Establish only the functions customers require– and only when they need them

Throughout the board, industries need to embrace modern-day workflows to keep up with the speed of startups. And out of all the different approaches, I discover the “lean methodology” to be the most intriguing of them all. It’s an unique combination of pragmatism and a higher function.

Lean approach comes down straight from the Toyota Production Systems (TPS), which is based on a philosophy of getting rid of waste to accomplish effectiveness in processes. It relies heavily on the state of mind of “just-in-time,” making only “ what is required when required, and in the amount needed.” In software advancement, this indicates just establishing the functions your clients require, and just when they require them.

To stress the point and stir some creative juices, let’s take a look at the Japanese principles of muda, mura and muri, and how this applies to being lean when we are delivering and developing software application.

Muda, mura and muri

Muda is the “waste” we are working to get rid of that is directly hurting performance. Waste is any activity that does not produce worth, in the form of the products and services we provide. As every engineer knows, investing half the day in meetings is an agonizing wild-goose chase.

Mura is “disproportion,” describing any variation at the same time itself or the output produced. In software advancement, “mura” triggers unpredictability that makes it impossible to accept a “just-in-time” frame of mind. If the quality of a new upcoming function is uncertain, then extra time and resources will have to be booked for quality assurance and bug-fixing efforts. It’s much better to understand upfront what you are going to get, for how long it will take and what the expense will be.

Muri is “overburden,” which happens when we require the unreasonable from our team, processes and tools. We need to assign the appropriate time and resources if we want to deliver a particular feature just-in-time. Providing our engineering teams too many simultaneous jobs, or stopping working to provide the tools essential to succeed, will just cause disappointment in time, amount, cost or quality.

Types of waste

Diving much deeper into muda– what I consider the primary sin of lean methodology– here are the types of waste we must constantly be on the lookout for:

  1. Overproduction — Making more than is needed, or before it is required. Unwanted features, we often over-allocate computing resources, especially in non-cloud environments.

Article curated by RJ Shara from Source. RJ Shara is a Bay Area Radio Host (Radio Jockey) who talks about the startup ecosystem – entrepreneurs, investments, policies and more on her show The Silicon Dreams. The show streams on Radio Zindagi 1170AM on Mondays from 3.30 PM to 4 PM.