Tag: Lean

Jidoka and Captured Knowledge

In manufacturing, you likely know the problems to look for; broken threads, misshapen parts, etc.. In software, you may have no idea what kinds of problems you may create by changing code. In this way, practicing jidoka is invaluable. It’s how later developers know what can break, what is broken, and offers wisdom about how

Jidoka (automation with a human touch)

The two pillars of lean are just-in-time, and jidoka. Today we’ll look for jidoka in software development. What is jidoka Often translated as “automation with a human touch”, some people also use the word autonomation. The principle is rather simple. When designing a process, find opportunities for the process to self identify errors and stop

Muri, Kaizen & Retros

When do you most need a retro? When you feel as though you don’t have the time for it. Muri In lean, the feeling of stress (or the impossibility of your task) is called “Muri”. It should serve as a powerful indicator that something is terribly wrong. If you feel this as a member of

Takt Time & Waste Elimination

How does the use of sprints (takt) eliminate waste? By reducing Mura & Muri. Mura – Variability Imagine a lean auto plant with a 60 second takt. Expectations for everyone are clear. You will be done in 60 seconds. If you cannot consistently do your job in less than that, there is a problem. In

Takt Time & Sprints

Takt is a German word that has been adopted by lean. The original meeting is “beat” or “rhythm”. In an auto plant we may see a one minute takt. This means that every minute a finished car rolls off the assembly line, a dashboard is installed, a car is painted, etc.. Software development cannot possibly

The Why of Lean

Conventional lean tools include timing a process and tagging each action as value added or waste. That may work in a factory, but not in software development; or can it? The same precision and clarity is not possible in a knowledge industry. You cannot apply a stop watch to mental problem solving. Sometimes getting away

User Stories as Lean

User stories are a useful and well established agile tool. Could they also be thought of as a lean tool? Definition We’re not going to do what’s been done a million times. If you aren’t familiar with stories, check this out. For more information, google it. How Stories Support Agile By avoiding the “how”, the story

Agile, You’re Doing it Right

For all the attention people apply to not being agile, or needing to be more agile, there is a distinct possibility that is often unaccounted for. That you’re already agile. Of course, you could have a better process, but that’s always true. Recognizing that you can be better is at the heart of agile (and

Finding the 8 Lean Wastes in Software Development

Any talk about lean should always include the 8 wastes, so we’ll look at how these apply to software development (or any knowledge industry). Rather than creating a whole new list of wastes, we’ll find that the originals apply just as well; we just need to shift our perspective a bit. Muda, Mura, Muri Before

Stand-ups & Standards & Kaizen Oh My

Odds are good that you’re familiar with the classic 3-question agile standup.  Have you ever wondered what a lean standup might look like?  Because it’s lean it’ll just be faster, right?  That’s what lean is really about, isn’t it?  Maybe we can do it in 2 questions if we’re leaner?  By looking at the standup