Lean Thinking

Dave Martin  

Dave Martin

Hi Folks

I had a discussion recently with a group of software architects about whether Architecture had a place in Agile development. This is an important (and at times hotly debated) topic so I'm going to expand on the discussion here.

Some agile teams do well. Many don't. In my experience, there is one consistent thing that separates the teams that succeed from those that fail and that is sound engineering practices. Foremost among those sound practices is Test First (or Test Driven) design.

The key to Agile and Lean methodologies is “the rapid delivery of customer value”. Anything that does not add value is considered waste. In Agile, value is often defined as “working code” but this is too narrow a definition. It assumes that the only stakeholders that matter are the end users of the software and that the only product the team needs to produce is the software.

Hi Folks

In many companies, resource utilization is considered an important measurement. The idea is that resources, whether they be machines or people should be occupied as close to 100% of the time as possible doing chargeable work. On the surface this looks pretty sensible. No point having people spending time doing things that the company doesn't make money from is there? The more time people spend working on chargeable tasks, the more money the company makes. Right?

Published in Lean 3 comments

Hi Folks

In my last post, I mentioned in passing the phenomenon of sub-optimization - where optimizing one part of a process negatively affects the throughput of the whole. This is covered by the seventh (and probably least understood) principle of Lean - See The Whole.

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