Playbook Logo transparent
David Paulson


Inquisitive, provocative and results oriented, David is willing to dig into problems until their true essence is understood and the solution is executed. We love that at Playbook!

Posts containing:

Lean or Agile, Which is the Best for Hardware Development…?

David Paulson- 07/10/18 02:40 PM

We created a 9 minute video that shares two paradigm shifting ideas around what causes late projects. Here is the video, and why we did it...

We read our first book on Lean product development way back in 2004. It was written in 1997 and never used the term “Lean." Instead, it explains the process science (queueing theory) behind why lean methods actually work.

Around the same time, Agile methods were gaining popularity with software developers. So it wasn’t long before hardware teams were hearing that term and were being asked if they could follow them as well. I still remember the first Agile presentation I saw. It all sounded very familiar. That’s when I realized that many of the “Lean” things we were doing in hardware development actually originated from Agile software methods.

Two paradigm-shifting ideas around what causes late projects

Since then we’ve met many people who are trying to adopt only one of the methods or are confused about which one they should choose. And that’s too bad because they both have a lot of value…

…and they both have the same high-level goal—get value to the customer rapidly.

Since we have written many blog posts on the key differences, we decided to boil down what they have in common to the simplest possible explanation. And that’s when we discovered that…

…some of the most powerful concepts of Lean and Agile aren’t explicitly discussed in any of their definitions.

So we created a series of videos that demonstrates what causes late projects, how to fix them, and why they can have such a big impact on reducing project times.

BTW, the first book we read is called Managing the Design Factory by Don Reinertsen, and is still our favorite book on the topic of product development.

Once you’ve mastered the concepts in that book, you can read his best-selling second book, The Principles of Product Development Flow: Second Generation Lean Product Development. It goes into much more detail, but can be overwhelming if you're just getting started!

Related articles

Lean project management
Lean project management methodology
Lean project management Kanban
Lean project management principles
Lean project management resource management 
Lean project management Pull vs. push
Lean project management task management
Lean project management and shared project buffers
Lean project management and decentralized planning
Daily stand-up meetings
Guide to Lean Project Management
Guide to Lean Product Development