Different practices are taken up in different industries that dictate the efficiency in these industries. However, the practices taken up by such businesses can lead to waste during the manufacturing process. To help increase efficiency, the applied practices need to be smoothened out by managing the wastes that occur. Web development is one of the sectors of the software industry that has such wastes that need to be dealt with to provide the efficient development process. In most cases, some of the wastes are observed since individuals are put to work in teams. As such, the teams have to be managed in a way that the wastes are identified and the appropriate actions are taken. This can be done by eliminating the most common forms of waste in software development. To ensure Lean web development, managers need to define and analyze wastes during the software development process and remove them.
Lean software development borrows a leaf from Lean manufacturing that is a method of production first used by Toyota. In Lean manufacturing, producers target the expenditure during a project that is used for any other thing other than the creation of value to the consumer and remove such expenditure from the process. In this case, the value can be defined as a service or product that a consumer can pay for. Toyota identified seven most common wastes during their manufacturing process. They include stocking products, overproduction, defects on the products, motion, transport, waiting, and extra processing. These can also be transferred into software development to stand for partially completed tasks, relearning, switching tasks, waiting, defects, hands off, and extra attributes.
Web development, like other software paradigms, is still facing issues related to the mentioned wastes, and if they are not eliminated from the software development lifecycle, then they can influence the development process in different ways, thus, affecting the delivery of the software. The first waste that needs to be managed during web development is partially completed tasks (Bunting, 2012). During web development, software engineers come across several instances of partially completed tasks. During the development process, it becomes hard not to minimize the unfinished tasks as much as possible. Having partially completed tasks ties up the resources allocated during the development process and can also have constraints on the entire project. Moreover, unfinished tasks can compromise the deadline of a project. It is for these reasons that the unfinished tasks have to be reduced during the development cycle due to the risks that they have for the software project.
The next most common web development waste that needs to be dealt with is relearning. In most cases, developers have to deal with processes or documents that are not familiar to them. Therefore, in order to complete a project, team members have to obtain some new knowledge. In cases where the entire requirements for a product are not clearly stated, then some processes can be incorporated that do not add value to the end product (Brown, 2013). Moreover, relearning as a waste in web development can also be noted in cases where developers do not prioritize the tasks that they need to complete. This waste impacts delivery in several ways. First, it makes the design, implementation, testing, and integration phases of the project difficult due to the lack of necessary knowledge. Moreover, the end product can have glitches due to processes that do not add value. As a result, the delivery of the project can be affected due to these issues either through the quality of software produced or to the deadline of production. As a result, this waste needs to be eliminated in the software development process.
The next waste is extra features. Before the development process, analysts are provided with user requirements and the features that software architects and programmers need to implement in a system. In cases when a team decides to add features not included in the user requirements, this can be termed as a waste. This occurs when developers foresee a need to add a feature in a system for later use or when they think that adding a feature will save time or costs in some way (Sauer, Bogdan, Forbrig, Bernhaupt, & Winckler, 2014). However, contrary to this trail of thought, adding functionality complicates the system and can interrupt the review, testing, and integration process. It also affects the lifecycle of the development since such tweaks can lead to the failure to reach deadlines.
Consequently, task switching is also a waste that needs to be solved in web development process. The easiest way of completing two or more projects is by switching in between the tasks. A need to complete two tasks using the same resources can lead to a huge amount of waste (Lassenius, Dingsøyr, & Paasivaara, 2015). Moreover, since projects are run by teams, having to share team members in two different projects also leads to waste. There is a need for a team to ‘be in the zone’ in all stages of the software lifecycle and to switch in between tasks can end up disrupting the flow of the development process. It can also lead to confusion during task switching and this causes waste and affects the delivery process in terms of quality and time.
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Waiting is another issue that leads to waste in web development. Prior to the beginning of a project, delays occur due to the lack of user requirements, delayed site visits, lack of resources to begin the project, among others. Delays cause the time wastage and this can compromise the quality of the project (Abrahamsson & Oza, 2010). Moreover, delays can be caused by a team disagreeing on the course of action to take during a specific process and this can affect delivery. Therefore, developers need to remove the reasons of delays from a project.
For the completion of each project, there should be constant communication between teams. As a result, the handoff is one of the wastes observed during development. In cases where a team has to wait for another team to complete a given task, a proper interaction must be organized. This also applies to cases where the team is not in the same office or time zone. The lack of communication or an increase in the motion of the team members can affect the delivery of the project due to time constraints.
The last waste that needs to be dealt with is the defects management. Defects can impact the delivery of a project in various ways including time deadlines, the quality of the software prepared, among others. Defects are caused by poor development practices, a skill gap in the team members, and a non-shared understanding of the problem that needs to be solved. In cases where defects are noted, the time becomes an issue. Moreover, if they go undetected, they become problematic for the entire project quality.
In conclusion, it is crucial to understand wastes in the software development life cycle. Being able to translate the principles observed in lean manufacturing to software development can go a long way in improving the quality of a project. However difficult it might be, project managers need to foresee the fore mentioned wastes that occur during the development process and take the necessary actions to fix them.