This succinct book explains how you can apply the practices of Lean software development to dramatically increase productivity and quality. Based on techniques that revolutionized Japanese manufacturing, Lean principles are being applied successfully to product design, engineering, the supply chain, and now software development. With The Art of Lean Software Development, you'll learn how to adopt Lean practices one at a time rather than taking on the entire methodology at once. As you master each practice, you'll see significant, measurable results. With this book, you will:
Understand Lean's origins from Japanese industries and how it applies to software development
Learn the Lean software development principles and the five most important practices in detail
Distinguish between the Lean and Agile methodologies and understand their similarities and differences
Determine which Lean principles you should adopt first, and how you can gradually incorporate more of the methodology into your process
Review hands-on practices, including descriptions, benefits, trade-offs, and roadblocks
Learn how to sell these principles to management
The Art of Lean Software Development is ideal for busy people who want to improve the development process but can't afford the disruption of a sudden and complete transformation. The Lean approach has been yielding dramatic results for decades, and with this book, you can make incremental changes that will produce immediate benefits.
Review By: Dan Luciano 08/28/2009This book provides a good overview of lean software development practices. If you're looking for information about agile and lean practices, then this is the book for you. For beginners, the book offers an excellent history on agile and lean methodologies, and the authors provide a good overview of how lean manufacturing principles relate to software development. After this, the authors dedicate one chapter to each of six different lean practices. The authors list the practices in the order in which they feel you will get the most out of them, although they do say that you can adopt the practices in any order that you wish.
As the style of the book dictates, each chapter is short, to the point, and offers an overview of the practice. I would recommend that you read one of the books listed in the resources section in order to get more information on each of the practices.
The book is good for anyone wanting a quick overview on the subject. It would be a good book to give to your upper-level management if you are trying to convince them of the benefits of agile and lean. The writing style is non-technical and can easily be understand.
If I had to change something about the book, I would add a little more substance to the book. At $34.99 a book, I expected a little more from it to feel I got my monies worth. Unfortunately, with all of the other books and articles that are available about agile and lean, many may pass on this book because of its lack of information for the price. If you do not have a lot of time or if you just need to get a quick overview on the subject, then I would recommend this book. If you are looking to jump in and get started with agile and lean, then you should probably read something else.
Review By: Andy Wiesendanger 08/28/2009This book is a good starting place for those who want to learn about producing software. I was expecting a book that would lead to changes (if applicable) to a current development process, but it's better suited to be a starting point to lead to other sources of information to really understand how to implement certain changes in a process. The value of the book is understanding how Lean first started in the car industry (especially seeing Toyota and Honda weathering the current economic recession better than most other car companies), and applying the same type of thinking to whatever process one is currently involved in. The main theme revolves around continually identify waste and how to get rid of it; over time your process should improve. The first two and last chapters are most relevant in driving home this point.
The remaining chapters are brief primers about certain development practices, like automated testing and change management. By themselves, I'm not sure if too many people could go off and implement those types of changes successfully. But if you've never encountered the practices before, it's a good place to start understanding them. The appendix has some good additional resources to follow up on.
I would recommend the book to coworkers, and probably add that the first two and last chapters are the ones worth reading. I believe this book is mostly aimed at novices, and the appendix is there to direct them to deeper material. I don't believe these ideas will ever go out of style, so I would expect a long shelf life for this book.