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Lean Software Development: slack vs waste

 
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Greetings and thanks to the authors!

Eliminating waste appears to be a primary focus of Lean Software Development. What's the best way to keep a manager from equating developer slack time with waste?

thanks,
Jeff
 
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People who really understand Lean understand that slack time is essential. But you ask how to convince a manager of that. Well, perhaps you can send your manager into a traffic jam a few times and see if you can convince them that highway traffic jams are exactly the same thing that happens in a development organization that tries to drive utilization to 100%. There is enormous waste generated by such practices.

I think you need to start by coming to an agreement that cycle time - the time from customer request to request satisfied - is the best measurement of the performance of an organization. This is not an easy task, but once you are there, slack time will be built into the organization.

See chapter 5 of the book, which is all about this very concept.

Mary Poppendieck
 
Jeff Langr
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Many thanks for the quick response!
 
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