Last week, I invited the readers of shmula to pose questions to Mary 1 and , the authors of Lean Software Development: An Agile Toolkit for Software Development Managers (Paperback), which won the Software Development Productivity Award in 2004 and, the sequel Implementing Lean Software Development: From Concept to Cash (Paperback). Several questions were submitted and, over the next several weeks, I’ll be posting Mary (MBP) and Tom’s (TDP) responses.
Be sure to read our other interviews in our leadership series.
Here are Mary Poppendieck’s other responses to readers’ questions:
- Original Article to Ask Mary Poppendieck Anything
- Mary Poppendieck’s Answers to ALL Readers’ Questions
- Should Lean be Top-down or Bottom-up?
- An Interview with Mary Poppendieck with Pete Abilla
- Mary Poppendieck on the Handoff and Waste
Earlier, Mary and Tom responded to the question of Waste and the Handoff in software development. Today, they respond to two questions from Ursula Rutherford:
Ursula Rutherford said,
November 16, 2007 @ 3:55 am
The term “Lean” is very little known in the software development and system delivery industries. Do you expect there to be more explicit use of it in the future?
It seems IS people are treading their own path towards quality management and capability maturity without reference to other industries. Perhaps if Lean were a more well-known term in IS, we could benefit from several decades of experience and from training in lean principles.
I have to agree, there is a lot to be learned from good old “low-tech” industries. What will drive improvement into software development is competition – in highly competitive industries, there is no alternative but to find the approach that has the least waste, lowest cost, and highest quality. As software becomes more and more pervasive, those who develop systems wisely will end up at the top of the competitive hill.
Lean looks at the whole value stream from concept to cash or order to payment. It delivers more value by avoiding sub-optimizing choices and handoffs.
About 1/2 hour later, Ursula poses another question to Mary and Tom Poppendieck:
Ursula Rutherford said,
November 16, 2007 @ 4:22 am
Making a broad generalization, it seems lean initiatives in many industries need top-management support to have a chance of success. In contrast, there are many accounts of agile programming techniques being adopted at team level with good results.
At what level of organizations do you recommend lean software development be introduced?
Imagine an organization with high-level sponsorship and a generous budget to make software development lean… Should change begin with education or practice; in the development team or the boardroom; slow or fast; a pilot project or ‘for real’; imposed by decree or encouraged by incentives?
Where to start is very dependent on the context and on the location of the biggest constraint. If the biggest constraint is a huge end-of-cycle test and merge bottleneck, then you can make huge strides by getting stop-the-line testing disciplines in place. This involves integration of testing with development, but that might be possible at a rather low level.
On the other hand, if the biggest constraint is caused by thrashing because more work is being dumped on the development organization than it can hope to handle, then higher level of management involvement is usually necessary to make a big difference. If the approval process is insisting that a host of low priority features be developed, you have yet another problem that needs to be addressed from the perspective of a broader organization.
I generally recommend that you do a rough value stream map in order to find the biggest constraint in your system. Actually, people probably already know what the biggest constraint is, but are reluctant to confront it, and a value stream map might just help to put difficult issues on the table for discussion. Once you have found and are ready to confront the biggest constraint in your development process, then you don’t need a value stream map for a while, instead you need a top notch, team-based process improvement process that addresses and gradually removes the key constraint. Since the constraint generally occurs at organizational boundaries, it usually helps to have senior management involvement at this point.
At its heart, Lean is a management philosophy based on deep respect for people and relentless elimination of waste from the delivery of value to customers to return sustainable prosperity for the organization. Sustainable deployment of Lean (or Agile) must reach high enough in an organization to control the entire value stream and to control how people are treated. In some cases, this may only extend to departmental or divisional level management, in other cases, it may need to extend beyond organizational boundaries to an entire supply chain. How people are measured and rewarded determines how they will behave in the long run.
Lean Leadership Interviews
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|Michael Balle is a leading voice in Lean. In this interview, he shares with us his thoughts on Lean, tells us about his book, and spends a good amount of time discussing Respect for People.|
|Michael Jones, Head of Content at eBay||Michael Jones is the Head of Content at eBay and is the son of Daniel T. Jones, the co-author of The Machine that Changed the World - the watershed book that first brought awareness of the Toyota Production System to America.|
|We caught up with Akash Trevidi, a product manager at Kiva.org, the microfinance company that aims to help entrepreneurs worldwide in order to alleviate poverty through self-reliance and entrepreneurship.|
|We caught up with Hugh Molotsi at the Lean Startup Conference. Hugh is the VP of Innovation at Intuit Labs. In this interview, we discuss how to encourage everyone's voice in innovative product development and in solving problems.|
|Zetdi Runyan Sloan leads the startup and entrpreneurship events at the New Mexico State University. Learn about how use of Lean Startup.|
|Al Dupree is the head of innovation at the National Institutes of Standards and Technology. In this interview, he discusses his use of Lean Startup principles in the world of research and innovation.|
|Cory Strong, Lean Leader at Nebraska Health System||Cory Strong first learned Lean by learning the Kawasaki Production System. Many years later, he finds himself in the exciting and high impact world of Lean Healthcare as a Lean Leader at the Nebraska Health System.|
|We interview Kaizen Institute (Kaizen.com) CEO Jon Miller. In this interview, we get a glimpse of Jon's balanced and thoughtful approach to learning, teaching, and the application of the Toyota Production System.|
Global Head of Lean Management at Hartmann Group
|Jonathan Escobar Marin is a Lean Leader and practitioner who first learned of the Toyota Production System while he was on a benchmarking trip to Toyota while employed at Procter and Gamble. In this interview you learn about his journey and how he blends the High Performance Organization Model with Lean.|
|Interview with Daniel Debow, Senior Vice President at SalesForce.com; In this podcast, we discuss Deming, Lean at SalesForce, and the SalesForce Wearables Initiative.|
|Matt Long, VP of Continuous Improvement and 24 year veteran at Herman Miller Inc. shares with us the history of Lean at Herman Miller, their association with the Toyota Supplier Support Center, and about the Herman Miller Performance System.|
|This interview with Dr. Bob Emiliani covers several aspects of Fake Lean versus Real Lean. There are real insights here from the "Lean Professor".|
|Michel Baudin is an author, highly-sought after consultant in the Toyota Production System. In this interview we learn about his distinctions between Lean-Lite versus Lean-Deep and how he understand the Respect for People Principle versus Respect for the Human as is used internally at Toyota.|
|Lean Branding is an application of Lean principles to branding. Read her provocative and practical approach to brand branding using the principles of Lean.|
|Robert Martichenko is the Founder and CEO of LeanCor - a lean logistics and supply chain company. He is also the author of the book "A Lean Fulfillment Stream", published by the Lean Enterprise Institute. In this interview, he shares with us how Lean can be applied effectively beyond the 4 walls of manufacturing and outside the office, but infused into the entire supply chain.|
|Leanpub is an innovative approach to book publishing, where Peter believes that lean principles apply. He claims that writing a book is essentially a startup. And, the worst waste of all is writing a book that nobody wants. Read more to learn how to apply lean to the world of book publishing.|
|Keith Sparkjoy is the Culture Officer at Pluralsight, a Utah company that raised $135 Million in 2014 - an unprecedented amount of venture capital. And, here's the really cool part, as the culture officer, he's trying to transform his company using Dr. W. Edward Deming's teachings.|
|David J. Anderson is the pioneer of the application of Kanban for creative knowledge work. His methodology and approach has had widespread acceptance and adoption and in this interview he shares results from companies that have tried his approach and other lessons learned.|
|Dimitar Karaivanov is the CEO of Kanbanize, a visual kanban system designed for creative and knowledge workers. In this interview, we discuss the product and its many uses and how it embodies the principles of Lean.|
|Chris Hefley is the CEO of LeanKit, a company that provides Virtual Kanban software for software development teams and knowledge workers. Reah his interview and learn what led to the development of LeanKit and the role Lean and the Toyota Production System plays.|
|In this interview with Dan Markovitz, we learn why he believes that everything is connected to the customer through the office. Based on this belief, he feels that Lean for Office makes the most sense. Read and learn how he's implemented Lean for the Office.|
|Jason Yip is a noted thoughtleader in software engineering. As a consultant, he helps software engineering organizations get better. In this interview, we learn the state of software engineering and the role of Agile, Lean for Software and Kanban.|
|Matthew May is an author and influential voice in Lean and also Design Thinking. He worked close to a decade at University of Toyota to help codify the Toyota Production System. In this interview, he shares with us his thoughts on his experience and what we can learn from it.|
|Lean Healthcare expert Mark Graban stops by and share his thoughts with Shmula readers on how Lean can be applied to arguably the most important industry in the world, healthcare.|
|Art Smalley is one of the most honest and influential voices in Lean. He was the first American to work in Japan's Kamigo plant, the plant where Taiichi Ohno began the Toyota Production System. He shares with us his thoughts on the Lean Movement and where it is going wrong.|
|Lean is being applied to every facet of business. Jeff Gothelf shares with us his thoughts on applying Lean for user experience, or Lean UX.|
|Cecil Dijoux shares with us his thoughts on applying Lean to IT, definitely a must-read if you are in the information technology space.|
|Brent Wahba is a fellow at the Lean Enterprise Institute and shares with us his thoughts on Lean for Sales and Marketing.|
Interview with Tony Hsieh, CEO of Zappos
Tony Hsieh, CEO of Zappos
|In December 2008, I was fortunate enough to interview Tony Hsieh, CEO of Zappos. In a 5 part series of interviews, we discuss the Zappos strategy and Tony answers questions on why he chooses to focus on the customer and how he sees that as strategic.|
Interviews with Customer Experience Experts
|Mark Roenigk, COO of Rackspace and Board Member at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation||Rackspace Interview on Customer Experience: We interviewed Mark Roenigk on June 10, 2013. We discussed the Net Promoter Score and also topics around process improvement and how Rackspace places the customer first.|
|Shep Hyken Customer Service Interview: We interviewed Shep Hyken on June 3, 2013 and discussed topics close to his heart - the customer. We focused our discussion on customer service and how focusing on the customer is strategic, not just tactical.|
|Annette Franz Gleneicki on Customer Experience Strategy: Annette Gleneicki is a customer experience thought leader and Director at Confirmit, a voice of the customer platform. We discuss her thoughts on customer experience and the direction of the overall field.|
|Michel Falcon on Improving the Customer Experience: Michel Falcon is a former executive at 1800GOTJUNK and was the person who propelled 1800GOTJUNK to become a customer service powerhouse. In this interview, we discuss what he did and the lessons he learned.|
|Adam Ramshaw, a customer experience consultant with Genroe, explains the relationship between continuous improvement and customer experience.|
Aza Raskin, Author, Startup Founder, and Son of Mac Inventor Jef Raskin
|This is a multi-part Interview with Aza Raskin, on the Humane Interface.
Mary Poppendieck, Author and codifier of Lean for Software Engineering
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Gretchen Rubin, Author and evangelist of Happiness
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|Spencer Rascoff, the CEO of Zillow, shares with us his thoughts on this interview with Zillow back in June 2006.|
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