Waste mapping is a major factor coming under lean manufacturing in agile project management. Lean methodologies have various guidelines based on waste identification and waste reduction. Lean methodologies propagate certain ways to identify and reduce waste in the manufacturing world. Mary Poppendieck, the writer of the award-winning book Lean Software Development has done a host of work in terms of translating waste reduction methodologies for various software development activities.

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Different Forms of Waste Arising in Lean Manufacturing

Here are seven forms of waste that have been identified in software development by agile practitioners.

  1. Partially Done Work

    Any work that started but was left out without completing can very soon lose value resulting in transforming to inducted waste. Examples of such waste can be code completed but not tested or specs written but waiting for development and so on.
  2. Extra Processes

    Within a project work there can be various extra processes that do not add any value to the customer. Such extra processes can be classified as waste. As for example Documentation produced which are never referred or processes waiting for approval which is not at all necessary and so on.
  3. Extra Features

    Software that has features which the customer does not need and will never use. Example of extra features is reflected when the agile team tries to include features just to enhance technical coolness and not usability.
  4. Task Switch

    This is a big source of waste in lean manufacturing as software developers spend host of hours in switching from one task to another. Every time there is a context switch, there is overhead involved in getting back to the original task. This results when people are assigned to multiple projects.
  5. Waiting Time

    Valuable time spent on waiting on others too creates a waste of time. Such a situation usually happens when there are dependencies that are not met on time or are waiting for answers, feedback or approvals to queries and ideas.
  6. Motion Time

    The effort that is required in order to communicate or move items from one location to the other results in waste. This happens usually in distributed teams as in the latter a lot of hand-offs are required.
  7. Defects

    Defects in any project always need correction for the successful completion of the project. The time spent on defects introduced by the team is wasted. Examples of defects being the source of waste can be in the requirements or in software bugs and so on.

PMP Certification

All these different types of waste sources in the lean process should be controlled towards waste reduction and successful completion of lean development. To know more about lean methodologies and agile practices, you can join Simplilearn’s PMI-ACP training. You can also attend our agile certification classroom training in your city. Know the upcoming dates of agile certification training courses for your city.

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About the Author


Chandana is a Senior Content Writer in Simplilearn.com and handles variety of creative writing jobs. She has done M.A. in English Literature from Gauhati University and has a unique and refreshing style of writing which can engross the readers to devour each sentence of her write-ups.

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