miércoles, marzo 28, 2007

Más sobre Poppendieck y Lean Manufacturing

A propósito del comentario anterior sobre los conceptos de Lean Software explicados por Tom y Mary Poppendieck, se puede remitir a su artículo escrito para Dr. Doob´s en 2001, reescrito en su sitio con algunas variantes (se pueden consultar las dos versiones). Allí desarrollan claramente las ideas que heredaran de Lean Manufacturing, ayudando también a explicar desde el punto de vista del software, las técnicas de calidad acuñadas por los japoneses en los últimos 50 años. Es natural que Poppendieck, siendo gerente de Sistemas de una manufacturera como 3M, pudiera sacar conclusiones y generalizaciones para los procesos de software, desde los procesos industriales. Algo que a veces es resistido, explicado con claridad.
In a January 2001 article in Harvard Business Review titled ‘Strategy as Simple Rules’, Kathleen Eisenhardt describes how smart companies thrive in a complex business environment by establishing a set of simple rules which define direction without confining it.[2] She suggests that instead of following complex processes, using simple rules to communicate strategy is the best way to empower people to seize fleeting opportunities in rapidly changing markets.

The 1980’s were a time of profound change in US manufacturing, and the change was guided by a set of simple rules. Simple rules gave guidance to every level of the organization, and got everyone on the same sheet of music. They empowered people at all levels of the organization, because the provided guidance for making day-to-day decisions. With simple rules, work teams were able to continuously improve the processes and products without detailed guidance or complex processes.

The basic practices of Lean Manufacturing and TQM in the 1980’s might be summed up in these ten simple rules:

1. Eliminate Waste
2. Minimize Inventory
3. Maximize Flow
4. Pull From Demand
5. Empower Workers
6. Meet Customer Requirements
7. Do it Right the First Time
8. Abolish Local Optimization
9. Partner With Suppliers
10. Create a Culture of Continuous Improvement

These Lean Manufacturing rules have been tested and proven over the last two decades. They have been adapted to logistics, customer service, health care, finance, and even construction. The application of the rules may change slightly from one industry to the next, but the underlying principles have stood the test of time in many sectors of the economy.

Lean Programming

Recent work in Agile Methodologies, Adaptive Software Development, and Extreme Programming have in effect applied the simple rules of Lean Manufacturing to software development. The results, which we call Lean Programming, are as dramatic as the improvements in manufacturing brought on by the Just-in-Time and Total Quality Management movements of the 1980’s.

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