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The Lean Mindset: Ask the Right Questions 1st Edition

4.7 out of 5 stars 14 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0321896902
ISBN-10: 0321896904
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Mary Poppendieckhas led teams implementing solutions in everything from enterprise supply-chain management to digital media.

 

Tom Poppendieckhas been an enterprise analyst, architect, and agile process mentor. Their company, Poppendieck LLC, specializes in bringing lean techniques to product development.

 

The Poppendiecks are the authors of Lean Software Development, winner of the 2004 Jolt Software Development Productivity Award; Implementing Lean Software Development; and Leading Lean Software Development (all from Addison-Wesley).

 

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional; 1 edition (October 4, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0321896904
  • ISBN-13: 978-0321896902
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.4 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.9 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #161,557 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
The Lean Mindset is the 4th book of Mary and Tom Poppendieck in the Lean Software series. The book is in a similar format as the previous books. It contains lots of different stories (mostly referring to others work) and ties those together in one consistent message. The Lean Mindset is a bit different as the previous books in the series as it is less software focused, but also much less 'lean' focused (Lean in the Womack/Jones definition). In that sense, the title Lean Mindset is a bit off, yet it is still a useful book.

The book five chapters, each of about 30 pages or so, making the total page count around 170 (smaller than previous books, as far as I remember). The chapters are 1) The Purpose of Business, 2) Energized Workers, 3) Delighted Customers, 4) Genuine Efficiency, and 5) Breakthrough Innovation.

The first chapter "The Purpose of Business" challenges the concept of companies existing purely for maximizing shareholder benefits. Instead they ought to serve a larger purpose, which also brings us to the second chapter "Energized Workers" challenges that people should just be workers and instead should continuously grow and develop themselves. When they do that, they can chapter 3 "Delight Customers" by not just implementing requirements but by using design thinking to actually solve a problem for the customers. They'll need to do that in a chapter 4 "Genuine Efficiency" way. Efficiency not measured in the utilization of resources but in the flow of value throughout the organization. This usually requires some Chapter 5 "Breakthrough Innovation".

The book contains lots of stories (mostly taken from history) and a couple of case studies in which the Poppendiecks have been in contact with.
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By CC on October 18, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Confession 1: I've only read the first 2/3rds of the book so far on my Kindle. I haven't finished yet, but I had to write this review because I think the book is awesome.
Confession 2: I've known Tom and Mary Poppendieck, the authors, for about a decade now, so I am biased. I love the way they think, I love the way they write. Their first book changed my career direction (and, consequently, my salary). So, I'm biased.

This book is great. It's different to what I expected though, compared to their previous work - it's less hands on, more conceptual and high-level. It reminds of the interesting parts of my MBA, but better written, and more focused on product development. I'm familiar with many of the ideas in the book (because I read the same books, talk to the same people, and watch the same videos as the authors) but what they've done so well is to take a vast number of ideas & concepts & tools, summarise them, then group them into themes. The book isn't cheap so I recommend you take a look at the sample or look inside at the index.

My favourite story is Doug Deitz's, from GE Healthcare. Even if you don't buy this book, you really should google is TEDX talk from San Jose. I'm a gnarly old engineer, at heart, and I teared up.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I like the way the Poppendieck's write but more specifically I like the way they think. We've begun to see methods like Scrum being used as just another PM method without actually changing the way the project is being run or the volume of unnecessary artefacts being produced. In other words this new method is being applied with old thinking.

This new book takes Lean to another level... do we need this feature in the first place? If not it doesn't get build, or designed or even thought about. This book ties in other great works such as Thinking, Fast and Slow Paperback by Daniel Kahneman.

I recommend this book for anyone who wants to be Leaner in their work practices, especially in the Software World
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Format: Kindle Edition
The Lean Mindset is the latest book by two of my favourite authors, Mary and Tom Poppendieck. As expected from a continuation of their Lean series, the book tackles a topic much wider than just software delivery, but with great case studies that help put those things into a software delivery perspective.

One of the central concepts of the book is the move from process efficiency to product management and product delivery, which is probably the most important topic for organisations that have successfully adopted Scrum, Kanban or any of the related processes. Pushing software out of the door in a reliable and predictable manner is pretty much a solved problem now, and the next big improvement for many teams will have to come from somewhere else - and in my mind this is clearly by using that process effectiveness to remove bottlenecks in product management. Quoting one of the contributors to the book, "Our agile projects were consistently producing affordable, high-quality software with almost every customer priority included. [...] Stakeholders might have been satisfied with project performance, but rarely was the audience delighted, wowed, or blown away by novel innovation or creative design.". If you recognised your team or organisation in the previous sentence, then this is absolutely the book you have to read next.

The FBI case management story was particularly interesting as it shows one of the pitfalls of iterative delivery - that the pressure to show constant progress causes people to constantly select easy tasks until wicked problems requiring serious engineering surface. This is often caused by a disconnect between business objectives and technical delivery, and the authors list several tools and models that can help avoid that "Air Sandwich".
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