The 7 Lean Principles To Help Your Software Development

Lean Software Development is one of the proactive approaches that drives your body through productivity and cleanliness. It closely connects to Agile methodology, knowledge-sharing experience, fast product delivery. All processes and stages of development are accurately built to deliver the end product at minimum cost in a timely manner.

lean principles software development

Lean software development demands customer participation as a best practice. Involving the customer helps create knowledge because collaboration allows for requirements to be iteratively discovered and then continuously improved upon. Involving the customer means the end outcome will be directly in line with their requirements, which builds quality in. Involving customers throughout the process also means decisions do not need to be taken upfront, supporting the Lean principle of defer commitment. Lean software development teams are left to decide on their own practices based on the specific needs of the project, as long as they promote the application of Lean principles. Because the Agile frameworks are compatible with Lean software development principles, they serve the purpose of providing a process of established practices.

Deliver as Fast as Possible

Their talents and capabilities to perform different tasks may be hard to understand in advance. Instead, it may take time to learn individual engineers’ unique strengths and where their skills are best allocated. This is loosely related to unused talent in lean manufacturing but is different because it is about work allocation. Interruptions can encompass everything including escalated customer requests, urgent questions from team members, meetings that another team member adds to their calendar, outages, and more. As soon as that tool becomes available, the extra hour is no longer required to create value for customers.

  • Now that it’s in their task list, they can start working on it and mark it as resolved when they’re done.
  • Their business boomed and all of Toyota’s competitors adopted a similar lean methodology.
  • The team will not waste time developing functionalities no one needs.
  • Moreover, not only does lean software development methodology have a useful product outgrowth, but it also helps integrate business strategy with IT.
  • Lean development aims to eliminate anything that does not add value to the customer.
  • Furthermore, it can help your organization reduce project risks in software development while increasing the profitability of the solutions you release.

According to Mary and Tom Poppendieck, lean software development teams often fail due to releasing sloppy code for the sake of speed or overloading of testers. Lean development focuses on reducing the 7 wastes in the manufacturing process — namely overproduction, waiting time, transportation, processing, inventory, motion, and scrap. LSD principles got their start in manufacturing and aimed to optimize the production line to reduce waste and boost value to the customer.

Scope Creep: How to Proactively Manage Any Project

They reduce conflict and give your team members an outlet to comfortably express themselves to one another. Delivering fast work with efficiency is at the forefront of all lean activities. However, this speedy software turnaround time must be sustainable in the long run for it to be truly effective. ClickUp also comes with in-built mindmaps to help your team ideate effectively. You can thoroughly plan a project’s scope with these mind maps – eliminating any wasteful activities along the way. Hinted at with the previous principle, Lean recognizes that software is more than just the sum of its parts, but also the interactions between the parts.

The lean methodology emphasizes creating documentation for each stage of the process. This knowledge will be incredibly helpful in training future teams to act on these tasks effectively. It’s also a good way for a team to reflect on what they are doing and improve any underperforming activities. Mary and Tom Poppendieck used the term Lean software development in the book they published by the same name in 2003. It applied the seven Lean principles to software engineering and the development process.

What are the Strengths and Weaknesses of Lean Software Development?

That, in turn, increases the likelihood of defects and the time required to fix them, increasing the overall volume of work and inadvertently creating more time pressure, in a vicious circle. Pair programming means two developers are always teamed up to work on a particular piece of code like a user story. Doing so means the code benefits from the combination of two sets of skills and experience rather than just one.

lean principles software development

Agile techniques frequently place a larger emphasis on team cooperation and human interactions, whereas lean software development places a greater emphasis on waste reduction and process optimization. First, the sooner you show customers your product, the sooner you get customer feedback. It means you’ll be able to better adjust your product to the current customer needs in the next iteration. Second, releasing a product before other companies offer similar software gives you a huge competitive edge. Third, delivering fast saves money and makes the development process more result-oriented. In its essence, lean software development is a philosophy, not a project management methodology.

Eliminate waste

Similarly, in technical terms, if a feature is of no use, no extra coding is required. The main focus of Lean is to remove waste and keep what is compulsory. A 2021 Gallup report found that teams with low engagement have a productivity rate that’s 14% to 18% lower than highly engaged teams. And teams with low engagement rates have turnover rates 18% to 43% higher than those with high engagement. Waste can not only result from wait time or hand-offs — an individual can be slowed down if they are interrupted in the middle of deep work and have to switch between tasks.

lean principles software development

In ClickUp, you can automate your tasks faster by using templates, checklists and time estimates to help your processes run even faster. Conceptual integrity means that the system’s separate components work well together as a whole with balance between flexibility, maintainability, efficiency, and responsiveness. This could be achieved by understanding the problem domain and solving it at the same time, not sequentially. The needed lean principles software development information is received in small batch pieces – not in one vast chunk – preferably by face-to-face communication and not any written documentation. The information flow should be constant in both directions – from customer to developers and back, thus avoiding the large stressful amount of information after long development in isolation. It forces teams to cut out anything that does not contribute to the value of the product.

Generate and Implement Knowledge

Lean development methodology borrows heavily from manufacturing, where “lean” became a process of eliminating “waste” – less human effort, less equipment, less time, and less space. This concept was first introduced by Toyota in the Toyota Production System, developed by Japanese engineers Taiichi Ohno and Eiji Toyoda. Modern software systems are not simply the sum of their parts, but also the product of their interactions. During a longer period of development, a stronger subcontractor network is far more beneficial than short-term profit optimizing, which does not enable win-win relationships. Lean software development improves software quality and reduces waste by focusing on delivering only what customers need when they need it.

lean principles software development

With this in mind, the product manager and CTA (Chief Technology Officer) must ensure a consolidated team that communicates appropriately, achieves mutual agreements easily, and can decide how to resolve issues. This principle is especially important when new members join the already-established team. The Box View is especially useful for optimizing the whole as it gives top management an overview of everything going on in your organization.

What Are the 3 Fundamental Concepts of Lean?

In recent decades, many Lean development teams have found success by applying the following Lean development tools to build quality into their work. In Lean development, quality is everyone’s job, not just that of the quality analyst. In a volatile environment such as software development, changes can occur very frequently. This could lead to making wrong decisions such as what development project to initiate or what is the most important feature to work on next.