If you select the correct software development methodology, you are more likely to develop products or services quickly that improve efficiency and customer satisfaction.
One of the most widely-used software development methodologies for this is known as Lean development methodology.
Lean software development is an innovative approach that eliminates wasted time and optimizes the development process for faster product delivery.
Since its inception, this innovative methodology has grown in popularity for its ability to streamline operations, enhance customer satisfaction and deliver high-quality software as quickly as possible.
This post will introduce you to the Lean software development methodology. You will learn what it is, its seven principles and practices, the benefits and drawbacks of lean development, and finally, how you can implement the Lean methodology for your software development project.
Without wasting any time, let's jump right in.
Lean software development is an approach that aims to reduce development time, effort, and cost to create a user-centric sustainable software product. It was introduced by Mary and Tom Poppendieck in their book published in 2003.
The Lean principles were first coined by Toyota, the Japanese automotive manufacturing giant, in the 1940s to describe its manufacturing process. These principles aim to build feature and functionality-rich products in less time, money, and resources.
In simpler terms, Lean software development decreases cost, effort, and waste by speeding up the development process and allowing the product to release in the market quickly.
There are seven principles of Lean software development that can be used to develop software products to maximize customer satisfaction and minimize any waste in the development process.
Let's discuss each principle in more detail.
The first principle focuses on determining and removing waste from the software development process. Here waste refers to things that do not add value to customers or improve the quality of your product.
Following software development activities that are considered to be waste and must be resolved quickly:
Quality plays a critical role in Lean software development. By adding quality from the beginning, one can address all issues before they occur to avoid excessive testing later on. This can be done by implementing various practices such as automated testing, code reviews, and continuous integration that identify and address defects early in the development process.
Other tools and techniques that can be used in lean development include:
The third principle of Lean software development highlights the importance of continuous learning and knowledge sharing among team members to enhance team spirit and togetherness.
A culture of open communication and collaboration can be created by applying the following tools:
This principle is all about delaying commitment and making more responsible decisions after gathering sufficient information. This is because the main goal is to experiment and learn more instead of committing to irreversible decisions that lead to costly mistakes.
In addition to this, here, deferring commitment doesn’t mean that the team members can be irresponsible in their work commitments.
Lean development is renowned for faster product launches. It saves a lot of time from being wasted in long preparation, interim evaluations, and building complex systems with unnecessary features by performing several tasks together.
It allows developers to break down work into smaller and more manageable tasks for quick customer feedback response and continuous software improvement.
This principle supports team empowerment and encouragement to make decisions as per their skills and understanding. Such an approach helps create a productive and collaborative environment that encourages proactive team communication and constant feedback.
Lastly, this methodology is flexible enough to optimize various software development processes, from communication to project management and quality code development.
It focuses on optimizing the entire software development process to identify and address issues systematically to develop more reliable and sustainable software products.
If you're considering using the Lean software development method for your next project, here are the main advantages your team will most likely experience:
The lean approach removes waste and focuses on value-added activities to deliver software fast, which ultimately increases the development process efficiency, reduces excess time consumption, lowers extra costs, and speeds up product launches.
Lean development methodology improves product quality by implementing effective practices, such as code review, automated product testing, and continuous integration. This practice ensures there are fewer defects in the product and higher customer satisfaction.
This innovative approach prioritizes customer satisfaction; hence, focuses on offering incremental updates more frequently and allows the team to respond effectively to customer feedback and improve software accordingly for better user experience and increased customer satisfaction.
It boosts learning and knowledge sharing to encourage team collaboration to avoid bottlenecks and improve the decision-making process.
Products developed using the Lean software development method are highly flexible to change, which allows developers to make necessary tweaks to the product according to continuous customer feedback.
Like every other software development method, the Lean development methodology has its challenges and limitations. Here are the main ones to consider:
To implement a lean approach, you must have a highly skilled and trained team that can work and communicate together so that the software development efforts don’t suffer.
The key challenge faced in Lean software development is improper or wrong software metrics measurement. The team should be able to properly identify and measure waste.
The lean approach doesn’t set any boundaries for requirements and change. Hence, continuous or too many changes and requirements can create high complexity and create difficulty to launch quality software.
Five steps to implement Lean software development methodology:
Specify customer value and expectations from the end product.
The mapping process involves defining the current and future state of the project as well as unnecessary waste to create tasks for addressing the problem.
To improve process efficiency, design the value stream flow outlining the further process steps and removing unnecessary steps to avoid any stoppage.
This step involves prioritizing and assigning tasks to developers in the right order so that the urgent tasks are finished first.
Last but not least, strive towards perfection by constant improvement based on the customer's needs.
Lean software development is about reducing waste and launching products to market quickly and cheaply while developing products that meet both users’ needs and business goals.
Now that you know about the lean development methodology, its benefits, limitations, principle, and steps to implement, it’s a good time to implement it for your project.
If you want to leverage this effective method for your software development project, you can connect with Polyxer Systems.
Our team of expert developers has the necessary expertise and experience to deploy the Lean approach. Being a leading software development company, we can help you develop the best software product that caters to your business needs and enhances customer satisfaction.
Ready to build an effective software product? → Let's talk.