Title: Lean principles and techniques for improving the quality and productivity of software development projects: a case study

Authors: Peter Middleton, Philip S. Taylor, Amy Flaxel, Ammon Cookson

Addresses: School of Computer Science, Queen's University Belfast, BT7 1NN, UK. ' School of Computer Science, Queen's University Belfast, BT7 1NN, UK. ' Timberline Inc., 15195 NW Greenbrier Parkway, Beaverton, OR 97006, USA. ' 670 SE 31st Ct. Hillsboro, OR 97123, USA

Abstract: Software product development is recognised as difficult due to the intangible nature of the product, requirements elicitation, effective progress measurement, and so forth. In this paper, we describe some of the challenges of software product development and how the challenges are being met by lean management principles and techniques. Specifically, we examine lean principles and techniques that were devised by Toyota and other manufacturers over the last 50 years. Applying lean principles to software development projects has been advocated for over ten years and it will be shown that the extensive lean literature is a valuable source of ideas for software development. A case study with a software development organisation, Timberline Inc., will demonstrate that lean principles and techniques can be successfully applied to software product development.

Keywords: lean manufacturing; lean software development; software process improvement; agile methods; project management; customer value; productivity improvement; software product development; quality management.

DOI: 10.1504/IJPQM.2007.013334

International Journal of Productivity and Quality Management, 2007 Vol.2 No.4, pp.387 - 403

Published online: 21 Apr 2007 *

Full-text access for editors Access for subscribers Purchase this article Comment on this article