How We Use Lean Principles In Our Software Development

Last Updated May 06, 2023

In my business operations class, I first heard of lean manufacturing in the context of Toyota. Everyone who studied the lean principles, including myself, was enthralled by the concept of decreasing waste and improving productivity through deliberate design.

The lean manufacturing process became successful over time, and the lean concepts of product development flow were adopted by a variety of sectors, including software development.

The focus now is on the product backlog, product roadmap, and how to use these wisely while working.

The lean development principle is a flexible method based on lean manufacturing principles. Toyota employs a lean development technique similar to this.

Table of content

Let us see How We Use Lean Principles In Our Software Development :
1. Toyota's lean manufacturing methodology
2. What are the advantages and disadvantages of agile software development?
3. The 7 Lean Software Development Principles
4. Concepts of lean manufacturing
5. Conclusion

Toyota's Lean Manufacturing Methodology

I understand what you're thinking.

How can software development fit into the lean principles if they originated in the automotive industry?

The link between the lean agile approach and software development was initially highlighted in 2003 by Tom and Mary Poppendieck in their book "Lean Software Development: An Agile Toolkit."

Poppendiecks explained how lean principles may be used in the software development process in his book. Both software development and manufacturing operations rely on high-quality standards and follow repeatable structures. They also rely greatly on teamwork to complete tasks.

The question is, however, how it can be accomplished. In this article, we'll look at how we use lean software concepts to align our software development process.
If you're still not clear on what lean principles are in the software development process, let me explain. Lean software development is a set of ideas for reducing the programming effort in software development. Lean principles originated in manufacturing as a technique to optimize the production process in order to reduce waste and increase customer value.

  • Processes that can be repeated

  • Collaboration within a group

  • Standards that are consistent

What are the advantages and disadvantages of agile software development?

The following are some of the advantages of lean product development principles:

  • A streamlined strategy that allows for the delivery of features in a short amount of time.

  • Unnecessary activities are eliminated, lowering costs.

Empowering the development team by assisting them in making decisions that will have a positive impact.
The project's flexibility allows it to be adapted and customized on a regular basis to meet the needs of the customer.

The following are some of the flaws in the lean software development methodology:

  • It is very dependent on the team participating, making it less scalable than other frameworks.

  • It is based on meticulous record-keeping. Failure to do so could result in costly development errors.

Before beginning a project, it is vital to plan. You should be informed of the project vision, roadmap, release plan, and iteration plan before starting the project.

Professional teams must keep their workflows in sync and make quick decisions while on the job.

The 7 Lean Software Development Principles

There are seven core concepts of the lean software development strategy that work together to speed up delivery and provide high value to customers.
Get Rid of Waste

1. Make new knowledge

2. Create a high-quality environment

3. Quick Shipping

4. Your Team Should Be Empowered

5. Delay in Decision-Making

6. Optimize the entire process.

7. To achieve these goals and ideals, we employ instruments such as:

In the software development process, there are a number of tools that are used.

Sort, Set, Shine, Standardize, and Sustain are the five S's of the 5s System, which is aimed to enhance efficiency and production through a systematic approach and following its five S's.

Inventory management - We use theory or constraints or queuing theory to reduce the number of processes in progress in a single pass.

Kaizen - This lean development tool promotes quality, technology, processes, productivity, and safety improvements. It is primarily beneficial in the development of a safe and technological culture.

Kanban is a method of organizing work.  It's a pull project management system in which we limit the number of jobs that may be executed at the same time. This prevents the development process from being overburdened.

Value stream mapping is a technique for visualizing the development process, from the client request to deployment. This aids us in showcasing and optimizing the time spent on holding and processing actual data.

Let's have a look at how, as a premier lean software development business, we apply the seven principles of lean manufacturing to our software development cycle.

Incorporating the Seven Lean Principles into Our Software Development Projects

Concepts of lean manufacturing

1. Get Rid of Waste

We follow the first principle of lean product development, which is to eliminate everything that does not provide value. It makes it simple to spot waste such as needless code, ambiguous goals, extra features, and extra procedures, among other things.

1. One of the most difficult aspects of digital transformation is waste. can be found in a variety of fields, according to our experience:

2. Work-in-progress, or incomplete work, is a waste. This can be reduced by using the Kanban mode to set limits on work-in-progress.

3. Overproduction waste is waste. These appear when feedback cycles get too long and a number of additional features are required.

4. Waste is processed. Our custom software development firm eliminates these issues through pair programming and improved cooperation.

Waste that isn't handled. We fix the problem by not allowing our employees to work in silos. We work as a close-knit cross-functional team, which aids in the enhancement of our performance.
Defects in software. When quality is not made a part of the software development firm's process with various checks and balances, waste tends to creep in.

2. Generate Information

In and of itself, the software development process generates a lot of knowledge. Syoft has been a knowledge-driven company since its inception. One of the key reasons we were able to implement blockchain and AI technologies into projects before any other software application development firm in the industry is because of this.

We employ some critical approaches to align the principle with our development processes, such as code reviews, training, code comments, project documentation, pair programming, and sharing sessions, among others.

3. Make Quality a Priority

Our software development team makes certain that the focus is on the customer. We are always improving our development process in order to complete the project from start to finish.

We use a variety of lean agile software development methodologies to improve product quality:

  • To reduce miscommunication waste and maximize production, pair programming is used.
  • Testing criteria – providing engineers with a system that satisfies the need.
  • Incremental development entails improving the quality of a product over time by receiving timely and consistent feedback.
  • Less time spent waiting - to maintain quality and streamline efficiency while bridging the knowledge gap.

Automation is the use of assets such as artificial intelligence and machine learning to reduce and eventually eliminate errors in development processes.

4. Quick Shipping

The agile development fundamentals place a strong emphasis on the rapid delivery of software processes. Being a part of the lean-agile principles Puts a premium on speedy delivery. Simply said, the project team must provide the modules in accordance with the milestone goals.

A reliable workflow that helps teams comprehend the value of the process and hence facilitates fast results making achieving a short app development time easier.

5. Give Your Team More Power

Regardless of the team or project, we adhere to one single lean philosophy. Our team, which specializes in software development for startups, knows the need for mutual respect when working together. When things go wrong or don't go as planned, the focus should be on finding gaps in the work process. 

We've been concentrating on creating a positive work atmosphere where we lead by example since the beginning. To improve morale, we also provide our workers with creative flexibility, allowing them to choose the best method for any task.

6. Delay in Decision-Making

We get what you're thinking: putting off making a decision is a horrible idea.

When we follow the lean agile principles, however, we feel that waiting until the last minute to make a decision is not the same as being reckless. In fact, it encourages the team to leave their options open for a long time in order to collect data that will aid in making key decisions.

As a result, our project is never jeopardized. 

7. Make the whole thing better

Improvement of the development process

We aim to optimize the entire development process, not just the sub-processes. We work under the assumption that if we add value to a set of processes, the end product will be impacted, and the end results will be sub-optimized.

We encourage working with good work capacity to deal with sub-optimization. We optimize the entire process, which allows the entire team to identify value flows, resulting in valuable and timely delivery.

Application of the Two Principles in Different Phases

  • Using Lean Principles to Overcome Obstacles

  • Although it is useful for a smooth software development process, there are some problems that must be overcome.

The team members must be self-motivated and able to work together as a unit.

There may be times when the requirements continue to grow without a clear end in sight. When speaking with clients, these must be handled delicately.

The Lean technique places a strong emphasis on continual improvement. Implementation timelines are also typically lengthy. As a result, the time it takes to realise the benefits may be lengthened.


There is no hard and fast rule to follow the procedures or methodologies because lean agile approach delivers a customer-oriented, adaptable, and flexible system. However, one can always take. Take note of the information provided so that there are no issues while designing software.

While hiring a team to design your application, it is always a good idea to look for a specialist (who is focused on improving and enhancing their abilities). If you live in the United States, the best way to do this is to either partner with software developers who are well-versed in the technology and the needs of your clients, or to hire top companies in your area, such as top software development companies in the United States or software development companies in California. However, to get the finest outcomes, make sure you choose the best.

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