Software, Lean and Agile

At a recent meet up of the Bay Area Agile Managers Support Group. Alan Shalloway presented on Lean-Agile for Managers. He explained that agile is about small batches, lean about managing the flow. The key is to speed the time between any work and the corresponding feedback. Delays cost more than time. They almost always cause additional work. In software development, it’s very easy for a developer to fix a bug that he just introduced. It’s hard to fix a bug that was introduced weeks or months ago. And it’s easier to implement requirements that have just been collected rather than requirements that have gone stale and lost their meaning. Writing down requirements helps, but that is extra work. And regardless, meaning still gets lost over time.

While I had thought that lean only applies to manufacturing, Alan Shalloway made a strong case. Managers must better coordinate flow, moving as quickly as possible from concept to consumption. Delays cost more than is often realized.

Does anybody have any experience using Lean with software development?

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I’m a solution engineer for Shape Security, an awesome web security startup in Mountain View that defends some of the worlds largest web sites from bot attacks. I see this blog as a learning tool. It gives me a chance to collect my thoughts on topics of interest and to share with others. If you see a mistake or think I’m on the wrong track, please let me know. I appreciate comments. See my LinkedIn profile at http://www.linkedin.com/in/jamesdowney and follow me on Twitter at http://twitter.com/james_downey.

Posted in Agile
2 comments on “Software, Lean and Agile
  1. We’ve been using Kanban during 1.5 years already at TargetProcess and it works better than Scrum for our team. We are using small batches, minimizing wait cycles, develop by feature and so on. Lean can be very helpful in software development.

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