The Story of Lean3

Lean3 was inspired by Lean Manufacturing

Today, 6th April 2017, I’m opening the Lean3 web site.

I started working on Lean3 in 2010, so this has been a long journey.

My inspiration in 2010 was Lean Manufacturing, particularly the excellent book “The Machine that Changed the World”, the story of Lean Manufacturing. Lean3 started as an attempt to apply the lessons from this book to Project Management.

It wasn’t easy. Analysing the past was fairly simple, imagining a new way of working was much harder.

I kept going. Prince2 was stagnant, Agile wasn’t the way forward. My criticism of both was getting sharper, but it was a struggle to be creative and suggest something better.

I was floundering until 2014 when I was rescued by David J. Anderson’s book “Lessons in Agile Management”. Like me, David J. Anderson is fascinated by Lean Manufacturing. His goal was to apply Lean to Software Development. His journey took him away from Project Management towards Process Improvement and Kanban. He was going in a different direction to me, but his book gave me endless inspiration. He inspired me to be creative, to draw positive lessons from Lean Manufacturing.

By 2016, things were taking shape, and the last pieces of the puzzle came together this year, in 2017.

I need to give a big thanks to Christopher Grove for his ongoing enthusiasm and support for my efforts to shape Lean3… and at times for his criticism. He told me what to throw away. Thanks also to John Cassini and Sylvie Gaudin for their invaluable review of the early drafts.

Enjoy reading about Lean3. I’ve enjoyed most of the long journey so far. But the journey is far from over. From now on, I won’t be travelling solo. It’s time now to build a community around Lean3, just like open source software is supported by thriving communities. Join in!

Jeff Ball, 6th April 2017

Written by Jeff on April 6, 2017 in blog
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