Either by using the expertise of a software development company or developing in house, it is essential to build the foundations for the development process using strategy best suited for your project.
The plan for the development process and operational methodology has a significant impact on the success of the project and the quality of the final product. This impact will be more prominent as we move forward with the project life cycle.
LPD is a management methodology we used in our technological development process, based on methods and tools that evolved from the classic manufacturing floor to the product development environment.
LPD focuses on information flow, synchronization, and coordination between all development parties. The goal is, among other things, to stimulate healthy communication norms that provide a platform for troubleshooting, sharing insights and improvements and multiple points of view. This creates a perpetual improvement in the development process which affects the project’s final results.
The “Lean” methodology was successfully implemented in different sectors and industries. It is compatible to essentially every organization and especially to startup companies which efficiency and maximal value are at their core function.
the challenge in implementing “Lean” thinking in startup companies is the lack of defined “Lean” tools and methods which provides entrepreneurs a clear vision to the question how to turn the “Lean” mindset into “lean” operation.
The origins of the method can be traced to the Japanese auto industry in the 1940’s. While working in Toyota auto manufacture as an engineer, Taiichi Ohno used Henry ford’s management tactics and converted them into measurable actions, implemented on the factory floor. In 1988 the Taiichi’s methods were further researched by John Krafcik which claimed the term “Lean” and then were defined more elaborately by James Womack and Daniel Jones in 1996.
The car manufacturer Toyota defined 3 terms that describes wasteful actions that needed to be remove from the management process.
o MUDA – all actions that requires resources (including time) but don’t create value to the client are consider as waste.
o MURA – Unevenness in an operation. The goal is to level out the workload between all development parties so that there is no waste accumulation.
o MURI – Overburdening equipment or operators by requiring them to run at a higher or harder pace with more force and effort for a longer period of time.
One of the main objectives of every manager is to eliminate MUDA\MURA\MURI from the development process and thus ensure an efficient process and provide the value that the client required under the limited resources that was set.
There are five “Lean” principles for preventing waste of resources and creating maximal value.
1. Value identification – specify and define the value for the optimal client (the product main Feature)
2. Value stream mapping – analyzing the current state and design the future state for the series of events that takes the product from the early stages until delivery to the client. identify all action that contribute and support the client’s value – actions that don’t add value to the client are considered waste of resources (we will create a precise characterization of the product based on this values).
3. Setting “value making” development stages – these stages are defined by the required value they provide (building defined development\milestones plan, SOWs etc.).
4. Precise inventory system – supply and manufacturing systems especially suited to the required time frames and production volume (defining a specific objectives for completion of the project, expected demand preparation etc.).
5. The pursuit of perfection – continually strive towards the reduction of wasted time, space, costs, and errors.
This principle provides the guidelines for making more with less – using minimal resources and capital to attain maximal value for the client. The method forces us to adopt a “lean” state of mind and take actions accordingly.
In the early stage of the development of a product, we will need to chrectorize the product in a PRD – Product Requirement Document. The definition of the product in this document is the base for the value we wish to deliver to the client.
Thus, this stage is very important. Therefore, we recommend that the “Lean” mindset and methods should be implemented in the organization before completing the PRD. In that way, the benefits of the “Lean” development process will be accentuated and brought to the front stage.
In the following table presented in the development process. There are 3 parameters to consider:
– Necessary – the features must insert in the project.
– Wanted – the features you want to insert that provides added value to the users.
– Whished – the features you want to insert but depends on budget restrictions, time frames etc.
The 3 parameters are examined in a short, medium and long time frames that provide a broad perspective on the project.
** There are different professionals specialized in “Lean” processes and know how to adjust and assimilate them according to their client’s need.
** a successful “Lean” development results depend on the company’s\ entrepreneur’s ability to solidify this process in their operation, relay on trustworthy suppliers and advisors and develop in-house managers with the preferred mindset.