An Overview of Lean-Agile Software Development

October 3, 2008 — Posted by Al Shalloway

Listen to the podcastAn Overview of Lean - Agile Software Development

Since my days working with manufacturing, I’ve been hearing about Six Sigma and about Lean. There is a lot to these programs. The “elevator speech” says that Six Sigma focuses on reducing variation and Lean focuses on reducing waste.

Last year, I gained my Six Sigma Green Belt certification helping an internal help desk to improve self-service. We used a Lean Six Sigma approach and was a great process, very customer-centric which surprised me. I had thought six sigma was all about statistics. OK, well it had a lot of statistics, which made my little mathematical heart go pitter-pat. But there was a lot of human focused work, too. It was fun… and it worked to improve their process.

Great for production work. But does it to software development? It doesn’t seem that Six Sigma is quite the right set of tools for that.

Alan Shalloway, the CEO of Net Objectives recommended a great book to me: Lean Software Development: An Agile Toolkit for Software Development Managers by Mary and Tom Poppendieck. I loved her book. And the Net Objectives course based on the book was really a lot of fun. It really got me to thinking.

Lean-Agile Straight Talk was born out of a desire to help us and others share our thoughts about this emerging topic with people who really care about being more effective and suffering less to develop software. Without a bunch of hype. So, over this series of podcasts, I hope to explore how this applies to Requirements, product development, testing.

How do you fit it in to an organization that has been used to waterfall processes? Can you do that? How do you help organizations make the transition? What are the human-centered tools that help? What makes for a successful ScrumMaster? And what in the world is a ScumMaster anyway? To start with, it seems like it would be worthwhile to get the 30000 foot view first.

That’s where we will start, with some interviews with Alan Shalloway, CEO of Net Objectives.

Recommendations - Training by Net Objectives

Recommendations - Reading

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About the author | Al Shalloway

Al Shalloway is the founder and CEO of Net Objectives. With 45 years of experience, Al is an industry thought leader in Lean, Kanban, product portfolio management, Scrum and agile design. He helps companies transition to Lean and Agile methods enterprise-wide as well teaches courses in these areas.


Comments

I am new to this. I would love some more help

I would suggest checking out the following in our resources section:

  • the Lean Section 
  • Lean Software Development: Scaling Agile to the Enterprise
  • The Lean-Agile-Scrum User Group

 Also, look in our public courses for the upcoming free online lean training.

Alan Shalloway, CEO Net Objectives

Thank you for posting this series. We're starting to get into Lean; I would like to see more information in later episodes. Topics of interest include:

* Overview of Kanban as it applies to software development
* Ways to reduce waste
* Compare/contrast Lean, Scrum and XP - similarities and differences
* List of essential practices and/or principles required for Lean

Thank you!

Blog Authors

Al Shalloway
Business, Operations, Process, Sales, Agile Design and Patterns, Personal Development, Agile, Lean, SAFe, Kanban, Kanban Method, Scrum, Scrumban, XP
Cory Foy
Change Management, Innovation Games, Team Agility, Transitioning to Agile
Guy Beaver
Business and Strategy Development, Executive Management, Management, Operations, DevOps, Planning/Estimation, Change Management, Lean Implementation, Transitioning to Agile, Lean-Agile, Lean, SAFe, Kanban, Scrum
Israel Gat
Business and Strategy Development, DevOps, Lean Implementation, Agile, Lean, Kanban, Scrum
Jim Trott
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Ken Pugh
Agile Design and Patterns, Software Design, Design Patterns, C++, C#, Java, Technical Writing, TDD, ATDD, Certifications, Coaching, Mentoring, Professional Development, Agile, Lean-Agile, Lean, SAFe, Kanban, Kanban Method, Scrum, Scrumban, XP
Marc Danziger
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Max Guernsey
Analysis and Design Methods, Planning/Estimation, Database Agility, Design Patterns, TDD, TDD Databases, ATDD, Lean-Agile, Scrum
Scott Bain
Analysis and Design Methods, Agile Design and Patterns, Software Design, Design Patterns, Technical Writing, TDD, Coaching, Mentoring, Online Training, Professional Development, Agile
Steve Thomas
Business and Strategy Development, Change Management, Lean Implementation, Team Agility, Transitioning to Agile
Tom Grant
Business and Strategy Development, Executive Management, Management, DevOps, Analyst, Analysis and Design Methods, Planning/Estimation, Innovation Games, Lean Implementation, Agile, Lean-Agile, Lean, Kanban