Thursday, May 28, 2009

From cars to software

Since I have spent half of my working life in the heavy industry, from the time I broke into the software, I have been sceptical, even doubtful about finding a practical and repeatable solution to develop the software products with a consistent level of quality.

After years of learning, I should agree, this industry is on its way to handling its maturity.

Often, we compare our industry to the car one and their histories are damn close.
If you get the chance to visit a car museum you will notice the amazing number of craftsmen that were melting, welding, bending metal everywhere in the world in the early twentieth century.
Count today car manufacturers, then astonish yourself by looking at the wikicars makers pages, and finally try to compare the concentration phenomenon to the software industry.
Far from an accurate data analysis, that would lead to mumbo-jumbo, at least a lesson can be learned from the strongest car manufacturers and Toyota is the one we really need to emulate.
As many of us, I have chatted about TPS and Lean, but getting deeper into waste reduction would help me to better understand their philosophy.
So if you are interested in growing your Lean understanding applied to software, take a breath and listen to Mary and Tom Poppendieck on Infoq.

Sources :
Wikipedia : car manufacturers
Wikicars: makes
Wikipedia : List of countries by motor vehicle production
Wikiepedia : TPS
Infoq : Mary and Tom Poppendieck on using Lean for Competitive Advantage

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