Winter is coming, time to get LEAN

19 Oct


I have been doing a lot of reading recently for various interviews, its interesting how you can relate ideas from one industry to another.

You can tell a lot about people approach to how they go about their work, I saw a guy cutting a hedge last week, I could see how it was before, how he was going about the job, I thought that the job he was doing was brilliant.

Could this guy be a good software tester?

Painter painting a wall


In fact, I once met a guy that was painting an office, he asked a manager what people in the office were doing. The manager said

Manager: They are software testing

Painter: Can I have a go?

Manager: Sure

And that’s how he got started in software testing, and he was very good at software testing, he must have been good at painting too. If you were an office manager looking at paint on the floor, you wouldn’t let that guy near a computer!

Now, introducing LEAN, a method that came from Production line engineering

The story of things, get LEAN



Lean manufacturing or lean production, often simply “lean“, is a systematic method for the elimination of waste (“Muda”) within a manufacturing system.

Lean also takes into account waste created through overburden (“Muri”) and waste created through unevenness in work loads (“Mura”).

Principles include:

  1. Eliminate waste
  2. Build quality in
  3. Create knowledge
  4. Defer commitment
  5. Deliver fast
  6. Respect people
  7. Optimise the whole


1, Waste can be defined as:

  • unnecessary code or functionality
  • starting more than can be completed
  • delay in the software development process
  • unclear or constantly changing requirements
  • bureaucracy
  • slow or ineffective communication
  • partially done work
  • defects and quality issues
  • task switching


2,  Types of Quality to be built in


3,  Types of knowledge to be created

  • Documentation
  • Commented code
  • Version controlling
  • Building Automation scripts that other testers can used in other tests
  • Pair Programming
  • Code reviews
  • Knowledge sharing
  • User stories
  • Training


4, Defer commitment

Decide when you have learned as much as possible to make the best decision


5, Deliver fast

  • Keep it simple
  • Work as a team
  • Eliminate waste
  • Build quality in
  • Hire the right people and then get out of their way


6, Respect people

  • Communicate the Pros and Cons
  • Empower people and let them have their say


7, Optimise the whole

Its no good just optimise one part of the process, the whole process should be reviewed to ensure, what gets measured gets managed.

If each subsystem, regarded separately, is made to operate with maximum efficiency, the system as a whole will not operate with utmost efficiency. – General Systems Theory (Lars Skyttne)

Some food for thought…


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: