Lean is on the Rise

CM Crossroads recently posted an article called “The Decline and Fall of Agile SCM (and the Rise of Lean).”  The need to extend Agility beyond software development and single teams is here.

They said: “An issue for us is that Agile development has its scope specifically targeted on software development, and extending it beyond that to other disciplines (systems development, whole enterprises) is less obvious, and perhaps less applicable. In contrast, Lean applies to the whole enterprise/organization and its attitude toward management (including the perceived attitude toward CM) is different.

The key difference between business-agility and software-agility is the extra emphasis of the latter on “the people factor” and on the notion of dynamic self-organization of knowledge-workers as empowered, self-organizing teams. This difference between agility at the business-level versus software-level is also the key difference between Lean-vs-Agile:

  1. Lean focuses more on flow whereas Agility focuses more on adapting to change (this is true of both software agility andbusiness-agility). As it turns out, focusing on flow requires being able to adapt to change; and focusing on adaptiveness and responsiveness requires a focus on flow. So here, the end-results may be quite similar
  2. Agile software development emphasizes a very hands-off management style of not just trusting and empowering the team(s), but often to the extreme of basically saying “leave us alone and don’t interfere” to management (and in return promising extreme transparency and frequent tangible end-results).
  3. Much of this is due to the fact that the scope of Agile development is limited to software projects and teams, whereas Lean is targeted at enterprise-wide scale across the whole value-stream.”

So, if you want to learn about the ideas in methods, process and organization for software & systems engineering development using Lean Thinking….check out the 2011 edition of the Lean Software and Systems Conference 2011 | The Next Wave of Software Process coming to Southern California area.

Lean concepts such as kanban systems having been gaining greater adoption in technology departments across a broad range of industries. The Lean Software & Systems Conference brings together a community of practitioners, consultants, thought leaders and authors to cross-pollinate ideas and foster a sense of community for those leading change and promoting better economic and sociological outcomes in their workplace.