What are the Best Practices to Follow for Lean Software Development?

A3Logics 18 Aug 2022

Today’s software development process has become swift compared to traditional processes. The modern framework leverage web and mobile application development companies to reduce the time, effort, and cost required for building the product. Lean principles and methodologies were crafted to optimize the value stream of IT. 

Lean development has emerged from the context of the manufacturing process, which needed to be transformed in order to achieve similar goals of delivering value. Additionally, the lean development process reduces waste while encouraging continuous improvement. 

The 5 elements of Lean Development are – 

  • Continuously Improve
  • Create Value for Customer
  • Eliminate Waste
  • Optimize Value Stream
  • Empower People

Principles of Lean Development

When integrating lean software development, companies can see the drastic change in their app or web development solutions. Thus, comprehending these benefits, companies are moving more and more towards adopting lean principles to develop optimized software solutions. 

Lean thinking is a philosophy generated from a lean manufacturing context. in response to the traditional production process. Lean thinking comprises the set of lean principles and values that can be further applied using result-oriented tools and techniques keeping aligned with the goal and objectives of the company.

Let’s outline the principles for an accurate lean development process-

Optimal Development Process

The exquisite products are the result of the right compilation of technology and business opportunities received. When you have an optimized developmental process at a cost-effective rate, you ensure a successful product deployment with better-assured results at hand.

Ensure Quality Development 

One of the key aspects of any product’s success is quality. A quality product is confirmed when it is defect-free which is viable through an integrated viable process. Instead of using the post-testing and implementation integration process, for continuous integration and nested synchronization companies need to integrate automated units and acceptance tests while building code. 

Building Knowledge

In order to implement lean, you must learn about this framework’s processes. Today’s custom software development company must learn and implement technologies, requirements, and architecture to achieve the respective goal. Recording the knowledge since the start of a project can be helpful to curate an accurate final product.

Positive Procrastination

All methods fall under set planning for specifications and then its implementation. The lean process does not follow the same, instead, it works on the availability of information or data. This avoids false commitments and only makes decisions with the availability of the adequate resource.

Faster Product Deployment 

When you have relevant and requisite information you can deliver your product much faster. Lean runs on short iterations that progress slowly with chunks of deployment focusing on high-priority requirements. Through this process, you get feedback to make improvements quickly allowing companies to take innovative approaches to enable a feature-rich development.

Diminishes Wastes

When you have minimal waste, you spend a lesser cost on resources. With valuable resources, companies can contribute to delivering intuitive interfaces of products with efficient processes and newly integrated features to deliver satisfactory results.

Building Trust & Respect

When you give your product engineers complete control of the project by providing them essential and valuable information, you build trust. This enables the developers to innovate, recognize their efforts, and effectively collaborate for a sustainable competitive advantage.

Application Development (Phase Wise) With Lean Principles

Overview – The first step is to inquire about the feature requirement of the product to be developed as requested by the customer.

Complying Requirements with Processes – Here in this stage, the additional requirements evolve while product development is analyzed. This stage ensures waste elimination thereby developing only those features that are necessary to the customer. 

Design and Architecture – With the iterative processes companies can welcome and accommodate changes during the product ui/ux development life cycle. A flexible changing architecture can also be aligned as per the business needs. 

The Development Phase – This phase picks a set/chunks of requirements instead of picking the entire requirement. This is followed in the design, development as well as testing cycle. This phase looks at continuous improvement, hence development is made based on scenarios, such as user experience, technical specification, interactive standards, and user stories. 

Product Testing – This phase emphasizes the quality of the product and its features as well as alignment with user expectations. Lean allows software testing company to do early testing in the development life cycle and integration testing to ensure the end components function and link together seamlessly.

Launch of the Product – An essential aspect for the success of the product is to know the views about the product features. 

Understanding the Difference Between The Top Frameworks

Comparing Lean vs Agile Framework

Both the frameworks focus on the swift delivery of the product but differ in scope and focus. As we have seen the context of development in lean dictating a bigger picture that eliminates the waste and improves workflows focusing on chunks of iteration. On the other hand, the Agile framework & methodology throws light on processes and people through integrating effective communication, flexibility, sophistication, and collaboration. 

DevOps using Lean Principles

DevOps also share the same legacy of breaking down the operational and developmental walls. DevOps focuses on optimizing software development by pushing the value-creating processes of IT organizations. DevOps is known to integrate Lean principles to focus on improving speed, quality, optimized workflow, and quality of value delivery. 

Scrum Development Vs Lean Development

Scrum Development also follows the short iteration or short development lifecycle processes, called Sprints. A work plan for every sprint is defined which lasts from one to four weeks. Here people are defined by their profiles and designated tasks, hence you may see quick development and deployment of any software solution but less innovation as compared to lean.

Defining Some Lean Strategies and Metrics for Effective Product Development

Lean Metrics: 

  1. Observe & visualize the workflow, delays, and non-valuables on Kanban board.
  2. Measure given task time of completion through Lead time
  3. Measure the time of work within each step of workflow through Cycle time
  4. Measure running experiment’s rate by integrating iteration velocity
  5. Integrate metrics such as Customer Loyalty Index, Customer Effort Score & more for typical satisfaction measurement
  6. Understand the percentage of iteration experiment’s output for improvement in overall process through knowledge/experiment ratio.

Lean Strategies:

  1. Checking the Culture of the organization
  2. Assigning the roles and responsibility
  3. Allocating the resource when necessary
  4. Robust plan from the project start to end 
  5. Preparing an actionable plan for future pitfalls 
  6. Utilizing right KPls to measure success of implementation

Lean Software development can comply with other development frameworks to fill the loopholes within Lean principles. This also empowers the companies to solve every problem and seamlessly align with the business goals.

When Can You Use Lean Framework?

With limited & substantial features, lean framework allows companies to develop a minimum viable product (MVP) that can provide a satisfactory user experience. 

MVP assists companies to gather user feedback and make improvements as per suggestions, habits, tastes, and needs. This feedback acts as a roadmap for the product engineering services provider to roll out future developments. 

The lean approach is most suitable for short-term projects or small companies looking to scale their projects utilizing trending technologies, approaches, and methodologies. 

Companies can enable collaboration and communications through a lean-approach. Many startups have scaled, adopting this approach, such as Nike, Ford, Intel, Xerox, Patient Keeper, Corbis & more. 

One of the factors for a successful mobile app or website development is choosing the right framework and approach. 

Choosing a lean methodology helps you deliver the best results through the following best practices.

Cost & Features to Develop App in Lean

Unlike any other software development process, lean also focuses on the requirements and business objectives of the company or brand, or customer. The features relevant for the products are built in chunks instead of a complete production.

Like any software development, the features of a product are variable depending on the needs of the customer. The benefit of using lean is lesser risk and high-end products within minimal cost.

Depending on your location, features requisite, and the time frame for the delivery of the product, the cost for the entire development varies. Outsourcing projects to freelance developers may cost much less than outsourcing your project to dedicated IT consultation services providers.

A freelance developer may charge from $25 – $300 hourly depending on their location and service type. Whereas Offshore developers may cost from $25 – $50 per hour. An experienced developer or consultant may charge from $250 – $800 per hour.

Best Practices to Follow for Lean Software Development

Best Practice # 1

Version Control

A shared repository that allows you to build your project from the scratch through all artifacts. You can maintain and update the latest source code which leverages others to use the modified and updated code. 

Version control for any development is the foundation. Git is the most popular open-source tool available presently with superseded Apache Subversion as an effective tool.

Scripted Builds

With the help of scripted builds, companies can easily automate the process by executing the set of commands stored in SCM. One of the best-scripted builds available is Docker and containers to create surprisingly outstanding script builds. 

These builds eradicate the chances of the potential error caused by manual builds. Docker ensures that the container environments are not identical allowing the basic development cycle to make changes updating the SCM repository.

Best Practice # 2

Daily Standups 

Daily standups are the everyday communication between the team in the form of a meeting. Team members working on a project can discuss their progress as well as the problems facing and find the best possible solutions together. 

This practice is mostly followed in a Scrum methodology, that allows the team to keep track of the work in progress. Daily standups have become a vital part of the project to underline the key challenges faced, and stimulate the project as expected. 

Daily Standups are usually short, focusing on past and present-day tasks requiring all team members’ availability. 

Best Practice #3 

Automated Testing 

Today’s testing services have elaborated from traditional manual testing services to automated ones. The testing services are further segregated into other types of services that are a part of automotive services. 

  • Unit Testing
  • Acceptance Testing 
  • Smoke Testing Services
  • Load Testing
  • Integration Testing
  • Story Testing
  • Executable specifications Testing
  • Behavior-driven development 
  • Test-first and test-driven development
  • Software performance Testing

A framework for testing services can accommodate validated inputs and produce valuable outputs while reporting the success or failure of the test results against the expected results. 

Test automation services are predefined and ensure they are run the same each time, which are not subject to errors. Instead improves the quality earlier in-process and enhances lead time. 

Best Practice # 4

Continuous Integration

The practice of integrating small or mid-sized changes during the development phase will spare the dedicated software development team from long and time-consuming changes later. Since traditional methods of developing web and app did not follow today’s lean practices hence followed one-time integration. 

The benefit of this practice is reduced integration time, reduced burden while aiding in debugging defects in a small area of code. 

Best Practice # 5

Short Iterations

Like modern development approaches, as aforementioned, lean also follows the pattern of chunks of an iterative process. However, compared to other methodologies, the lean software development iteration process is even shorter. 

The shorter iteration the better, as you get customer feedback quickly and more feedback means more chances for improvement.

Feedback and Course Correction

Feedback from the customer brings a new opportunity to the company to innovate the product creatively. The course correction after each feedback from the customer clarifies the needs and intent of the customers more and more which in turn delivers a positive impact on the business’s bottom line. 

Best Practice # 6

Participation of Customer

Earlier, conventional methods did not entertain customers after gathering the requirements of the product development. 

Modern practices encourage clear and transparent scenarios for the customers by involving them in the progress of the product builds trust. 

Today, customer participation has become imperative during the development phase of the product. They are kept inlined in the critical and essential development on which the customer offers their views, which acts as an improvement guide for the developer. 


Developers must leverage the power of flexibility by collaborating with the customers directly for refined feature needs of the project. This gives a clear picture of the customer’s idea and goal behind developing the project.

To Conclude –

The best practices are a guide to implement a lean software approach and methodologies in your enterprise software development phases. You can either implement a standalone practice or all to streamline features with technology integration. Lean is a proven result-oriented framework for inducing high speed, flexibility, and enhancing productivity for delivering cutting-edge products while keeping it synced with the market trends.