Lean Software Development – Is it right for you? History, Benefits, FAQs.

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What is Lean Software Development?

Lean Software Development, also abbreviated as LSD, is an agile approach to optimize and organize the software development process. 

LSD is often also called the strategy of Minimum Viable product. These two frameworks are very similar since both aim to escalate the speed of development by focusing on prioritized tasks and launching a product in the market before adding features.

One key tactic to launch a product without adding new features is that it gives the development team a chance to learn from the actual market metrics, examine what works and what doesn’t work for the customers when they are trying out new updates, features, redesigns, etc.

Who invented Lean Software Development?

Lean Software Development is derived from the agile framework and has been known to be developed within Toyota, a Japanese car manufacturing company. It was initially so popular that it was called “Toyota Production System.”  

This approach was used by Toyota to optimize production and to minimize the wastage of time and resources. Toyota practiced a system where any work or employee action that didn’t contribute to building a car was considered a waste of time and eventually eliminated from the development process. 

Toyota’s work efficiency improved significantly along with increased time and resource management as well as maximized customer satisfaction, etc. 

Seeing this, the lean development approach became popular among other development teams as well as companies and it was further adapted by a variety of different industries. Lean Software Development approach was incorporated into software development in 2003. 

What are the benefits of using Lean Software Development?

LSD has benefited the industry of software development in the following ways: 

Simplified development process 

The process of software development has been rationalized as much as simplified through the LSD model. It eliminates the unnecessary stages and processes while building or designing software. This way, it saves time, helps to avoid scope creep, and the resources are valued. 

Elimination of wasteful losses 

The focus of the LSD model is on minimum viable product (MVP), which is why essential features or functions are prioritized and put on the top of the to-do list. Before we move forward, click here to learn what MVP is. 

Once the MVP is in the marketplace, teams can understand the market metrics better and accordingly figure out which new features will perform better and should be made a priority as per the customer’s response. Such a model helps to skip the unnecessary time and investment spent on development that may not do well. 

Increased team involvement rate

The core value of the LSD approach is people and communication between them. When your team members are involved in the process, it boosts team cohesiveness and communication significantly. 

Moreover, such increased participation results in growth sprouts through increased work efficiency, optimization of workflow, and elimination or reduction of losses. 

Is Lean Software Development right for you?

Before choosing the LSD approach, the team must conduct an evaluation of the advantages, disadvantages, merits, and demerits of the model. 

Some of the merits of the LSD approach are as follows: 

  • Firstly, it focuses on prioritizing tasks which is how unnecessary activities, stages, and processes are eliminated. 
  • LSD’s smooth-functioning framework enables it to launch products into the market quicker than other frameworks. 
  • The development team is encouraged to participate in the decision-making processes, which gives birth to team cohesiveness and innovation by bringing multiple perspectives to the table. 

Having said that, here are a few demerits of the LSD approach: 

  • LSD is prone to a complicated documentation process. A failure to meticulously document the LSD process can ultimately result in errors during the development process. 
  • LSD can be difficult to scale up as compared to other agile frameworks because the whole team needs to be kept informed and involved in this approach. 

As every coin has two sides, Lean Software Development has its own pros and cons. However, most organizations employ this approach because its merits outweigh the demerits. 

Most of the time, LSD helps to improve work efficiency, team cohesiveness, smooth-functioning of the development process, and prioritizing essential tasks to meet the customer needs. 

It really requires a lot of strength to not prioritize the tasks that go beyond the scope of the minimum viable product. However, trust the process. If you follow the LSD approach religiously, you will have the chance to upgrade the product or the service after its successful launch in the market. 

FAQs

Q: How many team members are required in a Lean Software Development team?

A: There is no specific number of team members required in the Lean Software Development team because it works well with both small and large teams. However, keep in mind that it requires every team member to be briefed and informed about the process and decisions, which is why it can be difficult to scale up compared to other agile frameworks. 

Q: Is Lean Software Development right for my team? 

A: If your team wants to focus on prioritizing tasks where unnecessary activities, stages, and processes are eliminated; if your team aims for a smooth-functioning framework, which can launch products into the market quicker than other frameworks; if you want to encourage your team to participate in the decision-making processes, rest assured that Lean Software Development is the right approach for your team. 

Q: Who invented Lean Software Development?

A: Lean Software Development is derived from the agile framework and has been known to be developed within Toyota, a Japanese car manufacturing company. It was initially so popular that it was called “Toyota Production System.”  However, it was not until 2003 when it was incorporated into the software development process. 

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