Foundations of Lean

What Lean Is and What it Isn’t


Cost of Delay. “If you only quantify one thing, quantify the Cost of Delay” – Don Reinertsen In a nutshell, the “cost of delay” is what it costs an organization in lost revenue, lost opportunity, increased risks, customer respect, etc., due to a delay in realization of value. Everyone knows intuitively that delays in software delivery impose some economic cost on the organization. But what exactly is that cost, and how do we measure it? Applying a combined Lean-Agile perspective, we can understand these costs better. More importantly, we can use the same perspective to improve the speed and reliability of software delivery, while making important choices about when you’ve delivered enough value.

The Business Case for Agility. Agile is not just for the team anymore. Business can become more profitable while incurring less risk when they take Agile methods to the organization.

Minimum Business Increments (MBIs). It’s exciting to talk about startups and Minimum Viable Products. But more organizations are enhancing their existing products.  Lean how the Minimum Business Increment is one of the most important Lean-Agile methods available.

The Value Stream

Other resources not in Foundations of Lean Workshop



Dot Game Instructions

Manage Work-in-Process (WIP) by Focusing on Finishing. Many people think Kanban is about putting work in process (WIP) limits on the columns of the board. That is not necessarily an effective method. Better to keep excess work out of the board and to focus on finishing within the board.


Leadership and Management. This references a key article that Lean Management is based on.

Towards Middle-Up-Down Management

Improving Your Company’s Culture. This discusses how management is required to change culture.

Two pages are currently being written that will address this:

  • Difference Between Inspect and Adapt and PDSA
  • Difference in Belies Results in Differences in Approach

Middle-Up-Down Management: Accelerating Information Creation Nonaka (1988)

Improving Your Company’s Culture  This talks both about the role of management in changing culture and why people don’t resist change.

Supplemental Reading