Waste in the Software Development Process

May 10, 2010

Using “Lean” our focus is rightly on being fast and removing delays. We work to reduce WIP as a means of addressing throughput, rework and bug injection. We also often implement some sort of inventory management collaboration with the client to make sure we are working on the right stuff first.

There is also the waste of building the wrong product which is a major contributor to the “software is expensive” belief. In this area our challenge is to take convert Perceived Business and Market Value into Realized Business and Market Value using the scarce resources available to us. My previous posts suggested that we need to apply the power of iterative discovery to a boarder audience that includes more of the value owners and users of our systems.

Another level of waste is what I’d call missed opportunity. We often miss market windows when a deadline is missed, chances to enhance a brand because of poor quality and most importantly chances to learn. We know that predictable performance is driven by feedback. How often is this done, with the proper people at the product development level?

If anyone has seen a model, picture or framework to represent what I’m talking about please let me know. I’m trying to get my mind around the big picture. Studies and statistics would be fantastic.