What is Lean?

Lean is a methodology used to drive efficiency into a process or system by eliminating anything which does not add value to the customer.

It was popularised in the 50s and 60s by the Toyota Production System and has since been implemented in many different industries as a way of giving customers what they want faster and more efficiently.

How is Lean used in the software industry?

In software development, Lean tends to manifest itself in the form of the Agile software development methodology, with popular frameworks such as SCRUM or KANBAN.

Diagram of an Agile sprint using Scrum

At Straight Line we believe that in today’s fast paced world, everyone must apply Lean principles to their software delivery processes, however we do not support one Agile framework over any other. We want our teams to think and act ‘Lean’ in everything they do. We strive for perfection in our products and also in the processes we use to deliver those products. We want our teams to implement the principles of Lean, rather than be indoctrinated by the Agile methodology itself.


The key elements of our Lean software development process are:

Customer involvement

We involve you regularly in the development process

Customers can expect

To receive regular demonstrations of their software, meaning that when the software is finished, there are no surprises.

Faster delivery

We deliver fast and release in small increments to get customer feedback sooner

Reducing risk

This reduces risk as mistakes are smaller, found sooner and fixed faster.

Building quality in

We build quality into the code, rather than relying on layers of testing.

Best practice development

When we write code we also write test cases which automatically check that the code works correctly.

Using best practice

Such as code reviewing, documenting and commenting.

Maintains knowledge

It is important to build up and maintain knowledge throughout the team. These best practices ensure we organically grow and share this knowledge.

Just-In-Time planning

Helps us to avoid working on the wrong items if priorities change

And when priorities do change

We can adapt quickly to your new priorities with minimal fuss or rework.

Striving for perfection

We continually look for ways to improve how we are working.

We all make mistakes

But some people learn from them and some don’t. We will always retrospectively look back at what we could have done better and learn from it for next time.

The team matters

They should be respected. Everyone is equal and everyone is important.

The right environment to flourish

By creating an environment of openness and collaboration we can achieve more together.

Keeping it simple

We look for the least complex way to achieve the goal

Does not mean easy

Often the simplest solutions are the most difficult to come up with. That’s why people over complicate.

So please call or email us today to discuss how we can help you drive your business forwards with software.

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