The Lean software development methodology, is based on the fact that, organizations have to change their whole company culture, in order to adopt new principles, which would improve the performance of the company.
Of course changing the company culture, is not an easy thing to do; therefore, many companies have to understand well what they are getting themselves into. Sometimes changing the habits and culture of an organization, can be difficult, but once companies can understand the lean software development methodology principles, then they can experience significant and sustainable performance improvements.
The seven principles of lean development are: eliminate waste, amplify learning, decide as late as possible, deliver as fast as possible, empower the team, build integrity in, and see the whole.
On the article analyzed for this today’s post, the lean software development project, is studied in a Finish-based manufacturing of small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs). The European economy relies heavily on SMEs for its success; however customers are more conscious on the price they pay for a product, due to the globalization of markets. Therefore, SMEs have to stay competitive, in a market, which is changing every day, due to technological advances and its globalization.
The authors used a framework, which can be utilized by other SMEs, in order to find areas, which are causing problems to their projects. According to the authors, the lean philosophy is a viable and popular approach, for development of products by SMEs, and to enable continuous improvements within an organization. Activities, which add no value to the improvement of the SMEs are eliminated and the value stream activities, are emphasized in a lean development philosophy; therefore, lean development should not be adopted for a short term project, but rather as a long term philosophy. On the paper chosen this week, the manufacturing and production development of a project at a company, followed the lean philosophy, in order to conduct a state analyses of the company’s production process.
Through semi-structured interviews with employees, accessing the company’s data systems, and observation, data was collected. The authors found that the company’s main challenges were an unproductive project layout and a large product portfolio. The development of proposals, which were based on the lean manufacturing principles, were able to tackle these challenges, in theory. The implementation of the developed proposals, have to still be studied though. Managers at these SMEs in various sectors, could benefit from the findings of these studies. The lean principles regards any activity, which does not directly add value to the finished product as waste.
The addition of unessential features, project churn and crossing organization boundaries are the three main sources of waste, according to the lean software development principles. In a lean software development environment, the software development team, has to be allowed to self-organize, in order to reduce waste. Defects should not occur in your software development process, in the first place, according to the one of the lean software development methodology principles.
If of course, it is impossible to develop a software without defect, then a developer should do a little bit of work, validate it, fix any issues and iterate. Fixing issues as they appear, is an effective way of developing a software or application. Learning is very essential, therefore, promoting strategies, which help teams discover what stakeholders really want, would give them the ability to act on that knowledge.
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