October 31, 2009

Lean books

It's time for my annual blog entry. Hmm, November is supposed to be the writing month, so I hope I could write some more (though not necessarily in this blog).

In this past year I have read many books related to lean, especially linking with research, product development, and software development. I'll list here the books that I've actually read (at least most of the book).

  1. Jeffrey Liker, The Toyota Way: 14 Management Principles from the World's Greatest Manufacturer [Indonesian translation]
  2. Jeffrey Liker, The Toyota Way Fieldbook [Indonesian translation] These two Toyota way books describe the basic principle of lean.
  3. James Morgan and Jeffrey Liker, The Toyota product development system: integrating people, process, and technology. This one describe the implementation of lean in product development environment.
  4. Michael Kennedy, Product Development for the Lean Enterprise: Why Toyota's System Is Four Times More Productive and How You Can Implement It
  5. Michael Kennedy et al, Ready, Set, Dominate: Implement Toyota's Set-Based Learning for Developing Products and Nobody Can Catch You. The two books by Kennedy stresses the importance of the four pillars of lean development, i.e. expert engineering workforce, entrepreneurial system designer, set-based concurrent engineering and responsibility-based planning and control. Then how to use set-based learning to achieve those.
  6. David James Anderson, Agile management for software engineering: applying the theory of constraints for business results. This is the book that tries to apply those principles to agile software development, especially from the point of view of the business management perspective.
  7. Mark Denne and Jane Cleland-Huang, Software by numbers: low-risk, high-return development. Introduce the concept of MMF (minimal marketable feature)
  8. David Mann, Creating a lean culture: tools to sustain lean conversions. Describe the management and control tools to maintain lean process, including kanban.
  9. Allen C Ward, Lean product and process development. This is another important books on revolutionizing the way we design product.
  10. Beau Keyte and Drew Locher, The complete lean enterprise: value stream mapping for administrative and office processes. Applying value stream mapping method on the whole process.
  11. Corey Ladas, Scrumban - Essays on Kanban Systems for Lean Software Development. This is important book that introduces Kanban Software Development.
  12. Tom DeMarco, Slack: getting past burnout, busywork, and the myth of total efficiency. It's about the strength of knowledge work: people.
  13. David Allen, Getting things done: the art of stress-free productivity. While not generally considered related to lean, the GTD method does related to kanban and the concept of lean flow. It is lean at the personal level.
Note: I bought the books in local bookstores, http://www.betterworld.com, http://www.amazon.com, http://www.informit.com, http://www.lean.org and http://www.lulu.com.

October 4, 2008

Yesterday I've just finished reading my 8th historical novel in a row. The novels are (sorted by the sequence I read it):
  1. Anchee Min, Empress Orchid
  2. Robert Harris, Imperium
  3. Anchee Min, The Last Empress
  4. Tariq Ali, Shadows of the Pomegranate Tree
  5. Tariq Ali, The Book of Saladin
  6. Tariq Ali, The Stone Woman
  7. Tariq Ali, A Sultan in Palermo
  8. Pearl S. Buck, Imperial Woman
Anchee Min's books and Pearl Buck's novel are about the life of Empress Dowager Cixi who effectively ruled China for almost 50 years in the late 19th century. They painted Cixi in a very differently way, almost opposite each other. Buck's Cixi was a strong and powerful woman who was corrupted by the power itself. Min's Cixi was someone who had to continually struggle to balance the powerful forces in the court.

Imperium is the story about the early career of Cicero. It has similarity to Min's Cixi, where Cicero had to play between the powerful Roman aristocracy, the corrupt and rich Crassus, and the great military general Pompey in order to achieve power.

The novels of Tariq Ali are stories about love, religious and political conflicts. The Shadows of Pomegranate Tree told us a story about an Arabian family in Spain, just 8 years after the fell of Grenada to Christian kingdoms. The repressive Christian rule would force them to make a decision: convert to a new religion, flee to Africa, or fight to the death.

The Book of Saladin's main character was a Jew whose assignment was to write the biography of Sultan Salahuddin al-Ayyubi (better known in English literature as Saladin). So it's really a story about Saladin, from childhood, to how he came to power, the lastly how he reconquer Jerusalem. The book ends there before the famous encounter with King Richard the Lionhearted.

The Stone Woman tells the story about a noble Turkish family around the turn of the century in 1899. The Turkish Ottoman Caliphate had became the sick man of Europe, and the people begin to talk about the reform that was need in order to survive in a modern world.

And the main character in "A Sultan in Palermo" is Muhammad al-Idrisi, the famous Muslim scholar in the court of Sultan Rujari of Sicily. Sultan Rujari was actually King Roger II, the Norman King of Sicily whose reign in the middle of the Crusades was marked by peaceful and tolerant rule over his mostly Muslim and Arab subjects. But still, they knew it won't last forever, and sooner or later the conflict would come.

All four of Tariq Ali's novels involved characters from different race and religion. Diversity seems to be the main theme. The other dominant theme I noticed is the memory of the former glory and strength of the Islamic Empire and it's different reaction to it's ongoing decline. Even Saladin at the height of his power was lamenting the fragmentation and conflicts between muslim factions.

In a way the other four novels is also about the memory of the past glory and the realisation of the bleak future. China in the late 19th century was also the sick man of Asia. The Qing Dynasty could no longer live in the past. They must reform (like Japan -- their enemy) or die. Either way Cixi was too late to start the reform and the Qing Dynasty died with her.

Cicero also lived in the end of the Roman Republic. His ideals would soon swallowed by powerful tyrannies that was to be the Empire and the old Platonian Republic would be no more.

Well, while it's all only in the novels, it's all in the past, and it's all happened in far and foreign nations, why do I feel that it's all very similar to what is happening here, right now, in Indonesia?

September 6, 2008

Well, it seems that I only post a new item in this blog about once a year. I hope I can break this tradition this year. I could write about the books that I recently read, and hopefully I could share some of my technical research and opinions here.

June 9, 2007

It's been a very long time since the last time I wrote something here. When I tried to sign-in it turns out that I have to switch to my gmail account. Well at least it means that there is one less user-password combination I have to remember. Which is of course a good thing.

I have many wishes that I've been unable to provide more time to pursue them. One of them is to seriously start blogging. The other is to learning a new language. Esperanto seems exciting (though not very useful).

September 5, 2005

Well, it's been a while since I last post. A lot of things had happened since. Maybe I should start to write something here.

July 11, 2004

I bump into a link about open source geographic information systems (maptools.org) through slashdot. Always an interesting topic that occasionally come up, but I never really have the time to delve deeper into it.

April 26, 2004

Duh, actually new users are not offered (yet?). You have to be an active bloggers to get invited.