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Building on their breakthrough bestsellers Lean Software Development and Implementing Lean Software Development, Mary and Tom Poppendieck’s latest book shows software leaders and team members exactly how to drive high-value change throughout a software organization—and make it stick. They go far beyond generic implementation guidelines, demonstrating exactly how to make lean work in real projects, environments, and companies.
The Poppendiecks organize this book around the crucial concept of frames, the unspoken mental constructs that shape our perspectives and control our behavior in ways we rarely notice. For software leaders and team members, some frames lead to long-term failure, while others offer a strong foundation for success. Drawing on decades of experience, the authors present twenty-four frames that offer a coherent, complete framework for leading lean software development. You’ll discover powerful new ways to act as competency leader, product champion, improvement mentor, front-line leader, and even visionary.
Introduction: Framing xiii
Chapter 1: Systems Thinking 1
A Different Way to Run an Airline 2
Frame 1: Customer Focus 6
Frame 2: System Capability 13
Frame 3: End-to-End Flow 19
Frame 4: Policy-Driven Waste 24
Portrait: Product Champion, Take 1 36
Your Shot 42
Chapter 2: Technical Excellence 45
Facts, Fads, and Fallacies 46
Frame 5: Essential Complexity 63
Frame 6: Quality by Construction 70
Frame 7: Evolutionary Development 83
Frame 8: Deep Expertise 89
Portrait: Competency Leader 95
Your Shot 97
Chapter 3: Reliable Delivery 101
Race to the Sky 102
Frame 9: Proven Experience 108
Frame 10: Level Workflow 114
Frame 11: Pull Scheduling 129
Frame 12: Adaptive Control 143
Portrait: Product Champion, Take 2 147
Your Shot 150
Chapter 4: Relentless Improvement 153
Sick Hospitals 154
Frame 13: Visualize Perfection 159
Frame 14: Establish a Baseline 163
Frame 15: Expose Problems 169
Frame 16: Learn to Improve 173
Portrait: Manager as Mentor 183
Your Shot 185
Chapter 5: Great People 187
Cultural Assumptions 188
Frame 17: Knowledge Workers 196
Frame 18: The Norm of Reciprocity 200
Frame 19: Mutual Respect 203
Frame 20: Pride of Workmanship 209
Portrait: Front-Line Leaders 212
Your Shot 216
Chapter 6: Aligned Leaders 219
Frame 21: From Theory to Practice 228
Frame 22: Governance 230
Frame 23: Alignment 236
Frame 24: Sustainability 242
Portrait: Leaders at All Levels 244