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What Happened at Lean & Kanban

May 10, 2009

The Lean & Kanban 2009 conference, wrapped up this week and there has been a lot of buzz about it. I like a summary by email from Dean Leffingwell over at The Agile Executive. Among Dean’s takeaways on the conference are:

I obviously think Lean Software will be big. It will be to the enterprise what Scrum is to teams.

I believe that Kanban (a subset of lean, being used as an agile team method now), will be more readily adopted in 3-5 years than Scrum.

He gives a number of reasons. I won’t list them all, (go read the post) but among them are:

  • Easier to adopt at the team level.
  • Far less overhead for planning and estimating, and fewer ceremonies (approaching zero in the edge case and with appropriate context).
  • Support from industry stalwarts such as Lockheed Martin, who are applying proven lean manufacturing practices to software development for projects like the Joint Strike Fighter.
  • Lean optimizes the whole enterprise and gives you tools to reason about the enterprise, from order to shipment, rather than just the team optimization.

I tend to agree in that Lean is the foundation for improvement in a wide variety of areas with software development being just the latest to embrace it with gusto. I differ some in that I have always thought of Agile and Lean as interwoven and perhaps make less of a distinction than Dean between them.

For more conference coverage, read Dean’s blog where he’s posted his full presentation. Or, Leading Agile has live blogged much of the event if you really want to dig into things.

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