Sep 9, 2013

Book Review: The Principles of Product Development Flow

I was told already about three years ago, that I should read some of Reinertsen books to understand much more about product development. Finally I read The Principles of Product Development Flow. I'm actually happy that I didn't read it earlier. It is a great book, but I have learned so much about product development during past years, that I was myself much more ready to understand the book, that I would have been earlier.

This book is not normal SW development book. I'm not sure if Agile or Scrum was even mentioned in this book. There is lot of talks about Kanban, but mainly because of queue's and because Kanban is great tool for better queue handling. This book dives in understanding where the value really is in Product Development.

One important part of this book is that it goes through why Lean is different for SW than it is for manufacturing. There are different economical factors affecting SW than normal factory. In both handling queues are important, but for example variation might even be valuable in SW, when in manufacturing it mainly waste.

I have to admit, that even with my economical background and interest in theories, still sometimes book got bit too technical to me. It really digs in deep to all subjects and make sure it has enough scientific or case study based evidence for the presented principles.

It is really important book for product development professionals. The ideas as such are valuable to everyone, but this book isn't the easiest to read. I recommend it to everyone who really want to understand how the whole product organization should work.

To be honest, I believe many of the readers of this book, will not understand how important this book is. If I will ever get to the level of understanding Reinertsen has for Product development economics, I'll be really happy. Be brave and take the challenge.

Written by +Henri Hämäläinen