Basic principles of Lean software development

Basic principles of Lean software development

The concept of Lean as a whole was invented by the Japanese automobile corporation Toyota in the mid-20th century to reduce production waste, but it soon gained immense popularity and was adapted to various areas, including the IT industry.

The term «Lean software development» (LSD) first appeared in a book of the same name written by Mary and Tom Poppendyck in 2003. From that moment on, its interpretations changed, but the essence remained unchanged – this is the rational use of resources. The Lean software development principles allow you to adjust the procedure for creating programs in such a way as to avoid waste at any stage.

The definition of LSD

Lean software development is an agile framework that optimizes development time and resources, minimizes waste, and provides only those resources a program cannot run without. Experts also often refer to Lean methodology as the Minimum Viable Product (MVP) concept. Such an approach involves the teams bringing a minimal version of their product to market, gathering user feedback on what they like and dislike, making adjustments, and then repeating the process based on that ongoing interaction.

Fundamental aspects of LSD

Mary and Tom Poppendyck are evangelists of the model of Lean software development. They identified seven key principles to achieve success in creating digital products that are easily adaptable to the needs of the software development procedure:

  • Elimination of waste: this is one of the primary conditions aimed at rejecting everything that does not benefit the client. In software development, waste often takes the form of unnecessary functionality, quality issues, delays in engineering procedures, and more.
  • Create knowledge: knowledge refers to all the data describing the application, including specification, architecture, specification various documents.
  • Build quality in: such a technology aims to improve the final product testing and the code itself to avoid errors.
  • Fast delivery: developers create a product quickly, get instant client feedback, and utilize the input to change the solution. The plan is to learn from your mistakes, which is very different from other technologies for creating complex software. They take a lot of time but fail.
  • Defer commitment: this approach negates the need to create a clear specification plan before work begins. It allows the team to make decisions based on continuously acquired knowledge.
  • Respect for people: this principle emphasizes the need to respect specialists with the necessary knowledge and skills and allow them to make decisions to increase productivity.
  • Optimize the whole: comprehensive optimization of the software development process provides better results than improving individual types of work.

Lean use of resources plays a significant role in software development because even the perfect solution, released at the wrong time, can become irrelevant. The same is true if we speak about human resources, the developer should not work under constant stress to avoid overwork.

Basic principles of Lean software development


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Main pros and cons of Lean software development

About 20 years ago, the implementation of LSD started. During this period, the IT industry actively began to develop and attract billions in investments. Experts have collected the primary reasons why implementing Lean development is beneficial:

  • Collaboration: Lean standards encourage learning and interactions. People work together to make crucial decisions.
  • Continuous improvement: the workflow provides a stable connection with customers. It guarantees a constant process of improvement.
  • Efficiency: quality software is in high demand, and many firms cannot release the required number of applications quickly. The Lean methodology aims to eliminate waste and ensure the rapid delivery of programs by increasing company efficiency and reducing costs.
  • Flexibility: the value of LSD model lies in flexibility, although its main priority remains speed in the platform development lifecycle. Such a system leaves room for change and allows the business to adjust the product after receiving feedback.
  • Quality: the effectiveness of the approach, constant improvement, flexibility, and interaction lead to the fact the quality of goods improves, which means that customers remain satisfied.

However, it is essential to keep in mind some of the difficulties faced by organizations implementing the LSD methodology:

  • Lean software development promotes agility. But if a project has too much freedom, it can lose its authenticity and basic structure.
  • The success of software development by LSD technology largely depends on the team’s professionalism. If at least one of the employees does not have the necessary technical knowledge and skills, difficulties can arise.
  • Lack of clear boundaries: software requirements evolve as users provide reactions. Too many conditions and a long list of changes create complexity and make it challenging to build a complete product.

Lean manufacturing is a procedure of using research and development to solve various user problems. The main task of such an agile framework is not to set hard deadlines for the implementation of the project and reduce its funding; it’s an application-building philosophy that encourages experimentation and analysis of the results achieved.

While technology focuses on the people who will use your product, it’s the people who make it work. Therefore, when hiring a team to create applications, try to find professionals who strive for continuous improvement and have the necessary qualifications.

Alex Johnson

Total Articles: 54

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