A few years ago, I attended a local conference on Software Quality. We were just starting to roll out our own Agile implementation, so I was eager to hear some discussion from others at the conference. In the keynote, there was an introduction to Agile. The speaker polled the audience to see what they knew about it. I would guess that probably 75% hadn't even heard of Agle, and out of the other 25% only a few were actively using Agile practices. There was absolutely no discussion around Lean development as well. I was sorely disappointed that there wasn't more of a buzz, as I could see great potential in adopting Agile. This was 2004.
Last week, I attended a one-day seminar on Collaboration. This was by no means a technical conference, in fact there were many people who weren't even in the software industry. For those that did develop software, they were more of the project manager or program manager types. I surely didn't expect much to be talked about Lean or Agile. I was VERY surprised. It seemed that most people were actively using some Agile practices, and those that were not were eagerly listening to others. It seemed most talked had something around Agile or Lean, or the discussions following the talks would discuss either one. There were a few who had already made the connection between Lean and Agile. Most surprising of all, there was much discussion with the people outside of the software industry about how Lean and Agile could be adapted to work outside of software development and be used for other types of projects! Now, in 2007, people are seeing that potential for their own.
Talk about a transformation in such little time! It's an exciting time to be involved with software development.