Sep 7, 2011

Book review - Lean Software Development by Mary & Tom Poppendieck

This was one of the books I've planned to read from the days I started with Agile SW development projects. This was the book many said I should read about agile. I'm almost embarrassed that it took so long for me to start with this book. Now I've finally read it. Was it worth it? Definitely.

What I love about the book Lean Software Development by Mary and Tom Poppendieck is that even it's subtitle is Agile Toolkit, it isn't a such a toolkit that offers ready made solutions. I've never believed this one size fits all thinking which is sometimes pushed with Scrum and Kanban literature and this is refreshing exception to that thinking. This one offers explanations why things tend to go in some ways and what are the user or organizational problems these tools are trying to solve.

I'm actually pleased that I didn't read this when I was a fresh starter with Agile and Lean. I somehow feel the book would have been bit too much on that time. This book really encourages to see the whole and understand the underlying causalities between different parts of SW development. For that reason it was good that I had experience on many different levels and layers of Agile and Lean SW development to be able to reflect the lessons in the book to real life situations.

Book has lot of examples, most of them which really adds value to the book. Examples are often the best way to explain how the theory actually works in practice. That was exactly the way this book used examples. Some of the examples even felt really familiar to me and I noticed being in a similar situations which were described in these examples. That helped me to map these things better to real life.

I would recommend this book to all of you who want to understand the bigger picture with Agile and Lean SW development. This is the book that really sets the grounds to understand what this all actually is about. It gives more flesh around the bones for Agile and Lean. Those who need to see the whole before really understanding the details, this is the book for you.

Written by +Henri Hämäläinen


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