In this article, we will explore a revolutionary theory that has redesigned the IT industry. Lean Software Development (LSD) is an agile framework and the genesis of many successful enterprises that followed this model to restructure and optimize their development efforts and processes. But first, let’s take a look at the early stages of Lean principles.

When it comes to getting a new product to market, businesses can’t afford to be second. So how can you boost your processes and leave the competition behind? As the name suggests, Lean Development is a methodology meant to improve development time and resources management, thus eradicating needless procedures and tasks. This business principle strives for a streamlined product development method that provides value and quality for production teams and, ultimately, for clients as well.

The foundations of Lean Software Development

The Lean Development model had been around for a while. The Lean philosophy sprouted in the manufacturing industry and is credited to Toyota. During the 1950s, the Japanese car manufacturer faced a period of rapid growth and was undergoing difficulties and major delays in its processes. At that time, Toyota wasn’t able to deliver its products within the budget and according to schedule. As a result, the automotive giant found the need to establish a new product management approach. As a story of success, the trendy Lean principle grew beyond its original manufacturing sector and was adopted by other industries, such as the tech business. These days, the IT industry is optimizing processes thanks to Lean Software Development (LSD)

Following the original Lean paradigm, the Lean Software Development model has its roots in the book Lean Software Development: An Agile Toolkit, by Mary and Tom Poppenieck. The authors explained how the original Lean principles can be applied to software development and established seven Lean Software Development principles:

– Eliminate waste;

– Build quality in;

– Create knowledge;

– Defer commitment;

– Deliver fast;

– Respect people;

– Optimize the whole.

The advantages of Lean Software Development

Lean Software Development has a streamlined approach that benefits not only the team of developers but also the whole company. It cuts pointless steps that might hinder the process, eliminates costs and saves time and resources.

In the last instance, Lean Software Development is a guarantee of cost-efficiency, productivity, and revenue improvement. This strategy relies on small iterations and regular meetings to polish techniques and implement changes. As a result, it empowers development teams and encourages them to become independent and better each day.

Lean vs. Agile

Considering what has already been said, it’s not rocket science to understand that these lean principles are fundamentally similar to Agile software development – some go even further by suggesting a connection between the two perspectives as they both focus on an efficient approach that aims to increase productivity, provide products promptly and swiftly and deliver high value to the final consumer. Clearly, they share common goals. However, flexibility and collaboration are the essence of the Agile methodologies. On the contrary, with a customer-first, Lean has a minimalistic approach focused on eliminating waste and optimizing workflows.


This ground-breaking system encourages flexibility and constant testing (which can translate into failing, trying again, and only then succeeding). Teams are empowered and encouraged to be creative and to simplify the development method. That’s why Lean Software Development is not the techniques but the people, the software developers, and their decisions.

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