The Lean Software Development application can help software development teams reach a higher level of maturity in terms of quality and speed, understanding and studying their current process, and constantly working on identifying and eliminating waste.
Lean goes further, and also offers tools for the team to create a more productive work environment, where people respect each other and see continuous improvement as a fundamental part of their process.
In this article, you will figure out what Lean Development is and how GitScrum helps your team find a lean structure in your organization.
What is Lean Software Development
Lean is a methodology originally developed by Toyota to guide assembly line industrial processes, acting strongly in the elimination of waste, increasing process speed, and excellence in quality.
Implementing Lean allows an organization to deplete its stocks, maximize the use of generalist workers (that is, those with many skills) and produce on demand. Lean is also known as TPS, Toyota Production System, or Toyota Production System.
Lean Software Development brings Lean concepts to the world of software development so that by applying the same principles it is possible to eliminate waste and achieve better results.
The Lean Methodology is one of the most important management methodologies used today. At a time when efficiency and productivity are constant pursuits of companies, work methods that value dynamic management stands out.
Despite having gained even more space and even new “dresses” in the era of digital transformation of companies, the Lean methodology is not exactly new.
The goal of a Lean production system is to have the right things in the right place at the right time, the first time while eliminating waste by always being open to change.
Lean offers a set of principles that organizations can use to adapt tools, techniques, and methods to their specific contexts and capabilities.
The term Lean Software Development originated in 2003 in the publication of a book of the same name written by Tom and Mary Poppendieck. In this work, the authors present how to apply Lean principles to software development.
A product development process can follow two schools of thought, deterministic or empirical. Deterministic entails creating a complete concept of what the product should look like and then doing everything as determined.
On the other hand, the empirical implies building a high-level product concept and then performing frequent deliveries, through iterations with constant feedback, which allow adjustments to be made in favor of the product’s evolution until the expected result is achieved.
Lean Methodology in Software Development
The principles of Lean methodology are being increasingly applied in IT management and the development of software and applications.
The focus of working with the method is on eliminating tasks, processes, and features that do not generate value for the customer and enhancing what is most interesting to the user and profitable for the business.
The results are usually the development of solutions with greater added value in a simpler and more economical process.
Main advantages of the Lean Development
The lean methodology offers several advantages for different sectors of the market, both those that produce physical goods, as is the case of Toyota and those that produce digital goods. We list the main ones for you to check:
1. More efficiency in processes
The multiplicity of services or the number of processes within a corporation is one of the aspects that cause ineffective deliveries.
To combat this, the Lean culture reduces excess elements in the production stages and avoids non-strategic and bureaucratic procedures, creating solutions to integrate platforms and flows in a single objective.
2. Increased productivity
One of the greatest advantages of the Lean methodology is the increase in productivity without losing quality.
For this, the principle is that the solutions are employed according to the demands, developing a high-performance system that gives more security to employees and defines a production cycle
3. Cost reduction
With the streamlining of processes, cost reduction is one of the main consequences. A factor that can be fundamental for companies that are starting or losing market share.
Lean reviews the entire production chain to find waste and reduce overspending, updating, and simplifying processes with more modern and automated options.
4. Focus on customer experience
The corporate world is changing and promoting well-being and the best customer experience has become the main objective of companies. In this sense, the Lean methodology is ideal, as it promotes the value stream.
How to apply Lean Development?
1. Find out what “value” is for your customer
The first step of lean methodology can be to identify what really generates value for its user. This way, you will be able to evaluate the procedures and actions used to generate this value and eliminate anything unnecessary.
2. Identify the biggest waste
After mapping the generation of value for your customer, you will have to identify the biggest bottlenecks in the production process. Generally in product management or even IT development, the main flaws are in the following points:
How are tasks transferred from one professional or department to another? Is everyone clear about what and how it should be done to avoid wasting time or resources?
When professionals work separately and specifically from other colleagues or departments, communication is noisy and time is invariably lost;
Stopped and accumulated tasks
An overloaded professional end up causing delays in the entire flow and tasks to accumulate, causing a loss of added value;
Does what you are developing really have value for your customer? Producing without this clarity will generate a waste of time and resources with something that should not be a priority at the moment.
3. Use agile methods
Complementing lean – which will transform all business processes – agile development methodologies, such as Scrum, make the development process more efficient, interactive and customer-oriented.
4. Create or configure a system to wipe
There are several tools on the market that help put the lean methodology into practice. A control or thrust system serves to facilitate and control the start of one task after the completion of another.
5. Calculate the cost of low quality
COPQ – Cost Of Poor Quality or cost of poor quality is all the extra expense that the company has without the application of lean in the current processes, systems, flows, and services. In other words, it’s how much you’ll reduce expenses when everything is optimized!
To arrive at this calculation, you need to identify the problem and fully understand the effects and causes of this error, right down to its origin.
Lean Development Principles
In the search for leaner management, which seeks to eliminate waste and make work more satisfactory, both for employees and for the end consumer, lean development follows some basic principles.
What is the value from a customer perspective? You might know your audience and know what they need and/or want, it is they who will define the value to be satisfied.
Identify the steps that add value to your service or solution. Once this is done, redefine the processes in order to eliminate what is not necessary and will only generate waste.
After identifying the points that generate value for the product, it is time to establish an uninterrupted flow to carry out the activities. Therefore, focus on meeting customer needs quickly, reducing steps, effort, time, and eliminating unnecessary costs.
Work on demand, that is, do only what the customer asks for or what will deliver a high value, such as the MVP (Minimum Viable Product) logic. If the idea is to eliminate excess and waste, it makes no sense to produce more than necessary, right?
Finally, always remember the goal: continuous improvement of all processes, people, and products. Only in this way will it be possible to provide pure value, without any waste.
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