Lean Thinking with Richard Durnall 1

Posted by Conrad Benham on July 06, 2008

At our last gathering, guest speaker Richard Durnall gave a very interesting presentation on Lean Thinking in IT. In his presentation, Richard covered a large spectrum of the Lean Thinking space. From a solid background of applying Lean in the Automotive industry (where Lean grew from) Richard spoke with authority on the history of Lean and its application. He then drew from that experience to explain how Lean thinking can be applied in IT.

Lean Manufacturing has had a major influence from Japan where Toyota used it to great effect. This influence means that many Japanese words can be found in Lean to describe various components of it. One of those words, muda, for example is used to describe waste. Another word, jidoka, as Richard explained it, is about autonomation or automation with a human touch. It focuses on introducing technology to people in a structured and considered manner such that those people will adopt the technology being built for them. A system that is built that dismisses jidoka could be considered muda, particularly if the users it is built for do not adopt it.

Amongst the topics presented, he spoke briefly on the differences between Agile and Lean. In a recent blog post, Richard compares Agile and Lean. Martin Fowler has also weighed into the conversation with his own ideas.

Richard also made reference to a couple of books during his presentation:
•    Learning to See by John Shook
•    The Toyota Way by Jeffrey Liker

I’d like to thank Richard for presenting at our last meeting and for making his presentation available, which can be found in PDF form. I want to wish him well on the rest of his world tour in which he will continue to present on Lean Thinking.

Lean Thinking

Posted by Conrad Benham on June 10, 2008

For our next meeting we have guest speaker Richard Durnall who will talk about Lean Thinking and how it is applied in the IT industry. Richard is considered an expert in the field of Lean Thinking in IT, having worked closely with other Lean experts. He began his Lean experience in the Car Manufacturing industry (where Lean originated) working for Ford. Presently, Richard works as a Principal Consultant for ThoughtWorks, applying and coaching Lean at the clients to which he consults.

Richard, a very energetic and entertaining speaker is presently on tour, talking about Lean at a number of places around the world. Don’t miss out on what will be a very insightful and educational evening.

Rather than reinventing the wheel I refer you to the following information on Lean Thinking:

For more information on Richard, please visit his website.

When: 7:30pm, Tuesday 17th of June 2008
Where: ThoughtWorks Hong Kong Office
Address: Room 1304, 13/F, Tai Tung Building, 8 Fleming Road, Wanchai
Map: ThoughtWorks Hong Kong