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Lean Software Development

Strictly speaking, lean software development is not an agile methodology, but lean and agile value are closely aligned. Lean manufacturing and agile software methods have a very similar philosophy. Both place a lot of emphasis on adaptive planning and a people focused approach. As a result lean’s ideas fit in very well with agile.

Lean principles originate from the lean manufacturing approach also known as ‘just-in-time production’, and pioneered by Toyota. Lean manufacturing is a process management philosophy that transformed the car manufacturer’s approach to building vehicles.

Lean software development originated from a popular book by Tom and Mary Poppenieck that translates lean manufacturing principles to software development. Tom and Mary’s books, training, and talks at various agile conferences, have resulted in lean software development becoming widely accepted within the agile development community.

There are seven core concepts of lean software development which offer a set of principles for achieving quality, speed, and customer alignment:

1.            Eliminate Waste

2.            Empower the team

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3.            Deliver first

4.            Optimize the whole

5.            Build quality in

6.            Defer decisions

7.            Amplify learning

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Gary Boruff

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