Book Review: The Toyota Way

the-toyota-way The Toyota Way is the book where many of the Lean / Kanban ideas originate from.

It felt to me that this book was a must read, before further learning on Lean and Kanban.

So I ordered it on Audible and listened to it on my way to work.


This is what I learned:

  • The concept of learning by doing is very important. It’s often quicker just to try out things and see what happens rather than spending huge amounts of time reading up on the best approach.
  • Employers should try to obtain an atmosphere of continuous learning.
  • In the book there’s a lot of focus on how to add value to the customer, something that we can improve on a lot in software development.
  • The idea of stopping the production line when problems arise, and using that moment as a learning point for continuous improvement made me think about Continuous Integration. We should more often help each other out when a build breaks, not wait until the breaker fixes it. Maybe we can prevent it next time, and become more productive.
  • Toyota is not bleeding edge on new technology, but works with standards and let those evolve when the time is right and the value of new technologies is high enough. Something we techies can learn from a lot, we seem to have an urge to always use the latest technology available, no matter what the value is for the customer.
  • It takes up to 10 years to really get The Toyota Way and use it in a sustainable way. Wow… 10 years? We’d better start right now :-)

For me the book served as an introduction to some terminology such as eliminate waste, inventory, kanban, kaizen,…

Ready for the LeanKanban2010 conference now, hope we get approval to attend it very very soon. It’s almost sold out.

Agile meets Red Monkey

RedMonkey Once upon a time there was a monkey that went to the edge of his forest where he met a red fish. They started talking about how things are done in both their worlds, and a new innovative idea emerged from the conversation… a Red Monkey.

The enthusiastic monkey wanted to take this new idea to the center of the jungle as quickly as possible to convince the other animals to start doing things this new innovative way. But during his journey he encountered the harmless Red Monkey Hunters, resisting change and trying to kill the poor thing for numerous reasons.

Sometimes the hunters succeed, sometimes the Red Monkey survives, resulting in introducing innovation in the Jungle.

And that’s what we agile evangelists want to do in a company, right? Introduce innovative ideas such as Continuous Integration, BDD, Lean concepts, Scrum, Acceptance Testing,… and so on.

My Organisation is a Jungle by Jef Staes is one of those books that can help us a little in our quest. I learned quite some things from the book. I enjoyed it also, maybe you will too.

Clean Windows7 install for a .Net developer

Time to review my toolset again for a clean installation.

Nevertheless I’m native Dutch speaking, I prefer to have all my tools installed in English. The main reason is to be able to Google for clear error messages in case of troubleshooting.
The Core toolset:

The office tools:

I strive to publish most of my personal things into the cloud, so all I need for these is Google Chrome and these free tools:

Some tools that didn’t made the list for now:

That’s it, if there’s a tool I should be using as a .Net developer and it’s not in the list… let me know!

Oh, and if anyone knows a good Twitter client?