Sunday, February 24, 2013

The Car Factory, The Software Shop and La Fabrica de Chorizos

Spain is well known for great sausages. A good friend of mine coined a term a while ago "La Fabrica de Chorizos" to refer to an important Organization Pattern in any company striving for Lean, Agile productivity. Basically the idea is that you do not need to be an expert in Business and all technologies the company uses to be productive day one. There must be a "production line" that is easy to "operate" and which results in constant "product delivery". There must be "no waste" (the creation of anything that is not valuable for the business).

In America the literal translation is not good enough and members of my team have suggested to call it the "Car Factory" instead of the "Sausage Factory". I think it is actually the best term even for other languages like Spanish. In fact the whole Agile movement was born as a result of Japanese Lean manufacturing approaches precisely in the Automotive Industry, more specifically derived from the success experienced by Toyota.

A Software shop needs then to function like the "Car Factory" otherwise the cost of operations and development will hold the team back resulting in competitive disadvantage. The best term is actually "Software Factory". Quoting David Anderson blue book:
Once a team is capable of focusing on quality, limiting WIP and delivering often, and balancing demand against throughput, they will have a reliable, trustworthy, software development capability: an engine for making software! A “software factory” if you will!

No comments: