Monday, 5 November 2012

Lean book review: Lean Architecture and Lean from the Trenches

Quick review of one of two technical/project management books I read lately.

First is "Lean Architecture" by James Coplien.

Lean Architecture: for Agile Software Development

Coplien is someone I have great respect for, I have listened to a few lectures by him and read several articles. He definitely seems very knowledgeable on the subject and good in panel debates against other self entitled agilistas. Some people may recognise him for his forword in the Clean Code book by Uncle Bob. So I was looking forward to read this book.

However this book was not great. It is very wordy and repetitive. The book keeps going of on a tangent about the history of agile and lean, which while nice is not why I bought the book. Only in the last few chapters does it actually get to the point of the book, the DCI architecture style.

If you want to learn about DCI (Data, Context & Interaction) then it may be the book for you, especially if you want to pick up history of The Toyota Way, Lean and Agile. Otherwise don't bother.

Another book I read is "Lean from the Trenches" by Henrik Kniberg.

Lean from the Trenches: Managing Large-Scale Projects with Kanban

Having previously read two of his other books I was expecting a helpful book. ("Kanban and Scrum - making the most of both" & "Scrum and XP from the Trenches"). Kniberg is very much a Kanban man so I was interested in his Lean views.

And this book I thought was very good. He adopts a reflection of a large scale project for the Police in Sweden, and the aspects they learned by adopting lean practices as they went along. And then in later chapters more detailed reflections and background on subject matters. (I suspect the authoring style leads readers to think it was all accidentally knowledge gained by the team along the way, but knowing his previous experience I am sure he nudged most in the right direction).

His writing style and diagrams are very easy to follow and I finished the book in a few days read on the commute, and was very inspired. Highly recommended.