This presentation examines the relationship between Lean and Agile. Lean is a relatively recent term for a set of approaches, practices and techniques that were developed in manufacturing over several decades of the 20th century. There have been attempts to apply Lean to software development, and Agile embodies some of those attempts.

In order to gain a fuller appreciation of what Lean is, the presentation will begin with a history of the development of Lean, beginning with the Ford Production System and following through to the Toyota Production System and beyond. Fundamental principles will be presented, with emphasis on value stream mapping, flow control, and the elimination of waste. The classes of waste (muda, mura, muri) will be described and types of muda enumerated.

Finally, the presentation will examine and contrast two approaches to apply Lean principles to software within an Agile framework.


Outline/Structure of the Talk

Based on my experience, there is a lot of uncertainty within IT about what Lean is and how it relates to Agile. This presentation gives a fairly detailed history of Lean so that the audience has a good understanding of Lean’s evolution and core principles and practices. This is followed by posing the critical question, “how do you apply 20th-century mass production manufacturing techniques to a software development process that more closely resembles 18th-century practices?” That serves as the segue into the second part of the presentation, where two different approaches to applying Lean to software development are described and compared.

Learning Outcome

To the degree the session has been successful, participants will have a fundamental understanding of the history of Lean and how Lean principles and techniques can be applied to their own development efforts.

I also hope to learn from the experiences of the participants to broaden my outlook.

Target Audience

Anyone who wants to understand the history of Lean and how Lean principles and techniques can be applied to software development.

Prerequisites for Attendees


schedule Submitted 2 years ago

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