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Lean from the Trenches

4.22  ·  Rating details ·  874 ratings  ·  76 reviews
Lean from the Trenches is all about actual practice.

Find out how the Swedish police combined XP, Scrum, and Kanban in a 60-person project. From start to finish, you'll see how to deliver a successful product using Lean principles.

We start with an organization in desperate need of a new way of doing things and finish with a group of sixty, all working in sync to develop a
Paperback, 176 pages
Published December 21st 2011 by Pragmatic Bookshelf (first published December 14th 2011)
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Average rating 4.22  · 
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Yves Hanoulle
Jul 28, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I could not stop reading this book.

With Scrum and XP from the trenches, Henrik wrote one of the most important books in the agile literature. He did not write big theory, he wrote what he did and what worked for him. He did the same for Scrum and Kanban from the trenches. With Lean from the trenches he went a step further, he wrote about one specific project.

A lot of people in the agile world are asking for horror stories, to learn when things go wrong. Henrik wrote about what he did to make
Bartosz Pranczke
Mar 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2019
It was a great read. Zero theory, just a case study why and how things from Lean and Agile were implemented in managing a big project. High signal to noise ratio.
Apr 11, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2013
I just wanted to read the first one or two chapters to get in the mood for work this worning. Well, I couldn't stop until it was finished. A great book with a lot of practical advice. This definitely is one of the best books on Lean/Agile that I've read so far. Highly recommendable (like pretty much everything by the author.)

And now I have to get some work done...
Jan 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Best agile-like book i had a chance to read. It's not a book for religious people that think Scrum is only when its 100% Scrum and when we have XP its XP... Its a book about practice, real-life example and how agile is agile.

That by driving a change by a need can lead to optimized version of agile for the current team, project, or company. And that we should just not blindly follow stupid rules when they are stupid. Charts? the heck with them if they are not providing value. You can't do X? why?
Nov 25, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: professional
This book gives a great insight on how to run a project in an agile way: I recommend reading it while taking notes on what to apply to your projects. It covers a project for the Swedish police where a large-ish team of 60+ people were able to deliver a project changing how the police would do arrests on the go, from the laptops in their cars. They would do this using Kanban and a set of multiple physical whiteboards, together with following a series of good practices.

There were a number of
Yevgeniy Brikman
Jul 12, 2014 rated it it was amazing
One of the more down to earth, real world looks at lean and agile that I've come across. In the first half of the book, Kniberg outlines how his team used lean/agile to implement a software system for the Swedish police. He describes how the process evolved, what worked, what didn't, and why. There is no preaching and minimal buzzwords. Everything is explained through practice, trial and error, and experience, including the parts they had not figured out how to solve. It's refreshing to see a ...more
Sebastian Gebski
Mar 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing
By far my most favorite kind of agile-related books. Maybe even a example of the only kind of agile books worth reading (once you get through classics).

Shortly speaking, this whole book is a case - a story of particular endeavor Henrik took part in. Some may call it project, it's good enough approximation. Henrik has sliced the whole thing into chapters about organization, most important challenges, process, learnings, etc. All the chapters are very "to-the-point", zero bullshit & contain
Aug 16, 2012 rated it liked it
I liked this book, yet expected much more from it.
My definition of "large" is different from the one in the book (afai remember it was 70 developers on that project).
My definition of "lean" would not necessarily include the concept of a "project" in the first place...
Most of the ideas I've read about were not new to me—and this is obviously very subjective.
So while I did not learn as much from the book as I wanted, it still was worth the time, as Henrik's writing style is entertaining, and he
Stefan Kanev
May 03, 2016 rated it really liked it
I picked this book to refresh my Kanban-fu, in order to help some co-workers with it. It's definitely work reading. Half of it is a case study – Kniberg goes over how they implemented a lean approach in a government project. I find this extremely interesting – knowing the principles is one thing, but applying them in context is a very different ordeal. I did learn a lot from it and I picked a bunch of great ideas. The rest is essentially a summary of all the "agile" ideas – Scrum, Lean, etc. ...more
Tom Panning
Jan 02, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: agile
A great case study that shows how a real team working on a real project used agile, how they modified it as needed. It makes a strong case that your actual process isn't as important as how you incrementally improve your process. Also, each attempt at improving your process should be viewed as an experiment, and experiments are expected to fail sometimes; it just means you need to re-examine your hypothesis and try a different experiment.
Overall, the book had a lot of insights that could be
Nov 14, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: nf
Read it quickly to get the general idea of the process. I'm not a software developer so not in the best position to judge how helpful the specifics are but felt that the process itself was well conveyed and clear. The pictures and cartoons were good too, it felt like a good balance of theory and practice.
Apr 25, 2012 rated it really liked it
We have applied some topics such as synch meetings, cocktails meetings and kanban workflow covered on this book and results are being fantastic. on the other hand, metrics chapter should be better explained.
Ricardo Cavalcanti
Excellent case study of a large scale agile project. Many practical advice with well explained and convincing rationale behind. Shows a good mix of scrum, XP, lean and kanban principles and practices.
Manas Saloi
Oct 11, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Awesome good on Kanban method(agile dev). If you are a project manager this book will be really helpful.
André Gomes
Aug 15, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: agile-and-lean
In this book Kniberg shares his experience in applying agile.

While reading his experiences I've had many good insights of things to try with my own team.
Emre Sevinç
Jan 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
Writing a book on software project management methodologies is not something to be taken lightly. One runs the risk of not satisfying anyone while trying to cater to the wishes of everyone. Even though the title and cover pages are 100% buzzword compliant, which is a warning sign by itself, Henrik Kniberg seems to have achieved a satisfying result in his book 'Lean from the Trenches: Managing Large-Scale Projects with Kanban'.

The good parts

The book is short. In 150 pages you cannot go into
Dec 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: owned-ebook
I've liked it mainly for two reasons:
1) It's not 'religious' or black and white only. We can read about different methodologies or techniques for project management, but nothing is treated as a silver bullet. Everything has pros and cons and author states it clearly
2) It has 'this worked for us because' parts. There are many books that say you should do XYZ because it's good. But they don't try enough to explain why. Here you have a story of existing project. You can read what worked, what not
Alex Vasilenko
Feb 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: management, process
Despite being short and simple the book is really great for both starters of Agile and people who are practicing it and looking for more answers. First part consists of 1 big example running a project under certain circumstances. For starters it helps to grasp a picture what Agile is and for practices - gives broader spectrum of tools/techniques to apply. Second part is short and consists of theory of what Agile is. Most probably would be useful only for starters.
Jul 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
among all the books on lean,xp and scrum this is the most down to earth book i've read.
there are a lot of examples and experiences shared by the author and these are helping a lot to understand how things are working in practice.
i highly recommend it to anyone who is just starting to learn about these topics or wants to improve his practice of them.
David Dikman
Mar 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Light and useful read

Just like with his previous success Scrum from the trenches this book gives you a practical example of how to approach Kanban. It's written well but informally making it a light and instructive read.

As it's not a huge investment and provides good practical experience to draw from, a definite recommend
Pradeep Mishra
Feb 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
This is a nice book on how to put agile principles, specially Kanban, into software development practice. Content is very pragmatic and easy read. Highly recommended and can be referred again and again.
Igor Đukić
Feb 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Very concise book with practical examples and a lot of explained techniques. Great summaries for lean, agile, scrum, xp, kanban.

Highly recommended.

- Know your goal
- Experiment
- Embrace failure
- Solve real problems
- Have dedicated change agent
- Involve people
Greg G
May 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Lots of good tips and examples and reading about real world challenges and how they resolved them.
Muhammad Ali
Jan 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
A good book to understand KANBAN for starters, tells you how KANBAN can help you in different stages of the SDLC. You may want to have this as a KANBAN reference book.
Vatroslav Mileusnić
Jun 13, 2017 rated it really liked it
A useful case study on implementing Kanban into a software development company. Holds many advices.
Paco Orozco
Oct 13, 2017 rated it liked it
Very practical, but the focus isn't clear to me. It's a case about success with kanban and scrum in a big (very big) project
Aug 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
A good practical book from Henrik Knieberg (who has a lot of knowledge on Agile) how they've used Kanban for a big project. Recommended to people who like Kanban.
Feb 09, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: it
Really hands on but nothing new under the sun here
Nathalie Karasek
Oct 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: _hardcopy, lean, kanban, 2018
Cool case study written in quite narrative style. Hands-on and useful! Love it!
George Psistakis
Jun 03, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Real life examples are always crucial in understanding as they can translate abstract theoretical concepts into things we can relate to from our experience. Anyone looking from above the whole Agile concept and its techniques or methodologies may seem lost. I know I felt lost when I first begun to be educated in the agile mindset. And while zooming in and reading specific frameworks like Scrum and Kanban is very useful, it is most interesting to get real life examples for the whole time span.

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