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Implementing Lean Software Development: From Concept to Cash Paperback – Sep 7 2006
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From the Back Cover
"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)."
"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."
"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
About 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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The authors also deserve great kudos for writing a book that is also accessible and a pleasure to read (though a closer edit would have eliminated a few typos).
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
The authors like to bring in real-world examples to help bolster their arguments but frequently get the facts or their interpretation wrong. While the authors need not be experts in areas outside their expertise, one would expect that they would fact-check the basis of some fairly definitive statements; here are some examples: "... 16 is the standard number of missiles in a submarine to this day" (wrong since 1979 when first 24 missile Trident sub was launched); "... in 1985 the value of the yen started its steep fall" (actually the value of the yen rose). Nitpicking?---perhaps, but I find them wrong on areas that I know a little bit about, it makes me wonder how well they are doing when citing knowledge that is unfamiliar to me.
The authors belittle an "efficient expert" (the subject of "Cheaper by the Dozen") for believing there is only one way to efficiently do things. They later turn around and advocate that all developers be subjected to inspections---not inspections of their software but inspections of their desks to insure that they are tidy. They opine that a developer with a messy desk will probably be responsible for messy software; do they feel that a little maid-service will massively reduce software defects? (Why is it that morning people and neat-freaks always so self-righteous?). Sounds pretty "one-way" to me.
The bottom line is that you could probably find a good article in print somewhere that would provide you with most of the content here saving both time and money (sounds like the "lean" way to do things). Still you will get some value for your time and money if you do invest in this book.
That said, the book isn't just a rehash of the earlier, seminal work. This book seems to have a solid core of how to get the most out of development teams with two sections specific to people and partners. There are also terrific sections on knowledge-sharing, speed, and how to get the highest quality while delivering in a rapid and lean fashion. Some things aren't covered at all, such as the fundamentals of value stream or Pareto charts, but those areas are by far the minority.
One other reviewer remarked about the lack of anything specific to Extreme Programming, but I think that's missing the point a bit: this book isn't about a specific implementation of agile/lean/whatever, it's about the general approach to the principles of lean development. The book guides readers to explore what's not working in their own environment and alter bits and pieces to improve production. An example of this is the closing section to each chapter where a "Try This" section guides readers to examine how their own environment is working or not working.
Folks who have done plenty of reading on agile/lean concepts may not find anything earth-shattering in this book, but it's a terrific read for anyone regardess of their exposure to and involvement in agile. Well-steeped readers will find lots of head-nodding stories and a few provoking exercises and topics. Newcomers will have their eyes opened by a wealth of riches.
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.
Contents: History; Principles; Values; Waste; Speed; People; Knowledge; Quality; Partners; Journey; Bibliography; Index
The authors take the Deming-type principles of manufacturing and show how they relate to agile software development, using many of the same concepts and terms that have been handed down to us from the Japanese methodologies that revolutionized manufacturing. For instance, Shingo's seven wastes of manufacturing get translated into the seven wastes of software development: In-Process Inventory (Partially Done Work), Over-Production (Extra Features), Extra Processing (Relearning), Transportation (Handoffs), Motion (Task Switching), Waiting (Delays), and Defects (Defects). To take one of them specifically... Over-production is the making of product that isn't immediately needed. It builds up, costs money to store and maintain, and may never be used if the requirements change before the product is used. Likewise, extra features in software, ones not needed to get the customer's job done, should be avoided at all costs. It's code that needs to be maintained, it can break software that *is* essential, and the requirements for the feature may change dramatically by the time it is actually requested. Granted, these are guidelines and not hard-and-fast rules, but they make a lot of sense in terms of making the software development process more efficient and productive.
Both authors have a manufacturing background in their software development past, so the content is liberally sprinkled with real-life examples of these guidelines as they have played out in companies. It's amazing how we accept things in software development that we would never stand for in a well-run manufacturing set-up (such as running your "machines" over 100% capacity for long periods of time... sound familiar?)
If you're having a hard time getting your organization to give "agile" methodologies a try, you might want to reframe the discussion around "lean" software development. You could break out of the language misconceptions and discover new insights. This book can help you make that leap...
I would like to recommend also these other two lean books Lean Thinking : Banish Waste and Create Wealth in Your Corporation, Revised and Updated and The Machine That Changed the World: The Story of Lean Production-- Toyota's Secret Weapon in the Global Car Wars That Is Now Revolutionizing World Industry which go into the research and rational behind the concepts in this book. It will sort out your doubts.
I found myself reading this book during coffee breaks. It's a great read.
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