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Lean Agile


Lean management approach advises:

 

Waste Elimination.

Speedier flow of information and work, and faster time to market.

Doing only what is required for customer currently.

Reducing life cycle and cost.

 

Most of the Software development organizations have multiple hand-offs right from Sales to Business Analysts through Requirement, Design, Development, testing and Deployment teams before a product or service is delivered to customer. More the communication channels more the information distortion and longer the time it takes to get the value of the work accomplished. The suggestion here does not mean to skip upstream activities like requirements analysis, architecture and design activities. Rather just to use approaches that are flexible and has the ability to adopt to continuous changes from the stakeholders.

 

Agile with its test early approach is really the saving grace for software development organizations wanting to become customer centric organizations. Shorter cycle times for deliveries ranging from 1 week to 1 month and delivering workable iterations each cycle has been possible with Test early and Test Driven Development approach. If the test suite is automated for each iteration the testing will become more efficient and will lead to almost defect free working iterations.

 

Lean management advises on waste elimination, cutting unnecessary steps in software life cycle, reducing the documentation to minimum, making waiting time almost nil for reviews, by using techniques like  automated unit testing and code integration. This way maximum wastes are eliminated. Since the sprints have the choice of postponing certain features to the future iterations, this allows customer to delay his commitment to software vendors by giving him more opportunities to learn from the market about his product evolution. The cost is also under control from both customer and software vendor as they mutually collaborate in product vision on continuous basis by embracing the change.

 

Effective Software development organizations do not need a silver bullet approach nor do they get carried away by Do it Right First approaches. Successful Project teams should understand that flexibility, changing requirements, learning from retrospectives, stakeholders’ collaboration and shorter life cycles are inevitable factors for effective and efficient software product development. More and more with less and less effort is what both Agile and Lean mutually propound. Lean Agile will be a great approach for software organizations in managing their projects.

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