, Volume 9, Issue 4, pp 241-252

Lean Software Development: Two Case Studies

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Abstract

This paper shows how the concepts of lean manufacturing can be successfully transferred from the manufacture of cars and electrical goods to software development. The key lean concept is to minimize work in progress, so quickly forcing any production problems into the open. Production is then halted to allow each problem with the system producing the goods, to be permanently corrected. While frustrating at first, the end result is very high levels of productivity and quality.

Large industrial companies are beginning to transfer their lean production expertise to their in-house software development projects. The two case studies reported here confirm that lean software development can produce rapid quality and productivity gains. A major implementation issue is that lean software development may require deep changes in the way an organization is managed.