How to Align Lean Principles in Software Development?

Standardized systems, collaborative efforts, and repetitive processes are three characteristics that make the software development industry feasible for lean principles. When you incorporate lean principles, you can create a streamlined approach for product development, cut down expenses by eliminating redundant steps, and support the development team in making the right decisions.

Here’s how you can align the 7 lean principles in software development:

1. Eliminate waste

According to this principle, you should eliminate all that does not add value to end-users. You should start by identifying the value of the product that you are developing. Identifying waste is the next step, such as unnecessary code, extra features, unclear goals, and so on. You should figure out ways to eliminate this waste, such as implementing the Kanban model to eliminate waste of work-in-progress.

2. Create knowledge

The software development process is a knowledge-generating one. You can align the lean principle of creating knowledge by implementing certain methods, such as training, code reviews, project documentation, code comments, and more.

3. Build quality in

Delivering high-quality products should be your prime focus. You can implement several agile software development approaches to improve product quality. For instance, you could implement testing criteria, which will give your engineers a system to ensure that the product created meets the clients’ requirements. Automation through AI and ML can also help eliminate errors, enhancing your level of quality.

4. Fast delivery

Lean agile principles focus on fast delivery. This means that your project team must deliver software modules according to the set milestones. When you have a stable workflow, achieving fast delivery times becomes a lot easier. It helps your teams comprehend the value of a certain process, facilitating fast results.

5. Empower your team

An empowered team is confident of making the right decisions, ensuring fast delivery and product quality. Teamwork and respect are necessary traits for software development teams. Even when things don’t go according to plan, you should check for gaps in the processes that lead to challenges and conflicts. You should consider giving creative freedom to your teams so that they can choose the approach they feel is right for the project.

6. Delay in making decisions

Delay in making decisions may sound like a bad idea. However, when you follow lean principles, it does not equate to being irresponsible. Rather, it helps you keep your options open for longer, giving you enough time to gather data that can help in making the decision.

7. Optimize the whole

Do not focus on optimizing the sub-processes but the entire software development process. Suboptimization can be quite harmful in software development. For instance, the customer demands fast delivery. Your developers must deliver at all costs. The result could be sloppy code that does not meet the requirements.

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