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Lean-Agile Software Development: Achieving Enterprise Agility Paperback – November 1, 2009

11 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0321532893 ISBN-10: 0321532899 Edition: 1st

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Editorial Reviews


“This book is a timely addition to our Agile body of knowledge. Very little has been said to date about how we scale Agile software projects beyond the single team. The authors do an excellent job of explaining the foundations of Lean thinking and how these concepts can be applied across the enterprise. Lean is the key to scaling Agile projects, and this book provides the foundational knowledge you need to make it happen.”

–Mike Cottmeyer, product consultant and Agile evangelist, VersionOne


“The book brings a pragmatic approach to the difficult transition from early adoption of Agile practices to enabling product development. It is thought provoking in the context of the teams I am currently coaching, and it highlights a number of areas for improvement. I would recommend this book to anyone who is coaching an enterprise-wide Lean-Agile transformation.”

–Kay Johnson, PMP, Agile development consultant and project manager


“The ideas from the Toyota Production System and Lean manufacturing in general are gradually making their way into the world of software development, and this book provides both a gentle introduction to those unfamiliar with Agile/Lean as well as more advanced material for those who are already practitioners in this area. Worth reading.”

–Mark Needham, application developer, ThoughtWorks


“For a good few years, when asking why Agile approaches work, we got the response ‘It’s empirical. We tried things and kept the ones that worked.’ Now people have applied theory from the Lean body of knowledge, and it tells us why Agile approaches work. Using this theory, we can make well-reasoned choices about what changes to our ways of working would be improvements, overall. This book is about this synergy between Lean and Agile. For those who believe in magic, find an empirical guru to believe. For the rationalists among us, here’s a good book for you.”

–Paul Oldfield, Capgemini


“This book is a worthy roadmap to a successful adoption of Lean-Agile development and management. You can see in every detail the authors have on-the-job experience. The way they write shows their enthusiasm for Lean, and this motivates the reader to follow the principles and practices in the book. I had a great time reading this book and I am using it daily as a reference.”

–Domingo Chabalgoit , independent IT consultant


“There are many sources of information for Agile software development and Lean systems thinking. Until now, attempts to merge the two have often resulted in frustration, delays, quality issues, and budget overruns. Lean-Agile Software Development is the roadmap to achieving success using Lean-Agile techniques and applying them throughout the enterprise and product-development life cycle.”

–Bob Bogetti, lead system designer, Baxter Healthcare


From the Back Cover

Agile techniques have demonstrated immense potential for developing more effective, higher-quality software. However,scaling these techniques to the enterprise presents many challenges. The solution is to integrate the principles and practices of Lean Software Development with Agile's ideology and methods. By doing so, software organizations leverage Lean's powerful capabilities for “optimizing the whole and managing complex enterprise projects.


A combined “Lean-Agile approach can dramatically improve both developer productivity and the software's business value.In this book, three expert Lean software consultants draw from their unparalleled experience to gather all the insights, knowledge, and new skills you need to succeed with Lean-Agile development.


Lean-Agile Software Developmentshows how to extend Scrum processes with an Enterprise view based on Lean principles. The authors present crucial technical insight into emergent design, and demonstrate how to apply it to make iterative development more effective. They also identify several common development “anti-patterns that can work against your goals, and they offer actionable, proven alternatives.


Lean-Agile Software Developmentshows how to


  • Transition to Lean Software Development quickly and successfully
  • Manage the initiation of product enhancements
  • Help project managers work together to manage product portfolios more effectively
  • Manage dependencies across the software development organization and with its partners and colleagues
  • Integrate development and QA roles to improve quality and eliminate waste
  • Determine best practices for different software development teams


The book's companion Web site,www.netobjectives.com/lasd, provides updates, links to related materials, and support
for discussions of the book's content.

See all Editorial Reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional; 1 edition (November 1, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0321532899
  • ISBN-13: 978-0321532893
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 0.8 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #458,603 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

37 of 43 people found the following review helpful By Bas Vodde on November 27, 2009
Format: Paperback
Lean-Agile development was a book for which I had some expectations, at least that it would contain some new ideas or viewpoints. My first observation was that it wasn't very thick, but that is perhaps positive. In the end, I was disappointed. The book did not bring much new things, the target audience is unclear to me, and at points contains... what I would consider misinformation. Let me dive deeper.

The book is part of the NetObjectives book series. NetObjectives is a training company, thus the book frequently promotes their training (slightly annoying). The book consists of three parts, first "Extending our view beyond projects," second "Lean project management," and last "Looking back, looking forward." However, while reading the book, I couldn't see a very clear distinction between these parts.

In the introduction, the authors talk about how Software development processes over time swing from too little to too much, I'm not sure I'd agree with that as both too much/too little have been evolving at the same time. Next, the authors discuss principles and paradigms and define the core beliefs of Agile development, lean and waterfall--or should I say... what the authors think is the core belief.

The first chapter provides some lean/agile principles, but assumes the reader is already familiar with a lot. The second chapter provides benefits of agile development... the selling agile chapter. In the next chapter, the authors insist on boxing Agile/Scrum to only the project development and claim that lean development covers the whole track and thus is more suitable for enterprise adoption. Chapter four discusses "Lean Portfolio Management" and was one of the least clear chapter (to me).
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Julio Oliveira on March 25, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
Este livro revela as raízes do pensamento Lean no desenvolvimento ágil de software. Faz um paralelo com o framework scrum e, através do pensamento crítico, ensina como torná-lo ainda mais efetivo. Transpõe a dimensão de projeto, tratando da visão de portfólio, do gerenciamento de produto e da agilidade em nível corporativo.

Uma leitura incrível que prende a atenção do início ao fim.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Jeff Anderson on June 20, 2010
Format: Kindle Edition
Shalloway's book on lean and agile development is an excellent introduction into a subject that deserves much more attention from the mainstream, namely the introduction of lean principles and techniques into software delivery.

The book covers a wide range of topics, and while I would have liked to see a lot more detailed paid to certain sections (ie portfolio management), I think this book serves it's purpose, to provide readers with ideas on how to supplement and even supersede agile techniques with lean thinking. Alan spends some time discussing the benefits of Agile, but has the courage to criticize some of the limitations of traditional agile concepts. Alan gives good introductions on kanban, value stream mapping, 5 why's, and other techniques.

I was able to use much of the material in this book as a basis to introduce lean to my clients, and found it very useful for doing so. Read this book if you are looking for a fresh perspective on how to improve business outcomes through better software delivery.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book has excellent guidelines on why lean thanking is better than agile and provides practical examples. Some concepts seem to be
A bit theoretical but the principles and explanation are very good. More examples on visual tools would really help. Loved the concept on reducing waste and cycle time.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Gabby Z. on June 16, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Very lucid and well written without repetition. Most of the Agile books are very repetitive. But this one is a great read, whether for certification or not.
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2 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Randy Ripple on December 12, 2009
Format: Paperback
As a management consultant to Fortune 100 companies, I've found this book to be a great source for how Lean principles help define what the authors' describe as the Lean-Agile Enterprise. This book helps executives understand how to "see" flow of value through their IT/software program world. The authors give useful case studies that give clear examples of common industry patterns, that focus on efficiency at the component system level at the expense of being able to complete work for long periods of time. This classic hand-off/delay approach is hiding lots of waste in IT delivery organizations, and this book will help you see what's really blocking you from achieving maximum results.

Through the different enterprise areas (Business, Management, Delivery Teams) the authors guide you through a new view of "flow" with specific principles and practices to help you get more productivity and quality out of your enterprise programs. They describe how looking at time through your delivery activities gets you to value faster and allows you to reduce waste and promote flow. This book has helped me understand often misunderstood Agile approaches by wrapping the activities in Lean principles.

From my perspective, Chapter 10 "Becoming an Agile Enterprise" and Chapter 11 "Management's Role in Lean-Agile Development" bring executives a new way to look at technology delivery that includes valuable information on where to start, what to pay attention to, expectations, and how to involve the middle management layer in the process. Chapter 14 "Seeing Lean" may be worth the price of the book alone, because the authors give several experience reports on organizational challenges and how they were managed to get successful transition to Lean-Agile.
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