Agile and Toyota – Alistair Cockburn

due post il 31-12-2006 e 1-1-2007

Re: [APM] Management lineage of software processes

Interestingly, the Toyota Production System (TPS) was already doing most of what we now call agile, already back in the 1970s.

The west didn’t notice what they were doing and misinterpreted it. (most of) Those of us who wrote the agile manifesto in 2001 were not aware of TPS, and simply wrote what was on our minds. Since then, many of us have looked at TPS — and I for one, can’t see that we’ve added very much to what was already in TPS (test-first comes to mind as an exception).

Alistair

Re: [APM] Management lineage of software processes

Thanks, Boris. Well, I have three times visited a place in SLC(O.C.Tanner) where they are implementing TPS pretty strictly in their awards production, and I am unable to to suggest anything that they haven’t already been doing for over a year. I.e., TPS already leads them to everything I know.

Personally, I think it’s pretty nifty that we in software managed to reinvent our own localization of the ideas of TPS without knowing first about TPS. It doesn’t bother me if Toyota got there first (over a 60-year period). I think the ideas are there to be found by multiple groups of people … the math adds up, reflection and inspection lead there.

But the only reason I brought this all up was that someone asked about the sequencing of ideas and influences. AFAIK, we software people were not particularly influenced by Deming or TPS in coming up with the agile manifesto (I can speak for myself — my information came strictly from staring at my interview results and management attempts in the early/mid 1990s … I suspect the same was true for at least most of the people at the Snowbird meeting). And still, looking at time sequencing, it is clear that lean manufacturing got there first. I still don’t know about Deming’sstuff.

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