27–29 September 2017, Churchill College, Cambridge

Respect for people - lean’s neglected pillar

A 45 minute Case Study by:

Jon Terry


About this Case Study

Respect for people is one of the pillars of lean. If you read the lean-agile literature or attend conferences, you will hear plenty about culture. However, these ideas usually aren’t presented as systematically and tangibly as the process tools. Most of the lean principles that we study are focused on the other pillar, continuous improvement. Cultural ideas may be mixed in there but in a way that’s hard to untangle. Or, at the risk of ruffling some feathers, they may seem overly touchy-feely or theoretical brain science-y.

That’s a real shame. A business can’t just be a nice place to work, full of nice people; it must deliver a steady stream of results for customers and financial stakeholders. But the best long-term results come from providing a sustainable, healthy work environment. So investing in a strong culture is a wise decision for executives and managers.

This session will explore some key ideas around team structure and the responsibilities of both team members and managers in a respectful lean-agile company. It will present a candidate set of seven principles to spell out respect for people to match those for continuous improvement. And it will share some of the source material from which these ideas are derived.

This model is derived from our experiences at LeanKit. It's based on lessons learned, especially as we have scaled up our lean-agile practices beyond our product development organisation. It has been co-developed between the senior leadership and members of what we call our Emerging Leaders programme.

About the Speaker

Jon Terry is co-CEO and co-founder of LeanKit. Before LeanKit, Jon held a number of senior IT positions with hospital-giant HCA and its logistics subsidiary, HealthTrust Purchasing Group. He was among those responsible for launching HCA’s adoption of lean/agile methods. Jon earned his global executive MBA from Georgetown University and ESADE Business School in Barcelona, Spain, and his Masters certificate in project management from George Washington University. He is a Project Management Professional, a Certified Scrum Master, a Kanban Coaching Professional, is certified in the Lean Construction Institute’s Last Planner Method, and trained in the SAFe Lean Systems Engineering method.


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