Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself.
If you’ve made it from the beginning of this book to here, you should have a pretty good idea of how to apply lean concepts and principles to make great software products, and of the importance of strategy and culture in enabling the discovery and exploitation of new businesses. But to reap the maximum reward for all our efforts, lean principles and concepts need to be scaled throughout the entire organization. Only when this happens will we realize the full value of the work we have invested in, exploring new ideas and exploiting those that deliver value to customers.
We readily grasp that these concepts work well to address the needs of rapidly changing environments and fierce competition. However, it is hard to extend lean concepts to process improvement, COTS applications, and the evolution and support of internal systems, particularly systems of record. Supplier and vendor relationships present a further obstacle. The nature of our relationship with suppliers of proprietary, specialized, or customized solutions often inhibits collaboration, fast feedback, or small incremental change. We need to seek suppliers who are willing to treat us as we expect to treat our own customers. We must encourage suppliers to listen to us, understand what we need, and experiment. They have to be willing to go on the journey of improvement with us.
To add further complexity to this problem, ...