Lean Development: The Principles, Pitfalls And Best Practices

Lean development was pioneered by Toyota Motor Company in the early 20th century. Toyota’s system was more effective because it was more agile and less wasteful. In the American method, errors that lean development methodology arose in development occasionally make it into production and led to expensive recalls. In Toyota’s method, errors were quickly identified and corrected, and the product continually improved.

lean development methodology

Lean thinking is a philosophy that emerged in the manufacturing sector in the 1950s as a reaction to the traditional project management, linear production method known as waterfall. Lean thinking revolutionized manufacturing before spreading to other disciplines such as management techniques and software development. Lean thinking is where Lean development, Lean management, Lean UX, and Lean startup were formed. When developing software, the team must decide what technology to use, which database to connect the product to, and what architectures and frameworks to base the final product on. At a given stage of the project implementation, we often do not have enough knowledge to make decisions and follow the chosen path.

Key principles of Lean Software Development methodology

But a software product riddled with bugs and errors brings little value to users. While both methods promote productivity and fast delivery, we highly recommend that you understand the dissimilarities in their guaranteed correct application. The ‘Building quality in’ principle of lean software development addresses all such issues before they occur. Instead of relying solely on extensive testing later, we start with quality as a critical requirement from the beginning, adding it at every step. In software development, waste is anything that fails to bring any business value to the customer and improve the quality of your product.

lean development methodology

In trying to ensure quality, many teams actually create waste through excessive testing of code or mistakes in logging and resolving them, which takes time and pushes development costs higher. Lean Development applies lean principles to software development, focusing on continuous improvement of processes to eliminate waste and optimize how quickly value is delivered. Lean development principle is an agile approach which was developed on lean manufacturing principles. The same, that is being used by Toyota as a lean development methodology for managing and optimizing the process of vehicle production for minimizing waste and increasing customer value. Lean approaches software development and engineering in general with a minimalist mindset, and focuses on people, learning, and constant improvement.

Is Kanban Lean or Agile?

Because of that, he will be more aware of the project and the product. In addition, it restrains them from adapting their product to the ever-changing market scenario and client requirements. Waste reduction, the first tenet in Lean engineering, has its primary objective. As you can see, Lean implementation is a complex process and it takes time. Take a look at the challenges connected to implementing Lean to become aware of potential bottlenecks in advance.

  • Introducing effective quality management from the beginning of the process ensures that high standards are maintained during the entire development.
  • Lean agile provides a clear application for scaling agile, which is often difficult for large or growing organizations.
  • Emphasizing quality from the outset ensures that defects are minimized, leading to higher customer satisfaction.
  • This practice helps ensure that the software meets requirements, reduces defects, and supports a focus on delivering high-quality products.
  • Lean organizations strive to capture organizational knowledge and make it available to others to avoid wasteful duplication of effort.
  • In both cases, the product development team sets the pace and is responsible for delivering the product.
  • Although lean agile methodology introduces seven lean principles and a customer-oriented, flexible system to software development, people make it work.

Lean methodology is a very flexible tool that can optimize various processes. In the case of software development, it covers everything from communication with stakeholders to project management and improvement of code quality. These principles describe a five-step process that guides the implementation of lean techniques for manufacturing, software development teams, and other agile practicing industries.

The Ultimate Guide to Agile Retrospectives

Consider setting up monthly demos to show off individual and team accomplishments, or dedicating a Slack channel for announcing updates and new findings. In lean environments, it’s common for people to work on multiple projects at once. Encourage hourly estimates, so no one is over-allocated — burnout is a real issue that managers need to be aware of. Regularly check in to make sure people aren’t overwhelmed with what’s on their plate–both during product launches and status quo weeks.

Lean software development is about the process that allows you to make corrections on every step of the development flow. When set up appropriately, it becomes a self-organized and self-correcting process. Your team implements it screen by screen, and after the first screen is ready, you can release it. It doesn’t make sense on its own – it’s too interconnected with other steps. The customers would just receive an awful mixed experience, and you won’t learn if you improved something or not.

Respect For People

Getting rid of waste ensures your company doesn’t unnecessarily spend money on steps and processes that don’t add value. And — most importantly — the customer gets exactly what they’re looking for. Give your team a chance to collect and interpret the data independently. Many product and engineering teams use  DevCycle’s A/B testing and experimentation capabilities to run tests and learn from the results, so that they can applying those learnings to new products.

Lean is one of the most reliable software development philosophies, which focuses on eliminating waste and optimizing fast product delivery. Toyota developed it in the 1950s to optimize production processes by eliminating any steps that didn’t contribute to the quality of the final product. Today, Lean is widely used and has been most widely adopted in software development. Organizations that use the lean approach should remember that its main focus is to streamline the software development process by removing activities that don’t bring value.

The 7 Principles of Lean Software Development Explained

Scrums provide accountability, transparency, and an opportunity for teams to connect. You can find a lot of value-stream mapping tools in the market; Lucidchart, Creatly, and Visual Paradigm are just a few examples. Most of these tools provide customizable templates, so you won’t need to create your map from scratch.

lean development methodology

Lean product development allows companies to build products faster with less waste. Lean product development improves communication across departments and eliminates communication silos completely, which leads to the production of https://www.globalcloudteam.com/ better products. The Lean software development methodology is rooted in the manufacturing sector, which invented the Lean development process to improve manufacturing and assembly lines to minimize waste and maximize client value.

things to avoid in your UX strategy

However, it doesn’t give the team the liberty to be flaky and irresponsible in their work commitments. Your team members can report progress, highlight bottlenecks, and suggest changes to implement during the subsequent iterations. The MVP built helps you learn from the user feedback and then carry out further iterations based on that feedback so that all unnecessary pre-planned process stages are eliminated. It is necessary to avoid optimizing a specific part of the system functionality at the expense of its entirety. Lean development can be difficult to implement because it requires you to change how you work, which means changing a developer’s habits and routines. This requires buy-in from all stakeholders on the team—people need time and energy before they are willing to change their habits.

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