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Implementing Lean Software Development: From Concept to Cash Paperback – Sep 7 2006


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional; 1 edition (Sept. 7 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0321437381
  • ISBN-13: 978-0321437389
  • Product Dimensions: 23 x 18 x 2 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 499 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #109,172 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents


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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A must read. Good practical examples which made this book a good reference for those transitioning from waterfall to agile. I first started reading after borrowing this book from a friend. Later i decided to buy because its worth the money and can be used for future reference.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Tim Grantham on May 3 2007
Format: Paperback
The authors' first book was a remarkable framing of software development into Toyota's lean product development methodology. This book follows up with much more specific and practical guidance to enable an organization to eliminate the enormous amount of waste inherent in conventional software development. I believe this book will enable our organization to integrate software development into our lean initiatives.

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).

Highly recommended.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 23 reviews
74 of 84 people found the following review helpful
Find a leaner book April 4 2007
By James - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
While the book contains many interesting ideas, it is very tedious reading; an in-depth article could have adequately covered the same material. The book is often fairly repetitious with the same story used to make the same point in multiple places. While the title might lead one to expect a fairly "applied" book ("Implementing" and "concept to cash", the actual purpose is to sell you on the concept of lean software development.

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.
16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
Another terrific book on Lean/Agile Oct. 16 2006
By James Holmes - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This book is a great follow-on to the Poppendieck's "Lean Software Development" book. That book gave readers "an Agile Toolkit" for understanding what lean and agile are all about. This book is similar to its predecessor both in tone and content with practical examples of what works and what doesn't. Much of the book is still framed by lessons learned from Toyota's manufacturing system and Mary Poppendieck's experience at 3M.

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.
19 of 23 people found the following review helpful
An amazing collection of practical advice you can use tomorrow Sept. 18 2006
By Michael Cohn - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
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.
12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
Relating software development to manufacturing... Sept. 24 2006
By Thomas Duff - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I don't think I've ever tried to fit software development into the model of lean manufacturing techniques. But surprisingly, it has a number of parallels, and they are outlined well in the book Implementing Lean Software Development - From Concept to Cash by Mary and Tom Poppendieck.

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...
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
A principle-based approach May 22 2009
By Dale Schumacher - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
The seven principles of Lean Software Development are; Eliminate Waste, Build Quality In, Create Knowledge, Defer Commitment, Deliver Fast, Respect People and Optimize the Whole. Each of these principles is discussed in detail. The theoretical foundations are supplemented by real-world examples, case studies and experience reports. Each section ends with a list of concrete exercises called "Try This", which invites you to put your knowledge into practice. This book is an excellent way for agile leaders focus on the most significant factors for success.

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