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Achieving Lean Software Development: Implementation of Agile and Lean Practices in a Manufacturing-Oriented Organization
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Mathematics and Computer Science, Department of Information Technology, Division of Computing Science.
2011 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (professional degree), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

The study reveals improvement areas in terms of lead time and quality in a traditionalsoftware development process of a large manufacturing-oriented organization, andidentifies four obstacles to the application of a Lean software development frameworkin order to achieve such improvements. The data from interviews are matched tofour predefined categories. These categories are evaluated using value streammapping and a framework of seven common improvement areas in softwaredevelopment. A large project and task tracking system indicate that lead time is a realproblem in the process. The most significant improvement area is wait time forchange approval meetings. A second prominent improvement area is the large amountof approval handshakes. At least a few of these handshakes are always approved, thusadding unnecessary lead time to the process.

The four most imminent obstacles in adopting lean software development areidentified through estimating the efficiency of two in-house derivations of Scrum andKanban. The first obstacle is deep vertical but narrow horizontal expertise amongdevelopers. With some systems, there’s only one developer who knows how tomaintain the product. This makes it impossible to work as a team which is animperative principle of lean. A second obstacle is how the teams are arrangedorganizationally. They have a functional setup over three departments and threemanagers, which to some extent create a silo mentality, rendering cooperationdifficult. A third obstacle is how the teams are arranged geographically. Split over twolocations, manufacturing and headquarters, they have different customers, objectivesand a plain unfamiliarity with another that has reduced the will and opportunity tocommunicate and coordinate. A fourth obstacle is the inherent conflict between theprescriptive activities of ITIL, optimized for IT operational services,  and theadaptability of agile methodologies, optimized for rapid change and empiricaldecisions. ITIL fulfills a sometimes uncalled for need to get all changes approvedthrough several layers of management.

The study concludes that Lean software development is in conflict with manytraditional values of a manufacturing organization. Although lean may be prevalent inother parts of the organization, this does not necessarily include the IT function. ITstill seems to have hard time grasping the lean concepts of flow, waste and value.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
UPTEC STS, ISSN 1650-8319 ; 11 010
Keyword [en]
agile, lean, Scrum, Kanban, Lean software development, manufacturing, IT, ITIL, software development process
National Category
Other Mechanical Engineering
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-147645OAI: diva2:400627
Available from: 2011-03-04 Created: 2011-02-27 Last updated: 2011-03-04Bibliographically approved

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