Monday, August 15, 2005

A Piece of Lean Thinking in Software Development

There are two ways doing things when developing software:

1. Collect the related things to do. Process all the related work together.

2. When started an activity go deeper whenever required without putting work into backlog.

Actually these two ways of doing things are very general. They may be applied to any kind of activity. But let's continue with software development.

During coding I need to open several parantheses in my head in order the whole module to function properly. Sometimes I postpone them until I finish the current work. But when I finish the work, I forget the postponed activities. So I go on with some other activity, that I can remember. After finishing all the remembered activities, I build and run the software, but it crashes usually. I go back to the point that I had postponed.

But sometimes I do things whenever I see the need to do it. This is safer at the end. But it requires a lot of memory too in order to return back, where I stayed.

Lean thinking suggests to do things one-by-one. Backlogs and work in process inventories are harmful since they delay the whole project.

I believe this is true. But our habits are somehow against it.


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