There seems to be a great deal of interest in applying Lean methods to technical communication. Our free mini ebook on Lean writing has proven to be much more popular than we imagined, and we’re starting to see other people within technical communication talk about Lean. We’ve come across articles and presentations by others looking at its potential, for example: Graham Wignall’s slidedeck on Lean docs and Sissi Closs’s article on Lean Management. There is also a new project by some members of the Institute for Scientific and Technical Communicators to come up with some best practices guidelines for including technical communications in Agile development processes (Agile is based on Lean).
Any moves towards applying Lean are likely to be evolutionary than revolutionary – small incremental steps rather than a radical immediate change in the way user assistance is created. It’s good to see some common ideas emerge based on the Lean principles of maximising value and minimising waste.