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AgileVersusLean

This question is one I've run into a few times recently. It's not a question I can answer quickly as the question is based on a false premise about the relationship between lean and agile. So first I need to go into some history to help explain that relationship.

26 June 2008

bliki


ToyotaFailings

One answer for this is to take a sense of proportion. Lean manufacturing techniques were the underpinning of Toyota's rise from an insignificant company in the 1950's to a global giant in the 2000's. By the 1990's other car companies, and many other manufacturers, were busily copying Toyota's techniques. The general sense is that copying these techniques did much to raise the overall quality of cars in the last decade or so. I would be very surprised if the recent problems at Toyota are enough negate that half-century of success.

3 March 2010

bliki

MetaphoricQuestioning

As regular readers of my work may know, I'm very suspicious of using metaphors of other professions to reason about software development. In particular, I believe the engineering metaphor has done our profession damage - in that it has encouraged the notion of separating design from construction.

As I was hanging around our London office, this issue came up in the context of Lean Manufacturing, a metaphor that's used quite often in agile circles - particularly by the Poppendiecks. If I don't like metaphoric reasoning from civil engineering, do I like it more from lean manufacturing?

16 December 2004

bliki