Lean Software Product Development in 4 Phases

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This awareness goes against the traditional principle of specialization, where workers are taught to master just one task, but it makes teams more creative. Lean teams that understand the larger picture are better at identifying waste, eliminating bureaucracy, and creating a repeatable, standardized process. Developer.com features tutorials, news, and how-tos focused on topics relevant to software engineers, web developers, programmers, and product managers of development teams. This includes coverage of software management systems and project management (PM) software – all aimed at helping to shorten the software development lifecycle (SDL). This Lean software development principle also relates to creating frequent feedback loops in the process. Those can be internal (ex., peer review) and external (ex., gathering feedback from customers).

If some activity could be bypassed or the result could be achieved without it, it is waste. Partially done coding eventually abandoned during the development process is waste. Extra features like paperwork and features not often used by customers are waste. Switching people between tasks is waste (because of time spent, and often lost, by people involved in context-switching).

Lean product management pitfalls to watch out for

It is recommended to deliver the product quickly and in small chunks by implementing them in individual iterations. After quick implementation, the customer will immediately know whether the implemented part of the product is what he thought about or whether the customer’s needs were not correctly read. The Lean development methodology is one of the approaches in Agile philosophy.

  • The Agile methodology is detailed in the Agile Manifesto, which contains a set of values and principles that guide the Agile frameworks.
  • Sync with your favorite calendar and file storage apps for greater productivity.
  • Required tweaks to a design or feature might not surface until the product has been released to the market.
  • Effective, efficient innovation includes knowing which processes are worth investing in, what can be done without, and how to do it all with relative ease.
  • The combination of these values and principles creates the essence of Agile.

Toyota’s continued success has led to the rise of lean thinking across industries, from manufacturing, to retail, to healthcare, construction, etc. Product managers all over the world apply lean principles to the product development process, bringing products to market faster using minimum resources. Lean product development is a process for building products faster with less waste. It improves upon traditional product development processes by eliminating the communication silos that typically separate departments. All teams in lean organizations work on the product from beginning to end, which allows the product to evolve and improve. “Amplify learning” is a Lean development principle centered around creating knowledge in the process, which is essential for maximizing value delivery to customers.

Precisely specify value by specific product

Agile is a project management approach and a mindset, defined by several values and principles, coined in the Agile manifesto from 2001. Lean, on the other hand, is a methodology that was first conceptualized before WW1 but successfully implemented in the factories of Toyota from the 1930s. While there are similarities between the two, it can be said that Agile is a superset of Lean as its working principles were inspired by Lean thinking. The main difference between Lean and Agile is that the former focuses on building continuous flow within processes while the latter on iterating the release of functionalities to the market.

lean product development software

If you are a project manager or developer interested in implementing Lean development principles, start by researching and incorporating some critical practices into your workflow. You can soon reap the benefits of this robust methodology with little effort. It should be said that the timeframes proposed here are generalizations and will vary, but – they are based on the assumption that development should focus on delivering features with value to end users. Everywhere else, the simple rule “less is more” should be followed with the leverage of services and frameworks wherever practical. The architecture needs to allow those services to be used as long as necessary, but to be replaced as growth provides the option to drive down the cost of service. It should also be said that features and customization in this approach come from choices of what is made available to roles in market packages and configuration – not separate versions.

What is Lean software development?

Effective, efficient innovation includes knowing which processes are worth investing in, what can be done without, and how to do it all with relative ease. Toyota created a system that minimizes waste while maximizing value for the customer. Toyota’s values have been applied to software, consumer goods, and other manufacturing processes since then.

lean product development software

These units often conduct what are known as sprints, or 2-4 week projects that produce a shippable product. Lean product development minimizes risk for teams since they’re getting constant feedback from customers. Rather than making assumptions on what customers want, product managers can be sure they’re building products customers really want. Lean thinking has to be understood well by all members of a project, before implementing in a concrete, lean product development software real-life situation. “Think big, act small, fail fast; learn rapidly”[8] – these slogans summarize the importance of understanding the field and the suitability of implementing lean principles along the whole software development process. Only when all of the lean principles are implemented together, combined with strong “common sense” with respect to the working environment, is there a basis for success in software development.

Deliver fast

People need motivation and a higher purpose to work for – purpose within the reachable reality, with the assurance that the team might choose its own commitments. The developers should be given access to the customer; the team leader should provide support and help in difficult situations, as well as ensure that skepticism does not ruin the team’s spirit. Respecting people and acknowledging their work is one way to empower the team.

lean product development software

These include at the individual level, as well as in departments, in interdepartmental operations, in the overall organization, and between the organization and its customers and suppliers. User journeys, reviews, and usage metrics are all valuable data points for product managers to track. You should continuously experiment by introducing new features and monitoring the adoption rate to validate your assumptions. There is always scope to improve an existing feature according to customer feedback. In the 1930s, Toyota invented the Toyota Production System to eliminate waste and provide the highest-quality product to the customer in the shortest possible time with lowest production cost.

What’s the History of Lean Software Development (LSD)?

This is what makes it easy to set up in theory, but difficult to implement in practice. 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 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. Instead of adding more documentation or detailed planning, different ideas could be tried by writing code and building.

lean product development software

The last point is important for organizations and teams to feel like their lean transformation efforts are measurable. Unfortunately, product teams that make the lean leap often do so because they don’t define the right metrics to measure the transformation process. Some of the biggest shortcomings in implementing a lean approach to management or development happen right at the start of the process—before the teams do any of the work. When there’s a faulty lean foundation, the rest of your lean structure is bound to fall apart. Value in lean is defined as anything the users of your product are willing to pay for. Value is defined this way in order to stop teams from working on initiatives that are based on user needs.

History of lean product development

With more defects, there is more work to do, putting more pressure on developers to deliver quickly… so the cycle continues. Agile development can refer to any development method that aligns with the concepts outlined in the Agile Manifesto. This foundational document was written by a group of 14 influencers in the software industry, who met to reflect upon which existing methods did and did not work for software development.



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