Lean and Agile


The previous 2 days I attended a course on Lean, organized by Robin Dymond and Jurgen De Smet in Ghent. 


The small group size made it possible to have some interesting exercises and discussions.  The main idea returning in most chapters was continuous improvement.  By using Value stream mapping, causal loop diagrams and A3 sheets this mindset can be nurtured.  Off course the Toyota Production System was the reference during this course.  I’m getting more and more fascinated by this company and the way they run their business.  A book that’s getting higher on my reading list is The Toyota Way

Increasing speed by reducing cycle time.

Making sure every step in the process is working optimally, removing queues and using pull mechanisms (Kanban).  By mapping a value stream of one of the attendees company, we could try this hands-on.  Great stuff!

The reason why this course is called ‘Lean & Agile’ is because at multiple times the comparison with scrum was made.   They explained the overlaps and added value of lean, being on a higher level than scrum.   This made it actually easier for me to understand some concepts thanks to my experience with scrum and agile software development.  In general, it’s a company mindset, which makes it hard to introduce and to maintain.  One of the summaries of the course was:

When starting with lean, prepare to be frustrated. 🙂

Sure, the same with agile  😉


Here are some good books about lean and agile:

 Implementing Lean Software Development: From Concept to Cash   

Scaling Lean & Agile Development: Thinking and Organizational Tools for Large-Scale Scrum  



Related posts:

Continuous improvement

Project retrospective

About Nick Oostvogels

Hi, I'm an independent management consultant. My biggest strengths are located in the fields of teamwork, motivation, leadership and continuous improvement. In the IT industry you find a lot of these values in the agile movement, in which I often act as a project leader, product owner or coach. My interests go a lot further, into other industries where we find these values in lean production. Besides that, I try to broaden my horizon as much as possible, always looking for better ways of doing business.

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