For my program/project we are using a fairly traditional waterfall SDLC as a whole. My teams have implemented Lean/Agile with Kanban within the scope of our control, but we still end up doing large batch releases as expected and planned on the Integrated Master Schedule and as is specified in our contract and PWBS. We are developing the ground system for a remote sensing satellite mission, specifically LDCM (Landsat 8).
I feel that applying Lean thinking to all projects is a good idea and am trying to move the thinking of key players in this direction. I would like to see our teams structured differently and move the focus to getting as close to single-piece flow as possible. In that paradigm, features and capabilities would be developed, integrated, and tested fully through the entire system in a matter of weeks or less. We would give our group of early adopter users immediate access to the new capability/feature to enable a short cycle time on feedback into the process and accelerate learning across the development team. 3 of the Integration & Test stages we go through now would be collapsed into 1, because we’d be doing continuous integration as opposed to milestone-based waterfall integration & test. This would effectively shorten the cycle time from detailed design to operation-ready on individual capabilities and features from years to weeks.
If anyone has been able to implement some form of Lean thinking into your program, I would LOVE to hear about it!