Combining Lean Manufacturing with Agile Development

Lean Manufacturing reduces failure rates, focuses on continual improvement, and brings long term value to business owners. Sounds like Agile software development. Many companies like leankit are capitalizing on this fact and are building products that bring those two worlds together. For the past 10 years, Surge has built an entire company combining both lean and agile principles. The Agile Manifesto Agile development springs from what’s known as the Agile Manifesto: a collection of values and principles for software development that allow solutions to evolve through collaborative effort. The manifesto was created in 2001 by a group of software engineers, who dedicated themselves to finding lightweight, more efficient methods of meeting requirements and solving problems. In the years since, agile practices have continued to grow and expand, with input from developers all over the world. Still, the core of agile remains based in those original principles and values; many of […]

Terrible Reasons to Hire Offshore

The modern world runs on code. From the embedded controllers in our appliances to the servers that run the Internet, code is integrated into virtually every area of life. However, programming great software is difficult, time-consuming and expensive. Offshoring your software development because labor is less expensive seems like an easy solution to manage costs, however, the hidden costs make the decision a bad one. Here are some terrible reasons to offshore that are still discussed in boardrooms today: The hourly rate is a fraction of US based employees This argument comes up first when you are being sold on an offshore strategy. The counter argument is lack of productivity. Well then someone tries to take down any productivity concerns by simply saying to yourself that you can hire three developers for less than one american worker. Adding more programmers that don’t know what they are doing to a complicated […]

The Critical Lean Tactics That Most Agile Teams Forget

Agility in an individual represents strength, speed, and flexibility. Whether you’re thinking of software development, product research, or project management, these attributes are crucial for teams that want to create the highest-quality output possible with limited available resources in short time frames. As you know, the philosophy of Agile Development is to produce working software as quickly as possible. Agile begins to fall apart as an individual developer or team starts to redefine and cheapen the definition of “working software.” You can always ask the question “does this software make any part of our business work more efficiently and effectively in this iteration?” If it does, then you have working software. Here are four critical lean tactics for agile teams to keep in mind as they work to create software that works for their business: 1. Focus on value Your product should be providing well understood values to your business. […]

Scrum Evolution and Training

Scrum can be a great framework for collaboration in writing code and solving complex problems. As a development tool, it’s constantly evolving and growing. This means that, if you want to use Scrum effectively, you need to be able to evolve and grow with it. That means learning what you can about what Scrum has to offer and staying up to date with the latest developments and trends. So here’s the latest news on Scrum, to help keep you in the loop. Scrum with Kanban Kanban is an organizational method designed to improve quality and efficiency in a system. By balancing demand with the capacity to fulfill it, Kanban is able to reduce or even eliminate system bottlenecks. When it comes to coding and software development, it uses a visual system of process management to improve decision making. Because of this, Kanban is often combined with Scrum. As a framework, […]

A Bigger SCRUM Team May Not Keep You On Schedule

Intrigued by the extensive benefits of working in an agile world, far too many executives think that agile development allows unlimited changes in scope while maintaining delivery dates—after all you can always add more developers, coders. I suspect these are the same people that believed clapping is what saved Tinker Bell. In fairness, sometimes adding people to an agile development project can preserve a targeted timeline while expanding scope, but it involves a complicated calculation by the scrum team master and development team, in collaboration with the client and product owner. How much time is necessary for new team members to onboard and to get up to speed? Will new team members opt to take a different approach, which could slow things down? Will the existing developers need to spend extra time onboarding new team members, which will impact commitments on their current deliverables? Has someone reduced the amount of […]


Scrum is a great way to rethink code-writing strategy, but only for companies whose structure supports it. Trying to layer a scrum approach on top of a traditional developer environment can deliver painful frustrations, as companies find themselves tripping over their own virtual feet. That’s the lesson we have learned through 2017, as we tried to integrate scrum teams into existing waterfall operations for hundreds of custom development projects across more than a dozen verticals. The scrum benefits of much faster time-to-market and greater control of the appdev process melted under the load of a client’s architect and a client’s project manager. In short, scrum almost always works faster than how a company works. Scrum is then slowed down to the pace of the original company, which is ironic because that company invariably sought the scrum talent and process because they needed to accelerate their time-to-market. Bottom line: the only […]