Lately, Â“LeanÂ”Â—which derives from the lean manufacturing practices popularized by Honda and Toyota in the 1980sÂ—has been a popular topic in software development circles. Not only does much of agile development have its roots in LeanÂ’s streamlined, waste-averse practices, but Forester just held its Business Technology Forum which focused on the new concept of Â“Lean IT.Â”
As IÂ’ve discussed here before, Lean manufacturing, typified by Toyota and HondaÂ’s production system of the 1980s, was one of the most influential precursors to agile development practices. Specifically, LeanÂ’s emphasis on ongoing evaluation of the teamÂ’s performance, constant pursuit of process improvement, and continued waste elimination can be directly observed in agileÂ’s tenets of incremental and iterative inspection and adaptation. Tony Baer, an analyst who covers agile, discussed how Lean has become a hot topic of discussion of late among the agile community.