Agile Atelier

Episode 30: Lean Software Development with Mary and Tom Poppendieck

Welcome to yet another episode on the Agile Atelier podcast! Today’s topic is Lean Software Development, I have the pleasure of chatting with two special guests – Mary and Tom Poppendieck. Mary and Tom are best known for their book Lean Software Development: An Agile Toolkit. Mary started her career as a process control programmer, moved on to manage the IT department of a manufacturing plant, and then ended up in product development, where she was both a product champion and department manager. Tom is an enterprise analyst and architect, and an agile process mentor. He focuses on identifying real business value and enabling product teams to realize that value.

In this episode, we cover a wide variety of topics, starting off with Mary’s initial introduction to computing in 1961 as well as how she introduced just-in-time (JIT) principles, not practices, into companies like 3M. After telling us a bit more about Lean principles, Mary and Tom do a wonderful job of story-telling and explaining concepts like systems thinking and friction with examples from SpaceX and AWS (Amazon web services). We discuss exercises such as value stream mapping, how to measure friction, and why being responsive and resilient are better than being efficient.

In this episode, Mary and Tom mentioned the book Think like Amazon and The Art of War. You can connect with Mary on Twitter and learn more about her and Tom’s work on their website.

Episode 30: Lean Software Development with Mary and Tom Poppendieck

Subscribe and listen on iTunes or Spotify!

If you take another company’s practices and apply them, then you’re solving their problems, not yours.


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