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?