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Lean Enterprise: How High Performance Organizations Innovate at Scale
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Lean Enterprise: How High Performance Organizations Innovate at Scale

4.25  ·  Rating details ·  1,409 ratings  ·  87 reviews
How well does your organization respond to changing market conditions, customer needs, and emerging technologies when building software-based products? This practical guide presents Lean and Agile principles and patterns to help you move fast at scale—and demonstrates why and how to apply these methodologies throughout your organization, rather than with just one departmen ...more
Hardcover, 352 pages
Published December 4th 2014 by O'Reilly Media (first published January 22nd 2014)
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Sergey Shishkin
Mar 01, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This book should be a required read for every software engineering university program as well as MBAs. Seriously, it's the most comprehensive coverage of modern management and product development principles and practices I've came across. It presents radical but proven ideas in a respectful and non-dogmatic way, backed up with case studies of the most successful companies across industries. Extra points for covering NUMMI – the ultimate case study of lean thinking. ...more
Sebastian Gebski
Jan 30, 2015 rated it it was amazing
B-R-I-L-L-I-A-N-T book.

In theory, it shouldn't be any kind of surprise, because it's Jez Humble's book - and he's the man who gave famous "Continuous Delivery" to the world. But I was skeptical: first, because I've read quite a few "Lean" books recently and none of them (except Poppendiecks, of course) was really useful; second, because I didn't like some of Jez'es opinions expressed on the web recently. I wouldn't risk a statement that I disagree with them completely, but I had a feeling that h
Giovani Facchini
This book brings a very challenging view to those who may be only used to waterfall processes, huge (big-bang) projects and quality gates, hence I recommend the reading for those that did not have an exposure to Agile and would like to challenge some of their believes.

One of the ideas I really like is the concepts of "Horizons" for product development and how to use the discovery for it through MVP's that are build fast and cheap to validate ideas by customer experimentation and measurement. Fur
May 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Must read book for anyone in software development leadership role, especially VP of Engineering and Product Management.

Book is packed with a lot of information, practical advice and my favorite case studies that connect everything to reality.

This book covers product development, organizational culture, hiring and developing talent, prioritisation and a lot more.
Oksana Hoshva
Jan 11, 2015 rated it really liked it

The book relatively short, concise and practical as the authors intended it to be. It clearly explains how the disciplines of Lean, Agile, Kata, Lean Startup, and Design Thinking are converging through the unifying principles of an adaptive learning organisation. The authors we show how to grow organisations which can innovate rapidly in response to changing market conditions, customer needs, and emerging technologies.

Part I of the book introduces the main themes of the book: culture, strategy,
Maik Broxterman
Aug 17, 2020 rated it liked it
Lean Enterprise never really got to the point where it sticks with me. 

It rather looks like a collection of observations and opinions than something actionable or scientifc. E.g. the section about financial management; it describes disassociating funding from a fiscal cycle, but it never gets a clear empirical or statistical background. Mostly hypothesis and ideas/ways of thinking that are not really fleshed out.

It's lacking a lot of essential information. How do you monitor, what are the ways y
Bjoern Rochel
Feb 21, 2021 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2020, 2021
I do believe that for people who are keen to learn how to tie various lean and agile ideas together and maybe would like to introduce a more iterative way of thinking into their respective organization, this might be a very valuable book.

It’s the only book I know that manages to show how everything from business model canvas, A/B-testing, CI/CD, rolling budgets etc can work together to create a cohesive approach to software delivery.

It doesn’t go super deep, but references a lot of secondary ma
Mike Bowler
Jan 06, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: agile-lean
If you only read one book about improving your organization this year, make it this one. The authors bring together a large number of individual topics into one coherent story and sprinkle that with a collection of fascinating case studies.

I was already familiar with most of the individual topics that are covered in this book and yet I ended up highlighting more sections in this book than I think I've ever done in any other book. I can't recommend this highly enough.
Apr 12, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: business
Ace. Will be re-reading, pondering and quoting this book a lot, I think.
Ahmad hosseini
Apr 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
Innovation in large, bureaucratic organizations is challenging because they are inherently designed to support stability, compliance, and precedence over risk taking. But today, innovation is a must-have in all areas, so big companies also need ways to take advantage of innovation.
This book provides a pragmatic toolkit of strategies and practices for establishing high performing organizations and inject innovation into large companies. For this purpose book explains how to apply lean practice a
Aug 18, 2021 rated it it was amazing
I have found the book that I never knew I always wanted published.

Truthfully, how the authors integrated many different philosophies and tools into a single book that enables businesses to make great decisions on the work they will do to excel in their space.

Insightful, if not a little understated - this book is a gem for any executive looking to survive in the post-COVID, post-Great Resignation world we are in, and not become the next Blockbuster, Kmart or other rigid Taylorist companies that
Mar 03, 2021 rated it really liked it
Despite been a 7-years old book, Lean Enterprise still stands as a good reference for innovation at scale.
Feb 15, 2015 rated it it was amazing
DISCLAIMER: I'm friends with some of the authors.

This book was an absolutely exceptional summation of the latest in business organization and operations for the digital age. Incorporating much of the latest thinking on business agility, the authors use sources such as Daniel H Pink, Eric Ries, John Kotter, and Mike Rother (amongst many others) to describe the attitudes, values, and culture necessary for your organization to adapt quickly in the modern business environment. The first two thirds o
Jan 05, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is an excellent book. It shows lean principles in the context of enterprise environment. For me, the biggest eye opener was the distinction between exploration (doing something new, with high risk of wasting an investment) and exploitation (modifying something already working with risk of loosing current profit). There are principles and strategies, which has to be applied differently to both aproaches, but they can still follow the lean ideas (focus on delivering value, reduce waste,...). ...more
Julian Dunn
Sep 04, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This book is the bible for anyone seeking to transform their organization along modern principles of service and product delivery. It is heavily IT focussed, but this is where we can expect to see much of the value driven out of corporations in the future -- through software products. Therefore it is critical to involve many other areas of a company not traditionally associated with technology projects like finance, audit and compliance, security to get them working in a lean manner compatible w ...more
Charles Baker
Oct 08, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This is an excellent book. It should be required reading for everyone working in a large enterprise at any level. Some of it is very specific to the executive level and finance people but it is well worth understanding those concerns even if you are a front line worker. Lean and Kaizen work! I might write more about it later.
Denis Romanovsky
Sep 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
There are books on specific topics and there are integration books. This book is good at integrating different ideas around lean thinking, design thinking, agile and other. Though, the ideas are clear and explanations are simple, still the book does not tell enough details on implementation. You have to go to many other books for more details. Anyway, it was a very good reading!
Kevin McDonagh
A whistle stop tour through lean practices at scale. Although I appreciate their having been documented it felt a little as if this were a dictionary and to obtain real value I still need to get to the source. It's been good as a jump-off point for more reading. ...more
Lawrence A
Jan 07, 2022 rated it it was amazing
This is a must read (or listen) for anybody who is responsible for delivering IT services and products, and is a great introduction to the notions of lean processes. I should’ve read this book 10 years ago, earlier in my IT management career, and I would’ve been a better IT leader and would’ve been better positioned to deliver value and organizational improvements.

My only complaint (if I can even call it that) is that the authors vacillate from talking about lean process improvements, innovation
Oct 08, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: work-related, science
Bought this book as an early release, having only part of the content. I did however not enjoy the frequent updates and new revisions, as it would mix up the where i was reading in the book. The e-book format version did not help the reading experience. I should have waited for the final version and bought the paper version.

As I now finally returned to this book and read it from cover to cover i found that it is still a book that every manager and IT practitioner should read. It provides a up to
Jordan Munn
Sep 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Phenomenal book that thoroughly but easily explores Lean as a strategic approach, not just a tactical one. Beyond all the good ideas presented and points made, I really, really appreciated 2 things about the book:
1. The book is always very mindful to remind WHY it's making the points it is. It continually orients the reader to where they are in the workflow, what they're trying to get out of a particular step, and therefore why they're doing the thing they're doing (and how).
2. It marries both
Not That Costa
Jun 19, 2022 rated it really liked it
I read this book for work after swearing that I would never be the kind of person to read books on project management, but low and behold, I happened to really enjoy this.

Whereas many books about agile tend to opt for metaphors and generally very ~whimsical~ language, which I find unhelpful when trying to reflect on my own experiences on my current service, Lean Enterprise opts for grounded case studies for how lean principles can work in practice.

Working in the public sector, there are some ar
Georgiy Ivankin
May 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
One of my favorite books ever. Structurally, stylistically and content-wise it is very, very well done. A lot of inspiration and learning (and sometimes frustration while you're learning how things might be and compare to how things are). Would recommend to anyone, including "individual contributors", working in IT, not necessarily enterprises. Not a very easy read as the language is quite academic. ...more
Gabriel Santos
Apr 28, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: it-strategy
Simply FANTASTIC! If you care and wonder about strategy, this is a MUST read. This book played some very specific chords on my head.
In my rating system I usually give 5 stars to those books that teach me anything new! Well, if was possible I’d give 6 starts to this one. Not only did it teach me a plethora of new things and ideas but also made me reconsider some others I thought I knew.
Antoine Drouhin
Dec 11, 2021 rated it really liked it
A great read overall.
The authors emphasize the importance of learning in all enterprise activities. The ideas in the book felt quite actionable.
The part on Enterprise Culture was eye-opening and really pushed me to delve into this subject.

Also, the authors are doing a great job referencing other books. This helps their ideas appear part of a whole and build trust in them. Also, it conveniently makes it easy to know what to read next.
Claudio Cesar Sanches
More technical than most of the books regarding Lean Enterprise

It is a very goof guide for implementing change in an IT organization towards a Lean Enterprise. Give some interesting example of companies that made this change. It’s a good complement to the book Inspired by Martin Cagan and the Eric Ries’ books.
Sep 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: studeerkamer
If you know your basics of Lean and Agile than the discussed is quite easy to grasp and it does hold several nuggets that might benefit you. A great read which is easy to comprehend. Near the end (when discussing the management role) Jez seems to be contradicting himself. Too bad this was the section I was most interested in...
Dariusz Biskup
Dec 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
It took me several months to swallow this book but it was worth the effort. What I liked the most is that it teaches how to introduce Lean to larger organizations from several perspectives (not only software eng./IT) like product, finance, governance, IT Ops etc. Additionally it inspired me to read several other books related to various topics that were referenced in the book.
Andy Nortrup
Soooo much useful information

I've managed to see most of the antipatterns this book advocates against. I now feel like I have a guide to better strategies to deploy next time I see them and have a chance to influence the direction of product and organizational patterns.

I cannot think of a book that I have taken more highlights out of.
Kieran Macgillicuddy
This is largely a summary of other books, if you’re reasonably across the lean/devops/agile literature it’s very skippable.

If you’re not across the other literature though it’s not a particularly great starting point because it doesn’t really synthesise the other literature into a grand narrative.

Instead of this I’d recommend the Lean Startup and going from there.
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