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Make Development Teams Leaner and Improve Time-to-Release in Five Steps

Drive down your delivery time by removing your development inefficiencies and bottlenecks while maintaining high quality.

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  • Ken Piddington, CIO and Executive Advisor, MRE Consulting
  • Jesse Mussio, IT Manager, 3M
  • Scott Ambler, Senior Consulting Partner, Scott Ambler + Associates
  • Gary Lee, Chief Technology Officer, Veterans United Home Loans
  • Emilio Chemali, Director of Business Intelligence & Analytics, MRE Consulting
  • One Anonymous Company Interviewed (Financial Firm)

Your Challenge

  • The business is demanding more features at an increasing pace. It is expecting your development teams to keep up with its changing needs while maintaining high quality.
  • However, your development process is broken. Tasks are taking significant time to complete and development handoffs are not smooth. Your teams are continuously looking for ways to help streamline your process and making themselves lean.

Our Advice

Critical Insight

  • Lean development is independent of your software development life cycle (SDLC) implementation. Lean development practices can be used in both Agile and Waterfall teams.
  • Lean isn’t about getting rid of sound development processes. Becoming lean means fine-tuning the integration of core practices like coding and testing.
  • Lean thinking gets you to automation. By focusing on optimizing the development process, automation becomes a logical step towards greater maturity in improving throughput.

Impact and Result

  • Gain a deep understanding of lean principles and necessary behaviors. Become familiar with the core lean principles and the critical attitudes and mindsets to achieve lean development. Incorporating existing DevOps and Agile principles in your organization can help.
  • Conduct a development process and tool review. Use a value-stream analysis of your current development process and tools to reveal bottlenecks and time-consuming and wasteful tasks. Analyze these insights to identify root causes and the impact on product delivery.
  • Incorporate the right tools and practices to become more lean. Optimize the key areas where you are experiencing the most pain and consuming the most resources. Look at how today’s best development and testing practices (e.g. version control, branching) and tools (e.g. automation, continuous integration) can expedite the throughput of your delivery pipeline.

Research & Tools

Start here – read the Executive Brief

Read our concise Executive Brief to find out why you should make development teams leaner, review Info-Tech’s methodology, and understand the four ways we can support you in completing this project.

1. Conduct a current state analysis

Acquire a holistic perspective of the development team, process, and tools to identify the bottlenecks and inefficiency points that are significantly delaying releases.

2. Define the lean future state

Identify the development guiding principles and artifact management practices and build automation and continuous integration processes and tools that best fit the context and address the organization’s needs.

3. Create an implementation roadmap

Prioritize lean implementation initiatives in a gradual, phased approach and map the critical stakeholders in the lean transformation.

Guided Implementations

This guided implementation is a six call advisory process.

Guided Implementation #1 - Conduct a current state analysis

Call #1 - Kick off your lean transformation initiative.
Call #2 - Evaluate your readiness for lean to alleviate your development inefficiencies and pain points.

Guided Implementation #2 - Define the lean future state

Call #1 - Discuss your understanding and application of lean principles in your development culture.
Call #2 - Discuss how version control and source code management will be used in your development team.
Call #3 - Discuss how automated build and continuous integration will fit.

Guided Implementation #3 - Create an implementation roadmap

Call #1 - Review your lean transformation roadmap.

Onsite Workshop

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Book Your Workshop

Onsite workshops offer an easy way to accelerate your project. If you are unable to do the project yourself, and a Guided Implementation isn't enough, we offer low-cost onsite delivery of our project workshops. We take you through every phase of your project and ensure that you have a roadmap in place to complete your project successfully.

Module 1: Conduct a Current State Analysis

The Purpose

  • Assess the current state of your development environment.
  • Select a pilot project to demonstrate the value of your optimization. 

Key Benefits Achieved

  • Realization of the root causes behind the bottlenecks and inefficiencies in your current development process.
  • Valuation of your current development tools.
  • Selection of a pilot project that will be used to gather the metrics in order obtain buy-in for wider optimization initiatives.




Assess your readiness to transition to lean development.

  • Lean development readiness assessment

Conduct a SWOT analysis and value-stream assessment of your current development process.

  • Current state analysis of development process

Evaluate your development tools.

  • Value assessment of existing development tools

Select a pilot project.

  • Pilot project selection

Module 2: Define Your Lean Future State

The Purpose

  • Establish your development guiding principles.
  • Enhance the versioning and management of your development artifacts.
  • Automatically build and continuously integrate your code.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • Grounded and well-understood set of guiding principles that are mapped to development tasks and initiatives.
  • Version control strategy of development artifacts, including source code, adapted to support lean development.
  • A tailored approach to establish the right environment to support automated build, testing, and continuous integration tools.




Assess your alignment to the seven lean principles.

  • Level of alignment to lean principles

Define your development guiding principles.

  • Tailored list of development guiding principles

Define your version control and source code repository architecture pattern.

  • Version control and source code management strategy

See how build automation and continuous integration will fit.

  • Scope of effort to prepare current development environment for build automation and continuous integration

Optimize and align your build process to lean principles.

  • Optimized build process

Module 3: Create Your Implementation Roadmap

The Purpose

  • Prioritize your optimization initiatives to build an implementation roadmap.
  • Identify the stakeholders of your lean transformation.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • Phased implementation roadmap that accommodates your current priorities, constraints, and enablers.
  • Stakeholder engagement strategy to effectively demonstrate the value of the optimized development environment.




Identify metrics to gauge the success of your lean transformation.

  • List of product, process, and tool metrics

List and prioritize your implementation steps.

  • Prioritized list of tasks to optimize your development environment

Identify the stakeholders of your lean transformation.

  • Identification of key stakeholders

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Crown Equipment Corporation

Guided Implementation




Search Code: 74406
Published: March 7, 2014
Last Revised: January 12, 2016

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