraints 230

Hypothesis 234

Training 234

Thinking 236

Measurement 237

Roadmap 242

Try This 243

Optimize the Whole 243

Respect People 243

Deliver Fast 244

Defer Commitment 244

Create Knowledge 245

Build Quality In 245

Eliminate Waste 246

Bibliography 247

Index 257

Read More Show Less

Preface

The Sequel

Lean was an idea borrowed from the 1990s when we wrote the book Lean Software Development: An Agile Toolkit in 2003. We had observed that breakthrough ideas from manufacturing and logistics often take a decade or two before they are adapted to provide suitable guidance for development efforts. So we decided it was not too late to use well-proven lean concepts from the 1980s and 1990s to help us explain why agile methods are a very effective approach to software development.

The strategy worked. The book Lean Software Development presents a set of thinking tools based on lean thinking that leaders continue to find useful for understanding agile software development. The book has been purchased by many a developer who gave it to his or her manager to read, and many managers have distributed multiple copies of the book to colleagues in support of a transition to lean/agile software development.

Meanwhile, something unexpected happened to lean. In the last couple of years lean initiatives have experienced a resurgence in popularity. The word lean was originally popularized in the early 1990s to characterize the Japanese approach to automobile manufacturing. In recent years, Honda and Toyota have been doing increasingly well in the North American auto market, while Detroit automakers are restructuring. For example, Toyota's profits rose from more than $8 billion in the fiscal year ending March 31, 2003, to more than $10 billion in 2004, $11 billion in 2005, and $12 billion in 2006. Many companies have taken a second look at lean to try to understand what's behind such steady and sustained success.

Lean initiatives seldom start in the software development or product development area of a company, but over time, successful lean initiatives make their way from manufacturing or logistics to development departments. However, lean practices from manufacturing and other operational areas do not adapt easily to a development environment, so lean initiatives have a tendency to stall when they reach software development. While the underlying lean principles remain valid, it is usually inappropriate to apply operational practices and measurements to a development environment. When lean initiatives stall in software development areas, many companies have discovered that the book Lean Software Development gives them a good foundation for thinking about how to modify their approach and adapt lean ideas to a development organization.

The benefits of lean and agile software development have become widely known and appreciated in the last few years, and many organizations are changing the way they develop software. We have traveled around the world visiting organizations as they implement these new approaches, and we have learned a lot from our interaction with people working hard to change the way they develop software. As our knowledge has grown, so has the demand for more information on implementing lean software development. We realized that a new book would allow us to share what we've learned with many more people than we can contact personally. Therefore we have summarized our experiences in this book, Implementing Lean Software Development: From Concept to Cash.

This book is not a cookbook for implementing lean software development. Like our last book, it is a set of thinking tools about how to go about adapting lean principles to your world. We start this book where the last book left off and go deeper into the issues and problems that people encounter when trying to implement lean and agile software development. You might consider this book a sequel to Lean Software Development. Instead of repeating what is in that book, we take a different perspective. We assume the reader is convinced that lean software development is a good idea, and focus on the essential elements of a successful implementation. We look at key aspects of implementation and discuss what is important, what isn't, and why. Our objective is to help organizations get started down the path toward more effective software development.

The first chapter of this book reviews the history of lean, and the second chapter reviews the seven principles of lean software development presented in Lean Software Development. These are followed by chapters on value, waste, speed, people, knowledge, quality, partners, and the journey ahead. Each of these eight chapters begins with a story that illustrates how one organization dealt with the issue at hand. This is followed by a discussion of key topics we have found to be important, along with short stories that illustrate the topic, and answers to typical questions we often hear. Each chapter ends with a set of exercises that helps you explore the topics more deeply.

Mary and Tom Poppendieck
July 2006

Read More Show Less

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 5, 2006

    Google does not invariably delight users

    The authors describe well what is meant by lean software development. An 'agile' approach that involves planning and delivering software in small, frequent steps. As opposed to the traditional big delivery waterfall format. One merit of the book is in its recap of quality management in manufacturing. Perhaps some readers who hail strictly from a software background might be unfamiliar with those ideas. Storied figures like Taylor and Deming and Toyoda and their contributions to optimal manufacturing are mentioned. Along with successful projects like the US Polaris submarine and the Boeing 777. Many of the ideas are applicable to software, and you might draw inspiration from them. A key point is to only write code for essential features. Inessential code is bad for two reasons. It wastes programmer time. More importantly, it increases the chance (or certainty) that the overall code gets bloated and brittle. Thus, the unnecessary maintainance cost is the main cost of inessential code. However, one problem with the book is its uncritical use of Google as an example of a company whose software 'invariably delights users'. The latest Fortune magazine has a cover article on Google. It reports that Google has over 80 projects made available to the public. 80? You did not know this, perhaps? Which is precisely the point. The vast majority of those have gained no significant traction in the marketplace. At one level, Google is deliberately experimenting with a vast set of ideas, throwing these at a wall and seeing what sticks. But in doing so, it refutes the book's claim about an invariable delight.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 29, 2007

    Great Reference for Managers and Developers

    This is a great overview of Lean concepts and includes great ideas for factoring in business QUALITY initiatives!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 19, 2006

    An amazing collection of practical advice you can use tomorrow

    I¿ve long considered Mary and Tom Poppendieck to be among the primary theoreticians in the agile software development movement. Their first book, Lean Software Development, provided insights into the theory behind agile software development. That first book has been widely praised for helping those of us doing agile software development know why what we were doing worked. With their new book, Implementing Lean Software Development: From Concept to Cash, the Poppendiecks move their ideas a giant leap forward. In this book they move very much from theory straight into what teams should do tomorrow to create better products. The book is full of practical, agile- or lean-minded, do-this-tomorrow advice on topics such as how to solve problems, how to structure compensation and recognition programs, how to get started on a lean initiative, how to write contracts for agile projects, and many more. The practicality of the book is reinforced by the ¿Try This¿ exercises that conclude each chapter. The book starts out with a wonderful description of their seven principles of lean software development. For each principle they single out and dispel a common myth associated with the principle. Their description of the principle ¿build quality in,¿ for example, includes a highly effective argument against the myth that the job of testing is to find defects. The book then moves on to chapters on value, waste, people, knowledge, quality, and partners before concluding with a chapter on the journey ahead for companies embracing the theory and the practical advice given in this wonderful book.

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