Recently, my job has changed a bit. I’ll probably write about that in a post coming up, but for now it suffices to say that I’m definitely spending more time than usual thinking about entire projects and all aspects of the project. Naturally that has me thinking about process more. I have always tended to prefer Agile methodologies, and the Lean flavors in particular.
However, I didn’t feel that I really had a solid background in the lean parts. While I’ve understood the processes and motions and studied Lean manufacturing in college, some of the motivations and subtleties are tied to a deeper understanding. I feel like I needed to spend some time reading the best works on the subject. Practical experience on lean teams is great, but I wanted more.
With that in mind, I reached out to Rick Simmons (@simmons3k). I used to intern for Rick way back in my college days and we keep up and discuss software, Agile from time to time. Rick is an Agile Coach for Rally, and at one time helped implement and improve Agile processes at Constant Contact. Needless to say, he’s an expert in the area. Rick was kind of enough to give me a list of Lean books that he recommended, and I got the idea to publish the list as a post with his permission.
I’ve linked to each book directly, but if you prefer I have a public Amazon list for the books as well available here.
- Rework, Jason Fried and David Hansson
- Switch, Chip and Dan Heath
- Theory of Constraints, Eli Goldratt
- Leading Lean Software Development: Results Are not the Point, Mary and Tom Poppendieck
- Lessons in Agile Management: On the Road to Kanban, David Anderson
- Principles of Product Development Flow, Dan Reinertsen
As I read some of these, I intend to follow up with more posts about what specific lessons I took away from each one. Feel free to follow up with your thoughts in the comments below.