lean software development on low-code

What is lean software development?

Lean software development is an agile software development framework. It is based on the principle of minimizing waste and maximizing value. This framework operates on a minimum viable product (MVP) strategy, which emphasizes the shipping of a product with the bare essential features, and then iterating on the feedback received to improvise and deliver excellence.

The origins of lean software development

Lean software development has its roots in the manufacturing industry. First called the lean development process, it originated there because of the need to optimize production, increase efficiency, and deliver quality output to consumers. The automobile giant Toyota is credited with inventing this framework. Toyota achieved tremendous success with this new philosophy, which granted unprecedented efficiency and eliminated the waste of time and resources. Trying to emulate Toyota’s success, lean development was incorporated into the software industry in the early 2000s.

The 7 lean development principles are:

  • Eliminate waste

  • Build quality

  • Create knowledge

  • Defer commitment

  • Deliver fast

  • Respect people

  • Optimize the whole

Like any software development methodology, lean software development has its share of advantages. Let’s take a look at them, and also how building apps by implementing lean software development on a low-code application development platform like Zoho Creator can bring numerous benefits.

The advantages of lean software development

1. The elimination of waste and wasted effort

In lean software development, only those features that are essential are given emphasis and developed. This leads to the elimination of waste, as resources aren’t exhausted on wasteful efforts, such as actioning upon incomplete requirements, unnecessary code changes, development of unnecessary features, and more. This elimination of wasteful activities speeds up the entire development process, saves valuable time, and assists in cost cutting.

How Zoho Creator can be leveraged to eliminate waste

At the heart of every Zoho Creator application are forms and workflows. Using Zoho Creator for your application development needs means that you create forms and workflows only for the functionalities that are essential for running your operations. There are no vestigial components or modules or excessive functionalities that are created during the application development process. This modular approach to application development saves you valuable time and money, ensuring zero waste of effort.

2. Deliver early, deliver fast

One of the main tenets of lean software development is delivering functional products early and fast. This is made possible by methodologies such as rapid prototyping, Kanban-assisted project management, and so on. Your development team can deliver functional software at breakneck speeds, which means drastically improved productivity and efficiency. More projects can also be completed in short spans of time, ensuring a high return on investment.

How Zoho Creator can be leveraged to deliver early, deliver fast

Low-code application development enables you to create fully functional mobile-ready applications 10 times faster than traditional methodologies. Development on Zoho Creator mirrors the rapid application development (RAD) model, a form of agile software development that emphasizes rapid prototype releases and iterations. All types of RAD practices are supported by Zoho Creator—in fact, Creator is inherently an agile-ready platform.

3. Empowers developers

Lean software development empowers developers by:

  • Providing an emphasis on churning out deliverable and measurable outcomes instead of cumbersome documentation, thus saving a huge amount of developer hours.

  • Enhancing the decision-making skills of developers by granting them more autonomy throughout the application life cycle.

The existence of dedicated subject matter experts (SMEs) mandated by lean software development practices greatly aids the autonomy of developers. The SMEs know everything about customer requirements. Each time the developers have a question, they can approach the SME. Thus, the developers can focus on building only what’s essential, based on the specifications obtained during the requirements-gathering stage. When they require clarification, they can leverage the assistance of the SMEs, which is a welcome change instead of reverting to time-consuming customer-developer meetings each time a clarification is needed from the client. 

How Creator can be leveraged to empower developers

Applications built on Creator require zero documentation, as they’re intuitive from the get-go. Developers can begin prototyping rapidly and deliver application iterations in hours instead of weeks or months. 

Deluge, Zoho’s in-house scripting language, is both novice- and developer-friendly. Scripting in Deluge abstracts away the complexities of traditional programming challenges and pitfalls, and developers can harness it to construct powerful, enterprise-capable applications 10x faster than other methods. 

Once a skeleton of the application is ready, developers can instantly obtain a bird’s-eye view of the application, using the dedicated schema builder. This enables the developers to have a holistic perspective of the product they’re building, without a hassle.

Zoho Creator also provides lots of other developer-friendly features, such as Android and iOS SDKs, sandboxes, cloud functions, and widgets, to name a few. These features allow developers to greatly extend and customize their applications.

4. Incorporating quality in the product

The need to create a quality product is paramount for any creator, and this applies to the process of software development, as well. In lean software development, this goal is encapsulated by the maxim “build quality in.”

This is easier said than done, though. There’s always the possibility of excessive quality assurance or testing, which leads to the endless logging of potentially unimportant defects. Many may turn out to not be showstoppers, which in turn will contribute to a delayed development cycle.

To avoid this, lean development declares that quality is a part of everyone’s job. To incorporate quality into the product, the following practices are recommended:

  • Test-driven development

  • Automation

  • Pair programming

How Zoho Creator assures quality in the applications built on it

Creator takes the need for quality assurance off the hands of developers. The platform is subject to rigorous testing, in order to ensure zero defects in the applications developed on it. 

Deluge’s modular design also ensures that the complexity of the codebase remains low, and that functional Deluge scripts don’t become bloated. This enables Creator, as a platform, to ensure that quality is built directly into the applications developed on it. “Build quality in” is a given when application development is done on Creator. 

Leverage Creator to adopt lean software development for your organization

Are you looking for a way to adopt lean software development when building applications for your organization? Developing an application the traditional way will not only cost you valuable time, but also an enormous investment of capital. What you need, then, is a low-code platform like Zoho Creator, which takes care of laying the groundwork for you. You can easily implement lean principles to build your applications on Zoho Creator and achieve tremendous success in the process. Take the plunge today and start reaping the rewards of low-code development!

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