I was wondering, Does anybody here works in a software development team under the DevOps methodology and applying Kaizen instead Lean for continuous improvement?

I read that DevOps is based on Agile methodology and Lean, but I don't know whether it's possible to use Kaizen instead Lean.



Kaizen (which is Japanese for "continuous improvement") is a concept inside of Lean, nothing something opposed or a substitute for Lean. Checkout a book called "The Toyota Way". Is about manufacturing not software, but it will help you sort out the concepts about Lean Manufacturing.

The thing you should focus when thinking about Lean is elminating waste: muda, muri and mura.

People often refers to tools used in lean manufacturing as being lean. The most common tools is probably kanban.

Regarding DevOps, I never saw it's point. It's, at least for me, just a fuzzy concept and a vacuous rebranding of existing ideas. Maybe I just don't get it.

There's a ton of books on the Toyota Production Systems and lean. Most relate to manufacturing but it's not really difficult to translate some concepts to software development. There's a few authors who talk a lot about Lean Software Development but I never really liked most of what I saw and I prefer the manufacturing books myself.

  • Kaizen actually means "improvement." Toyota and others (devops) used the term in a different context, eg, kaizen and the improvement kata. Since 2011, there is a great deal more on the topic in the devops movement. – nicorellius Oct 26 '16 at 15:45
  • @nicorellius That's a 5 years old answer. Why don't you write another one? I'll be glad to read (and upvote) it! – Vitor Py Oct 26 '16 at 22:33
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    I was on my phone, and was pressed for time. Thanks for the suggestion. I'll see what I can do. – nicorellius Oct 27 '16 at 14:08

Kaizen actually generally means "improvement." Toyota and others (DevOps) used the term in a different context, eg, kaizen and the improvement kata. I'd suggest a couple books that have really shaped the DevOps movement (and that talk about this concept in detail):


Phoenix Project (one of my favorites) and the DevOps Handbook (a fabulous integration of concepts and real life examples).

I also recommend Jennifer Davis and Katherine Daniels' book, Effective DevOps:


And don't forget The Goal by Eliyahu Goldratt:


The idea of improvement in DevOps is that it is equally, if not more, important to spend a portion of your time improving your systems than just doing work. We have all been in the situation where a process isn't automated, but yet we still push forward doing it the hard way, because "we don't have time" to do it right. Well, we should spend (maybe 25%) of our time actually improving our workflow so these bad habits go away.

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