- Paperback: 312 pages
- Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional; 1 edition (October 31, 2009)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0321620704
- ISBN-13: 978-0321620705
- Product Dimensions: 6.9 x 0.7 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 13 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #696,918 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Leading Lean Software Development: Results Are not the Point 1st Edition
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From the Back Cover
Building on their breakthrough bestsellers "Lean Software Development" and "Implementing Lean Software Development," Mary and Tom Poppendieck's latest book shows software leaders and team members exactly how to drive high-value change throughout a software organization-and make it stick. They go far beyond generic implementation guidelines, demonstrating exactly how to make lean work in real projects, environments, and companies.
The Poppendiecks organize this book around the crucial concept of frames, the unspoken mental constructs that shape our perspectives and control our behavior in ways we rarely notice. For software leaders and team members, some frames lead to long-term failure, while others offer a strong foundation for success. Drawing on decades of experience, the authors present twenty-four frames that offer a coherent, complete framework for leading lean software development. You'll discover powerful new ways to act as competency leader, product champion, improvement mentor, front-line leader, and even visionary.
Systems thinking: focusing on customers, bringing predictability to demand, and revamping policies that cause inefficiencyTechnical excellence: implementing low-dependency architectures, TDD, and evolutionary development processes, and promoting deeper developer expertiseReliable delivery: managing your biggest risks more effectively, and optimizing both workflow and schedulesRelentless improvement: seeing problems, solving problems, sharing the knowledgeGreat people: finding and growing professionals with purpose, passion, persistence, and prideAligned leaders: getting your entire leadership team on the same pageFrom the world's number one experts in Lean software development, "Leading Lean Software Development" will be indispensable to everyone who wants to transform the promise of lean into reality-in enterprise IT and software companies alike.
About the Author
Mary Poppendieck has led teams implementing various solutions ranging from enterprise supply chain management to digital media. Mary is the president of Poppendieck LLC, which specializes in bringing lean techniques to software development.
Tom Poppendieck, an enterprise analyst, architect, and agile process mentor, currently assists organizations in applying lean principles and tools to software development processes. The Poppendiecks are authors of Lean Software Development, winner of the 2004 Jolt Software Development Productivity Award, and Implementing Lean Software Development (both from Addison-Wesley).
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Leading Lean Software Development speaks to a variety of leaders in an IT organization. While managers will benefit greatly, architects will also find great value. Chapter One will appeal greatly to architects or chief engineers that are responsible for driving the vision of products. The great thing about the material here is that it ties everything to business value, and this provides the proper framing for making technical decisions. On the flipside, managers are expected to have a high degree of technical competence that directly relates to the people that they lead. This will be in direct conflict with the practice of many companies where managers come from pure project management or other non-technical backgrounds. While that doesn’t make them bad managers as a matter of course, it will limit their effectiveness in implementing the principles of this book.
There are many ways to skin the proverbial IT cat, and Lean is one of them. If your organization is considering a Lean implementation, read this book. It tells you what you need to know individually, and it will also help you evaluate your chances of success. The biggest warning that the Poppendiecks give is copying practice without understanding the principles behind them. Reading this book will help you (and hopefully by extension your organization) avoid this mistake. The material in here is pure gold. I highly recommend it.
More lessons from Toyota--the darling of every lean study--are helpful even if quotes such as this one now ring hollow: "One of the fundamental elements of TPS [the Toyota Production System] that management must be fully committed to is the `customer first' philosophy."
Frame 6: Quality by Construction is generally helpful but this is where I first began to notice some incendiary rhetoric and straw-man argumentation against waterfall or "sequential" development. For example: "not trying to find [defects] until the end of development" demonstrates "the distorted logic of the sequential frame of reference." Later, in telling the fascinating story of the Empire State Building's construction: "They did not break down the job into tasks" and the project "was not framed by cost, schedule, and scope." Yet they did break down the job into "small batches" and the project was framed by a number of constraints including "$35 million of capital...and May 1, 1931." And "Let's be honest; customers do not need scope. They need to have business goals accomplished"--the definition of scope. And "I often wonder how companies can expect superior performance...when there is no one whose job it is to uncover the strengths of each person and match the job to the individual."
Some concepts advocated here, such as eliminating defects, change control, and work queues, are debatable and sometimes raise more questions than answers. On quality, for instance, the authors quote Edsger Dijkstra who says "effective programmers...should not waste their time debugging--they should not introduce bugs to start with." Bug-free programming is certainly possible but at what cost, even in a lean environment? And on eliminating work queues: "'But,' you protest, `our customers won't tolerate that!' Or `How will we learn what customers want if we turn down their requests?' Or `How will we keep track of what has been discarded?' Or `Won't customers simply keep their own queue?' Or `What do we do with the list we have now?' These are all good questions, and you should search for good answers." Such conclusions are not quite satisfactory. Nonetheless, this work will certainly force you to think and is, therefore, recommended reading.
The frames provide a good framework for discussion, but somehow they did not come together in a coherent whole (it was close though). However, I gave the book 5 stars since it covers an important subject well, and there are many nuggets of useful information.
Those who have read the Mary's and Tom's other books on Lean Software Development will find new perspectives and ideas. This book is certainly on the list of books I regularly consult.