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Lean Software Development: 7 Things You Must Know

March 15, 2024 by
  • IT Consulting
  • Software Development


Software development is expensive. It's not unusual for a company to spend thousands on software that may or may not work. The lean approach was developed in response to traditional project management strategies' high costs and extended timelines. Companies using this model are more successful because they have fewer obstacles in their way when developing products. In this post, Kapsys will discuss how agile and lean software development helps you save money and time while still producing quality results and what are lean software development 7 principles!

What is Lean software development?

It is a project management strategy developed to counter the inefficiencies of traditional software development. Lean software development takes the idea of continuous improvement and extends it throughout projects, teams, processes, products, and beyond. Continuous improvement focuses on creating value for customers as quickly as possible without waste or excess features/resources so you can produce results faster than ever!

It also encourages reduced lead times, which means you can get results faster than before because lean software development focuses on eliminating waste and streamlining processes everywhere possible. As a result, the time it takes to develop products is cut down substantially. This allows companies to deliver better services more efficiently, increasing profits through lower costs for tangible resources (ex: developers) and intangible resources (ex: time).

See 10 Best Software Development Methodologies

Lean software development 7 Principles:

The lean software development 7 principles are the companies' key to developing their lean software development process. So, what are the lean software development 7 principles:


1. Eliminating waste: 

The first principle of the lean software development 7 principles is eliminating waste. Lean software development is all about using resources effectively and efficiently. It aims to create the most value for customers with minimal waste in everything you do. This means ensuring that every product, service, or feature your company creates adds significant value to what it costs. This can be accomplished through shorter lead times (which we'll talk about in the next section), which can be achieved by ensuring that unused resources are eliminated. So if you don't need it, get rid of it! If your company spends much time on a project, think about what's getting in the way and use lean principles to eliminate waste where possible. For example: if meetings or documentation are holding your team back, consider reducing the time spent on them. If you can stop something that's not adding value to what it costs in terms of resources, do so! Eliminating waste is a significant part to consider at every stage of product creation: from design to features and beyond. The main objective of lean software development is to create customer value as quickly and efficiently as possible. Although the focus on efficiency might seem counterintuitive, it leads to increased profits in several ways. First, reduced lead times mean that the companies can bring products to market faster than before, which means you're creating something earlier and getting feedback sooner. Less waste means fewer used resources in the development process, saving money. Finally, lean products tend to have a smaller overall footprint than their bloated counterparts. This allows companies to offer more for less because they're not wasting time or resources on features customers don't even want!

2. Building Quality In: 

Although it might seem counterintuitive, software development focuses on building quality into a product rather than testing for defects. Building in quality means creating something with the customer experience and business goals at the forefront of your mind. As a result, there are no unnecessary obstacles or detours throughout the process. Building products this way from day one can avoid costly repairs or redesigns downstream. The lean software development processes encourage the concept of "failing fast." This means getting your products' feedback early in the process, so defects are immediately found. By enabling this culture shift, companies can work more efficiently because they're not wasting time fixing problems that could have been caught early on. It also focuses heavily on creating automated tests to ensure products meet your requirements, saving time and money by making it easier to identify errors earlier rather than later in the process. This focus on quality prevents defects from getting out the door and makes it easier for other team members to pick up where you left off because they clearly understand your goals.

3. Amplifying Knowledge: 

It is a team effort, and a big part of how you'll be able to accomplish your goals has everything to do with the shared knowledge within your organization. By creating an environment where you can value and support everyone's ideas, companies can improve their existing products more efficiently or launch entirely new ones. This culture shift is what allows teams to innovate quickly. It would help to consider each person's value in experience and expertise. Also, companies can ensure that products meet customers' needs by encouraging knowledge sharing where they appreciate everyone's ideas no matter their level. One way to implement knowledge sharing within an organization is to create a "sensei" role: this person is responsible for helping other team members learn new skills. In addition to reducing bottlenecks in your development process and ensuring you can hear everyone's ideas. This allows teams to be more agile, take on new challenges, and develop products faster.

4. Delaying commitment: 

Delaying commitment means waiting to begin a new project until your team has the capacity, knowledge, and tools needed to complete it. This might seem counterintuitive—after all, why would you wait for everything to be perfect before starting something? But this is one of the essential concepts: by delaying committing to a new project until you have enough capacity, knowledge, and tools, teams can avoid getting overwhelmed or trying to take on too much at once. According to Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos in his 2016 letter to shareholders, "a team should only work on an initiative that can be completed by two pizzas' worth of team members". This is a great way to ensure that your teams are only responsible for the projects that meet their capacity and knowledge. As a result, companies won't waste their resources. Delaying commitment also means pushing back timelines when you don't have the resources to meet your deadlines. By delaying commitment, companies can ensure that they're only taking on projects that meet their teams' capacity. This will help businesses save money in development costs and employee burnout.

5. Delivering fast: 

Agile and lean software development is about getting something out there fast to gather feedback from your customers. Therefore, companies must prioritize their projects depending on which ones are most likely to impact the business. Also, companies need to focus on quality assurance to get products into users' hands faster. The best way to ensure that you're building a valuable solution is to make it meet your customers' needs. This means putting together user personas and their companies' demands to know which features are most important for development. You can also test prototypes with potential customers before building the final product. That ensures you're creating a helpful solution for your audience that doesn't include unnecessary features. A big part of lean software development involves getting products out as quickly as possible. Thus, companies can get feedback from their users. So, teams will need to think about how they're prioritizing projects.

6. Respecting People:

Respecting people is one of the most critical concepts. This means building an environment that values diversity and treats employees well. These are all things which make teams more creative and productive overall. Respecting people means ensuring everyone in your organization feels you're hearing and appreciate them. You can do this in an open office environment by considering everyone's ideas when developing new projects. Also, you can encourage employees to speak out if something doesn't seem right. All of which will help companies avoid building solutions that users don't find helpful.

7. Optimizing the whole thing: 

The last component of agile and lean software development  7 principles is to optimize every part. This means focusing on the software development life cycle instead of just one specific stage. Consider every aspect from design to maintenance so companies can build up their audiences and keep them. This process helps you create higher-quality and valuable long-term products. Lean software development also focuses on optimizing an entire product's life cycle instead of just one specific stage. As a result, companies need to think about everything from design to maintenance when building something to create products with higher quality and value.

Conclusion of Lean Software Development 

Agile and lean software development is a new approach to building software that focuses on value, quality, and customers. Using the seven components we discussed here, companies will create products with higher customer satisfaction and more success overall. SMEs can use this technique to build successful outcomes for their target audience. It allows them to get creative input from customers and ensure they create something that everyone finds valuable. Kapsys is the best custom software development company that helps SMEs with custom software development. We can provide you with the tools to improve your business; contact us.