Chapter 13

Lean Software Development

Exploring the Principles of Value and Flow

Mary Poppendieck


We held our first Lean software development class at Standard Life in Edinburgh in the fall of 2004. We spent two days with a couple dozen of the company’s top developers, followed by a day-long workshop with the leadership team, which included chief information officer (CIO) Keith Young. To be honest, we didn’t think we had made much of an impact until three years later, when we came upon an article in Information Age. It reported that Standard Life had generated 30% more business over the last couple of years while realizing a 70% leap in profit due to improved efficiencies—and this impressive performance was largely attributed to the ...

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