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Implementing Lean Software Development: From Concept to Cash 1st Edition

23 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0321437389
ISBN-10: 0321437381
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Editorial Reviews

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)."

--Bas Vodde

"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."

--Roman Pichler

"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
Implementing Lean Software Development is indispensable to anyone who wants more effective development processes--managers, project leaders, senior developers, and architects in enterprise IT and software companies alike.

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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Product Details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional; 1 edition (September 17, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0321437381
  • ISBN-13: 978-0321437389
  • Product Dimensions: 6.9 x 0.8 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #104,970 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

79 of 90 people found the following review helpful By SoftwareRancher on April 4, 2007
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.
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By James Holmes on October 16, 2006
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.
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20 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Michael Cohn on September 18, 2006
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.
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