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Lean Software Development (LSD)

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Lean Software Development (LSD) is an agile framework that is used to streamline & optimize the software development process. It may also be referred to as Minimum Viable Product (MVP) strategy as these ways of thinking are very much alike since both intend to speed up development by focusing on new deliverables.

Toyota has been credited to inspire the lean development approach which is meant for optimizing production and minimize waste. Seeing Toyota’s lean approach many other manufacturing teams started to follow the same strategy. And it was first adopted in software development in 2003.

Advantages of LSD :
LSD has proved to improve software development in the following ways :

  1. LSD removes the unnecessary process stages when designing software so that it acts as a time saver as simplifies the development process.
  2. With a focus on MVP, Lean Software Development prioritizes essential functions so this removes the risk of spending time on valueless builds.
  3. It increases the involvement power of your team as more and more members participate due to which the overall workflow becomes optimized and losses get reduced.
  4. LSD simplifies the development process and saves time by removing unnecessary stages.
  5. It prioritizes essential functions and removes the risk of spending time on valueless builds.
  6. It increases the involvement of team members, optimizing the workflow and reducing losses.
  7. LSD encourages collaboration and communication among team members and stakeholders.
  8. It fosters innovation through experimentation and creativity.
  9. It reduces waste by minimizing unnecessary features.
  10. LSD increases customer satisfaction through customer involvement and feedback.
  11. It improves flexibility by allowing for adaptability to changing requirements and circumstances.

Key Principles of Lean Software Development :
There are 7 established lean principles that come with a set of tactics, practices, and processes that builds more efficient software products :

  1. Eliminating the waste
  2. Fast Delivery
  3. Amplify Learning
  4. Builds Quality
  5. Respect Teamwork
  6. Delay the commitment
  7. Optimizing the whole system

The below figure illustrates the principles of LSD :



Eliminating the Waste: To identify and eliminate wastes e.g. unnecessary code, delay in processes, inefficient communication, the issue with quality, data duplication, more tasks in the log than completed, etc. regular meetings are held by Project Managers. Which allows team members to point out faults and suggest changes in the next turn.

Fast Delivery: Previously long time planning used to be the key success in business, but in the passage of time it is found that engineers spend too much time on building complex systems with unwanted features. So they came up with an MVP strategy which resulted in the building products quickly that included a little functionality and launch the product to market and see the reaction. Such an approach allows them to enhance the product on the basis of customer feedback.

Amplify Learning: Learning is improved through ample code reviewing, meeting that is cross-team applicable. It is also ensured that particular knowledge isn’t accumulated by one engineer who’s writing a particular piece of code so paired programming is used.

Builds Quality: LSD is all about prevent waste, keeping an eye on not sacrificing quality. Developers often apply test-driven programming to examine the code before it is written. The quality can also be gained to get constant feedback from team members and project managers.

Respect Teamwork: LSD focuses on empowering team members, rather than controlling them. Setting up a collaborative atmosphere, keep perfect balance when there are short deadlines and immense workload. This method becomes very much important when new members join a well-established team.

Delay the Commitment: In traditional project management it often happens when you make your application and it turns out to be completely unfit for the market. LSD method recognizes this threat and makes room for improvement by postponing irreversible decisions until all experiment is done. This methodology always constructs software as flexible, so the new knowledge is available and engineers can make improvements.

Optimizing the whole system: lean’s principle allows managers to break an issue into small constituent parts to optimize the team’s workflow, create unity among members, and inspire a sense of shared responsibility which results in enhancing the team performance.

Key feature of LSD:

  • Focus on continuous improvement and waste elimination
  • Iterative and collaborative approach
  • Development of Minimum Viable Product (MVP)
  • Customer involvement and feedback
  • Flexible and adaptive approach
  • Prioritization of essential functions and minimization of waste


Weakness in LSD :

  • Make it scalable as other frameworks since it strongly depends on the team involved.
  • It is hard to keep pace so it is not easy for developers to work with team members as conflict may occur between them.
  • It leads to a difficult decision-making process as it is mandatory for customers to clearly set their requirements for the development not to be interrupted.
  • Lack of documentation
  • Inflexibility for structured projects or strict deadlines
  • Lack of predictability
  • Dependence on customer involvement

Lean Software Development is one of the proactive approaches that drives your body through productivity and cleanliness. It closely connects to Agile methodology, knowledge-sharing experience, fast product delivery. All processes and stages of development are accurately built to deliver the end product at minimum cost in a timely manner.


Last Updated : 05 Dec, 2023
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