Home > Extreme Programming, Software Development, TDD > Is Lean an easier sell than Agile or Extreme?

Is Lean an easier sell than Agile or Extreme?

LastThursday (7/14/2005), Mary Poppendieck was hostedby
alocalconsulting company (Sphere of Influence) and spoke on
Software Development
. The session was fascinating and presented a
new spin on many of the familiar Agile topics.

Tom (Mary’s husband) mentioned that Lean can often
be an easier sell than Extreme or even Agile in general to clients or
management. For many of us either marketing TDD/Extreme/Agile to potential
clients or upper management within your company, it can be an uphill
battle. Most people are not extreme, don’t want to “embrace change” and
are just put off by the whole thing through first impressions. Lean on the
other hand, sounds easier … let’s cut costs, make savings where we can, only
do what is really needed. All of those things are probably to stomach
without knowing a lot of the details. A positive initial reaction is
important otherwise you won’t get them to the details. If you want to know
more about Lean and how better to market your approach to Agile then read
Mary’s book
(I haven’t … but now intend to!).

I was particularly impressed by Mary’s use of past
projects (Polaris) combined
with present day corporations (Dell, Zara) to illustrate how Lean thinking can result
in phenomenal success. I am a big believer in reusing ideas from other
industries, countries and disciplines to improve processes and Mary certainly
teachesfrom example.

My cribsheet of other “take aways” from the
presentation included

  • Delay commitment – a decision made at the last
    possible moment has the most possible information
  • Think in terms of benefits and value rather than
  • Build your software quicker than people can
    change their minds! 🙂
  • Speed of delivery changes the playing field and
    can reduce many other costs
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