Attacking Waste in Software: Three Practices We Must Embrace Now

Jean Tabaka, Rally Software Development

One of the seven principles of Lean Thinking is "eliminate waste." Eliminating waste means minimizing the cost of the resources we use to deliver software to our stakeholders. Jean Tabaka proposes three pivotal practices that we must embrace to aggressively attack waste in software delivery—Software as a Service (SaaS), Community, and Fast Feature Throughput. SaaS eliminates waste by deploying software-based services without the cost inherent in traditional software delivery—materials, shipping, time delay, and more. Community involves stakeholders working together to create products rather than competing among themselves for limited resources. Community eliminates waste by democratizing software development to obviate the need for multiple systems with the same functionality. Fast Feature Throughput refers to development methods that embrace change and quickly deliver value to customers. It eliminates waste by responding to market pull with short, incremental delivery cycles. When IT and all software organizations embrace these practices, they will eliminate waste within their organizations, reduce the waste that consumes our entire industry, and ultimately support the broad 21st century global mandate to manage our scarce resources.

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