Software development teams must change their approach, says Lean expert

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Software development teams must  change their approach, says Lean expert

Get the Agile method right
Stop Cherry Picking Agile

Press Release 20th April 2011

Hot on the heels of the release of the government’s ICT strategy (30 March), in which the government announced its plans for applying Lean and Agile methodologies, Lean expert Stephen Parry has called for software development teams to take a more ‘joined up’ approach to software delivery to avoid damaging the reputation of Lean and Agile.

With more and more software development companies adopting Agile methodologies (an approach to building software based on incremental developments and regular evaluation), Stephen is concerned that many organisations are merely ‘practising’ at being Agile and are ‘cherry picking’ the easier-to-implement or more attractive elements.

On top of that, says Stephen, these companies often see Agile as a stand-alone process and are separating Agile from its Lean roots.  And despite the fact that both Lean and Agile promote cross functional working, the various departments within these companies don’t know what each other are doing.

Stephen, who is ICT and Service strategic advisor to the Lean Enterprise Institute and CEO of business transformation company, See Business Differently, recently ran a seminar with Agile expert, Grant Rule, to address these very issues.

Entitled, ‘Creating an integrated ICT value stream using Lean and Agile thinking’, the seminar explored the nature and application of Lean and Agile in their truest forms and advocated an Agile software development process which is seamlessly integrated with the Lean support and Delivery process.  Failure to do this, it was said, causes havoc for the business and customers.

“Lean is based on the principle of creating true value for the customer and meeting his real, rather than perceived, needs,” said Stephen, “Without Lean delivery and Agile development, software development companies cannot hope to produce software that is completely client led and relevant to the fast changing IT market.

“Lean and Agile are completely compatible and should be the perfect marriage.  But a perfect marriage means working together in harmony – at the moment, companies are allowing fractured departments to create a fractured relationship between Lean and Agile, ushering the two towards divorce!”


Notes to Editors

To interview Stephen Parry or for further information, please contact:

Michelle Drapeau, PR Executive, on +44 (0) 1525 237599


Stephen Parry direct on +44 (0) 7838 114997


Facts about Stephen Parry

  • Stephen Parry is a leading expert in the fields of Lean organisational design and transformation and Lean leadership.
  • He is author of the book, “Sense and Respond: the journey to customer purpose”, which presents an approach to business based on Lean Service Principles.
  • Clients include SAP, BT, Local Government, police authorities, financial services, TNT.
  • Stephen speaks regularly at international events and respected business schools such as Cranfield School of Management and the Fisher Business School at Ohio University.  He is a Faculty Member of the USA Lean Enterprise Institute, visiting Fellow at the Professor Dan Jones Lean Enterprise Academy in the UK and a regular judge at the national business awards.
  • He has been interviewed on Radio 4 and featured in documentaries on BBC1 and Channel 4.

3 thoughts on “Software development teams must change their approach, says Lean expert

  1. I am also aware of some companies trying to apply Agile methodololgy in other disciplines outside of software development, such as project management but have struggled to adopt this approach. Is Agile only software development specific, and why?

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