Translation of lean manufacturing principles and practices to the software development

Lean Software development

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How to Weave Lean Thinking into Your Release Management for Predictable Delivery By Simon King "The core idea of Lean is to maximize customer value." Lean Enterprise Institute What is Lean? Businesses are being driven up against the wall by continual industry disruption. Many are fighting back by adopting Lean as a means to support business transformation. The aim is simple: create more value for customers with fewer resources. Lean thinking views the whole, not its parts. Then it identifies and eliminates waste across value streams. Here's how you can implement Lean thinking to improve your enterprise release management: View the system as a whole, not as isolated parts. Introduce a culture shift by trusting people, tearing silos, and fixing communication. Strive for Continuous Learning and Continuous Delivery. Build quality in. Create ‘pull' - deliver only what c... (more)

What Software Development Should Not Learn from Manufacturing

In software engineering there have always been two schools of thought. One school feels that there is a lot to learn from manufacturing. The other school thinks that they are entirely different. There have been three distinct phases in this debate: CMM Phase: Manufacturing has transitioned from craftsmanship to mass production – productivity and quality has improved many-fold. Software development can also benefit from such transition. CMM movement was born from this thought. Agile Phase: Manufacturing deals with machine, software development deals with people. Processes involving machines can be controlled precisely. People are inherently different and are not interchangeable. People communicate better face to face rather than through written documentation. From this realization agile movement was born. Lean Phase: Toyota revolutionized manufacturing through lean m... (more)

Agility Is Not a Methodology

Lori and I were discussing the entire topic of agility the other day, she looking at it from the SDN prospective, and I from the evolutionary perspective for development. While I know there has been a metric ton of writing about the topic, since I’ve used agile development, and find it to be useful, but didn’t become a fanatic on my first agile project, I thought some perspective might be in order. There is a reason why absolutists always fail in technology. Not just because high-tech is always changing – which makes absolutism fleeting at best  - but because the part that determines whether computer scientists get to be absolutists on topics as varied as “object purism”, “No [fill in mobile device since first Palm] on my network”, or “We’re an X shop” is not at all scientific. Nor is making absolute statements, unless you’re discussing a proven fact. Money and by... (more)

The Agile PMO

Tom Jenkins, the newly appointed PMO manager convened his team. Xavier, Paula and Xing were eager to start work. Tom explained that the PMO rollout is a change process. He gave his team assignments around stakeholder analysis, mapping of communication requirements, and creation of the PMO newsletter. While the team was somewhat puzzled with these activities they moved to fulfill them. Working with the stakeholders, the team captured many complaints pertaining to the current way of work and gathered numerous requests for improvements. Eagerly awaiting their next meeting, which was held virtually through a videoconference, they prepared a list of proposed improvements. Xavier proposed to commence work on the work breakdown structure and the software development lifecycle. Paula suggested to update the risk register template and to implement a new tool for project sc... (more)

Agile - Waterfall: Global and Local Optimizations

Did you notice that when something happens to you, it seems to occur to other people as well? For example when you have toddlers, suddenly you see toddlers everywhere - and naturally they are all misbehaving compared to yours J, or when you're planning your wedding, all around you, people are planning theirs, and white dresses become scarce. Lately I had this feeling myself; I was reading a David Baldacci thriller, when half way through, he introduces NP problems and the consequences of finding that P=NP. In addition, I have lately been reading many articles about Critical chain project management. I feel compelled to contribute and provide my take and insights. There are two kinds of problems, the easy ones which we solve at school, and the hard ones. We might remember the method to solve a quadratic equation by using the x = [-b/2 ± √((b/2)^2 - ac)] /a formula. We ... (more)

Agile 101: Product Owner - Improved Insight into Customer Needs

In a Scrum-Agile project management environment, the product owner acts as a catalyst of change in the organization, enabling value creation through projects and products. Product owners create the required link between how the business would look like in the future and the current state. The product owner is a key facilitator within the organization in bridging the client and the business community with the Agile development team. Most of what a product owner performs can be defined in the broader sense as: 1) Creating and increasing value for the business, and 2) Eliminating and reducing costs for the business. The product owner is required to identify business needs and determine solutions to business challenges. We can characterize the role description of the product owner as related to the above tasks into several key responsibilities. The product owner needs t... (more)

Love to Hate - Agile and Project Management Office - Unlikely Partners?

Agile Project and The Agile PMO The first time I keynoted about the Agile PMO I received the following question: ‘do you mean that the PMO is in itself managed in an Agile way, or do you mean that the PMO governs projects which are managed in an Agile approach?' Good question! As a smart consultant my immediate answer was: ‘it depends'. Which in the consultant lexicon means: I need to think it through. Initially, writing my book about the Agile PMO - on Amazon, I referred to a PMO which is managed in an Agile way. The PMO focuses on value and delivery rather than on process and tools. This makes sense, since recurring research has been showing that PMOs become a financial burden instead of value creators. In the book I demonstrate how a PMO can change and be Agile, following the steps below: Focusing on value is central to the implementation and management of a PMO... (more)

Lean Transformation Predictions | @DevOpsSummit #DevOps #Microservices

Over the course of 2015 I was exposed to many companies going through Lean software delivery transformations - some very successful, but many less so. Having this visibility into the software lifecycle architecture of such a broad range of the world's leading organizations was eye opening. Here's what I found: most leading IT organizations are going through some kind of Lean transformation. The ones that succeed in accelerating software delivery will thrive. Those that fail will fall behind. And those that take no action, but continue down the complacent road of delivering software in the slow ways of yesteryear, will be displaced by their nimbler enterprise counterparts, or by startups. This will happen much more quickly than they realize. One of the most interesting things I learned was just how fast the return on investment from a successful transformation is, whi... (more)

When Agile, DevOps and Lean Are Not Enough By @BettyZakheim | @DevOpsSummit #DevOps

Lean, Agile and DevOps principles have improved software delivery in many important ways. As evolving markets compel software organizations to increase quality and productivity, interest in these concepts has never been higher. But despite their considerable merits, individually and collectively, they can fall short in addressing the full range of issues confronted by modern software organizations. To close the gaps, these principles must be knitted together in a way that allows you to realize the full potential of your people, processes and technologies. The fastest and most effective way to do this is to create an integrated software lifecycle. From planning, development and testing to deployment and maintenance, integrating all the tools required to accomplish all the tasks related to software delivery will allow information to flow freely from practitioner to pr... (more)

Rally Software Offers Advanced Scrum Courses With Scrum Co-Founder Jeff Sutherland

BOULDER, Colo., March 14 /PRNewswire/ -- Rally Software Development Corp., the leading on-demand provider of Agile software life cycle management solutions, today announced it will offer courses on Advanced Scrum techniques taught by its world-renowned ScrumMaster trainers and Scrum co-founder Jeff Sutherland. The new courses continue the advancement of Rally's services for helping software-driven organizations formalize, manage and scale Agile development practices. Delivered by world-renowned Certified ScrumMaster trainers Hubert Smits, Jean Tabaka and Agile expert Jeff Sutherland, the two-day advanced Scrum courses provides the techniques, best practices and tools that software development managers need to move from Scrum for Projects to Scrum for Programs. Participants will learn how Scrum can be applied in more complex product environments, across multiple and... (more)

The Odd Couple: Marrying Agile and Waterfall

This article depicts the best practice approach for integrating Agile approaches and specifically Scrum development with traditional overarching linear approaches, specifically waterfall methodology. The agile PMO, properly defined, can be positioned to secure Agile-Scrum benefits while maintaining the necessary overarching control. The challenge Over the last two decades, various Agile approaches have been introduced and practiced. Of these, in last 5 to 7 years, Scrum has gained the most popularity resulting from a combination of simplicity, ease of use, and effective public relations. Scrum success in software development organizations has been a powerful driver for roll outs across products, industries and businesses. As described, this was exacerbated by a focused marketing effort from Scrum evangelists. Unfortunately, most of these organizations were not stru... (more)