When Is It Necessary to Use Lean Project Management?
If you are an experienced programmer, you know that there are lots of project management methodologies today. Probably you are even capable of working with some of them. But how do you choose methodologies for your projects? Currently the issue of methodology selection is one of the most topical in software development industry. In this article we will answer the question: “When is it necessary to use Lean project management?” To answer it properly we have to give the full Lean definition.
Who invented Lean project management?
Lean originated in the middle of the 20th century. It was invented by the employees of a famous Japanese motor corporation Toyota. The company had large problems with product delivery, so its managers tried to find solutions for them. Initially they called the new manufacturing methodology Toyota production system, but after it became popular all over the world, it changed its name to Lean manufacturing. The main idea of Lean was to improve the terms of product delivery by eliminating wastes. The methodology invented its own definition of wastes which is applicable almost in every field of manufacturing. In Lean any action that does not change the functionality of the final product is considered a waste. The methodology was applied to software development in 2003 after Tom and Mary Poppendieck published their famous book “Lean Software Development”. It described seven main Lean principles and the ways of their implementation in software engineering.
When is it necessary to use Lean project management?
Today Lean is considered an Agile project management methodology. Its projects have iterative structure, the degree of customer involvement into the process of their realization is very strong, and Lean teams are self-managing. These features define the situations when it is better to use Lean methodology.
First of all, it is necessary to mention that Lean works perfectly in small projects with short terms of delivery. That is because of the fact that small and self managing teams are less effective in large projects. Lean teams require strong communication between their members. It is much simpler to achieve it while working on a small project because it does not require additional human resources.
Who uses Lean project management?
As already mentioned above, Lean teams are small and self-managing. They have no hierarchical structure. The effectiveness of their work is based on strong communication between their members.