Furthermore, it can help your organization reduce project risks in software development while increasing the profitability of the solutions you release. “Agile development” is a product development process characterized by customer needs, iteration, and pull. It focuses on learning through iterative development and visualizing workflow through using scrum boards. Faster feedback from customers is a major benefit of the agile approach to enterprise software.
The current level of burnout in software development is currently as high as 80% of developers, influenced in part by COVID-19, but also by overall workload levels. In software development, notably in startups or gaming, burnout is a nearly expected part of the job. 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. This principle of Lean development emphasizes the importance of allowing people to safely share their ideas and feelings.
The 7 Principles of Lean Development for Software & Product Managers
This is a new principle not initially included in the eight wastes of lean manufacturing. This principle corresponds to overproduction in lean manufacturing at the planning stage. Not having a clear vision of what the company should achieve for customers or discovering that after the project starts can lead to changing requirements during the project — causing rework and waste. This principle corresponds to defects in lean manufacturing at the business requirements stage. When developers feel pressured to deliver at all costs, they release code that may or may not meet quality requirements. This increases the complexity of the code base, resulting in more defects.
It aims to maximize the efficiency of the development process, minimize waste, and deliver value to customers as quickly as possible. Lean software development focuses on creating high-quality software that meets customer needs while maintaining a lean and efficient workflow. Lean thinking has to be understood well by all members of a project, before implementing in a concrete, real-life situation.
Benefits of Lean Software Development
Although lean development can lead to cost savings over time, you may need a large initial investment to restructure processes, implement new tools, and provide training. Some organizations may find allocating resources for this transition challenging. Introducing and mastering lean software development principles can have an overall positive impact on your product’s chances of success and your organization’s culture. Lean software development methodology focuses on delivering value quickly and efficiently. However, for Lean to be effective, you need the right people with enough of the right skills to minimize waste. Where there exist IT skill gaps, a major issue for US businesses today, this can be a roadblock to Lean development.
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. 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. One report from Cornell University’s Ellis Idea Lab and Qatalog found that when switching apps, it takes workers nine and a half minutes to get back into a workflow. If you account for workers going between multiple meetings throughout a day, constant communications, and more, it’s easy to see how context switching can contribute to waste. Hand-offs from one person to another have significant overhead when it comes to software projects.
Build quality through testing
Similarly, in our example, if the chef creates some dish which is very tasty, appreciated by the customers and gets repeated orders, its recipe must be shared with the rest of the chefs. It would be a delight for the rest of the chefs to learn what Chef did differently to make it taste great. Also, this will make the rest of the staff equipped to prepare an equally tasty dish in his absence. There are some activities for which we need approvals, or there is some action required by some other team. Then this waiting for approval or waiting for information leads to waste referred to as “Waiting/Delay” waste. Any action that didn’t directly impact the car’s functionality on a holistic level was considered a waste under this system and was removed from the production process.
The key concept here being value – by eliminating waste, one keeps only that which creates value. The last three Lean principles highlight some of what the Lean methodology has in common with Agile. In both cases, the product development team sets the pace and is responsible for delivering the product. And Lean’s “optimizing the whole” principle is similar to the Agile retrospective, where team members gather after a project’s completion to discuss successes and challenges. Modern software systems are not simply the sum of their parts, but also the product of their interactions.
Deliver as fast as possible
An architect who specifies every nail hole may get worse results than a builder who figures it out on the job based on higher-level plans. Just as providing too little detail on project requirements can lead to waste, providing too much detail can also lead to waste. Likewise, failing to anticipate key technical risks (and plan in advance how to mitigate them) can lead to significant, avoidable clean-up work.
- As a product manager (PM), applying lean principles requires a shift in your mindset and team organization.
- Every time a person shuffles between tasks, there is a significant time that is required to gather the information, thoughts, and get into the new task.
- Once your processes or workflows have been tested and verified, try and automate them immediately.
- In software development, inventory is the volume of projects in progress at various stages.
- This approach relies heavily on customer validation as well as rapid prototyping and continuous iteration in order to get feedback from customers early and often.
- At the core of lean software development are seven key principles that aim to reduce waste, improve collaboration, and prioritize customer value.
Working longer hours for the sake of speed leads to reckless decisions and poor code. We asked all learners to give feedback on our instructors based on the quality of their teaching style. The List View helps your team view their tasks and assignments in a GTD-style (getting-things-done) list. They’ll find it easy to check off project tasks and subtasks as they go along. Things that may seem impractical with a narrow lens may be the foundation for larger, more productive processes. It’s up to you to identify these connections and try and optimize your process as a whole instead of individual components.
Lean agile aims to eliminate wasteful resources and tasks for improved efficiency and reduced costs — while never sacrificing quality. In fact, lean agile prioritizes bringing value to the customer with every decision that’s made. In this module, we will first learn about core lean principles from manufacturing.
Lean Software Development
In any case, the project cannot move forward without clearly identifying what it will take to provide customer satisfaction. You’ll need to identify the end goal (value) customers are hoping to find with the product or service. The Box View is especially useful for optimizing the whole as it gives top management an overview of everything going on principles of lean software development in your organization. As tasks are sorted out by assignee, it’s easy to manage what all your software engineers have on their plate and ensure that there’s an equitable distribution of tasks and duties. If your software developers follow all these steps, they’ll have no trouble prioritizing the right activities and getting things done quickly.