Lean Development Methodology

By Alan MacLamroc  |  Posted 2010-10-26 Print this article Print

Lean development methodology

Lean is generally the more publicly known approach to manufacturing. This is in part because Toyota's Taiichi Ohno coupled the principle of respect for the workforce with Henry Ford's vision for optimal production. This set Toyota down the road to become an iconic manufacturing powerhouse.

At the core of lean is a relentless focus on minimizing waste, the elimination of all activities that do not add value and a quest for zero defects. Continuous process improvement is also a central tenet (in Japanese, this is called Kaizen). Lean principles also include:

1. Quality: Test-driven development and highly automated testing management helps build quality into the product development process so that features are fully tested as the product is being built.

2. Pull processing: Products and features are defined with field experts and tested as they are being produced to provide optimum value to the people who will use them.

Building a better model with automation

In order for organizations to harness the power of lean practices, they must critically evaluate governance processes and project artifacts to decide if they add value or waste. Most of the agile application lifecycle management (ALM) solutions on the market today don't capture the right data and don't have real-time capabilities to make this information readily available for business evaluation.

This lack of real-time operational information hinders critical business decisions about which projects to continue or kill and which projects will deliver real value. Companies must be able to leverage not only lean but also agile principles to achieve a fast, flexible and resilient delivery process, yielding high speed-to-market results at a low cost.

Alan MacLamroc is the Chief Product and Technology Officer for CDC Software. Alan is responsible for global IT for the organization. He is also responsible for all company products, technology strategy, product management, software engineering, quality assurance, performance and systems integration. He can be reached at amaclamroc@cdcsoftware.com.

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