Wednesday, October 6, 2010

LEAN: Simple Rules

The LEAN simple rules:

  1. Spend time only on what adds real customer value.
  2. When you have tough problems, increase feedback.
  3. Keep your options open as long as practical, but no longer.
  4. Deliver value to customers as soon as they ask for it.
  5. Let the people who add value use their full potential.
  6. Don't try to tack on quality after the fact – build it in.
  7. Beware of the temptation to optimize parts at the expense of the whole.

I love these rules. They apply to testing just as much as they apply to software development.


  1. I am very interested in understanding what item 1 (Spend time only on what adds real customer value) mean for software testing.
    Who is the customer? (The project, stakeholders, end users, buyers?)
    Can a passed test be considered real value, or should it be avoided? How?
    What about bugs that don't get fixed?

    Or do we test in order to maybe find important information, and in that case, isn't it more business as usual than Lean?

  2. Hi Rikard,

    You raise an interesting point.

    For me though and this is just my personal opinion, I think it is very important to keep the end customer, i.e. the person who'll pay for the software, in mind.

    Why? Because testing is too exhaustive - I'll never be able to test absolutely everything!

    By keeping the end customer in mind, I can focus my testing on the key areas that the customer needs to work and the key customer scenarios. Afterall, these key areas are the reason why the customer is handing over their cash! They gotta work!

    Thanks for your comments - it's always nice to know that someone is reading this.


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