The 8 wastes of product development is described as DOWNTIME as below:

Defects
Overproduction
Waiting
Non-utilized talent
Transportation
Inventory
Motion
Excess Processing  

These wastes cause longer development cycles, impact on the quality of products, can bring scope creep, and grow project risk.

This post will dig in the wastes during mobile app development, reasons why they happen, and how an effective development process is to avoid them. Because an agile squad development process is used, we will discuss about how effective this approach specifically is to get DOWNTIME removed.

1. Defects

Defects are product issues or mistakes that produce incorrect or unexpected output. It are harmful to project progress rate because they take extra time, resources, and money to fix. They comes from poor understanding of user stories, impossible to fulfill acceptance criteria, poor processes, team misalignment, and lack of engineering or technical capabilities.

Defects are a reality of product development; teams can never make sure they won’t happen, but there are ways to reduce risk and correct defects quickly so they don’t remarkably impact time or budget.
How Process Helps Avoid This

Bug decrease is inherently built-in to the agile squad methodology. Developers review code reviews in order to improve the code quality and identify better ways, ultimately boost the quality of the end product. Testing occurs during development, meaning fewer defects when items are pushed to QA.

2. Overproduction

Overproduction is when you produce more than necessary to achieve the desired outcome, or produce before it needs. In-app development, this typically demonstrates as extra features or functionalities. Overproduction usually originates from inefficient planning processes or inability to give a priority successfully.

How Process Helps Avoid This

One of best practices for eliminating overproduction is rolling-wave planning. It relates to delaying product decisions until you are in the best position to make them; therefore, unnecessary features or functionalities are not built. Basically, rolling wave planning allows flexibility, reduces risk, increases efficiency, and eventually better product quality.

Furthermore, rolling-wave planning lets teams more effectively give priority to items in the backlog, because they are deciding which products based on the knowledge available to them when the product develops. Rolling wave planning is used, and planned until you have visibility, implement, and then re-planned.

3. Waiting

Waiting has any factor that results in delays in mobile app development and/or delivery. This could be waiting for information or tasks to be completed, delays from external parties, inaccurate capacity planning, or resource gaps internally.
How Process Helps Avoid This

Squad-based agile approach is implemented as an instrumental in reducing delays in development. Small, co-located teams are able to easily transfer knowledge is easily transferred, planned together and in relation to resource capacity by small and co-located teams to avoid issues that arise from relying on third parties/outsourcing. Furthermore, sprints can help teams break up development cycles to integrate efforts and reduce dependencies. Easy knowledge transfer, co-location, team alignment, and autonomy help deliver better products more quickly with predictable pace and lower risk.


4. Non-Utilized Talent

This waste is specifically popular in the waterfall approach, but even agile teams are even guilty of it. It results from that the wide range of talents, skills, ideas, and capabilities of their team members fail to be taken advantage of.

How Process Helps Avoid This

Generally agile principles are designed to help avoid this waste, a process to encourage is required to fully capitalize on internal employee creativity. Each member of the project team has to be a creative contributor, rather than just completing assigned tasks. We’ve found that the squad-based approach works to get rid of this waste.

Our squad model has unique thinking sessions that group the insights of the entire squad – product owners, developers, QA, designers, etc.– to inform the direction and possibilities of the product. Moreover, all squad members are related to sprint planning, delivery and demos, and be able to use the knowledge and perspectives of each person for the project.

5. Transportation

In case of agile development, transportation refers to hand-offs and the lack of corresponding in the transfer of knowledge. This waste is also popularly known as relearning; code/tasks/etc is transferred from one member of the team to another team member who then needs to re-learn what was hand-offed.

How Process Helps Avoid This

The nature of squads claims that every member of the project team shares each other the knowledge and understands all faces of the project. This reduces knowledge lack from one member to the next, gets rid of knowledge silos, and allows to maintain knowledge for product maintenance or future phases.

6. Inventory

Inventory refers to abnormal work that has been somewhat completed or completed fruitlessly depended on project parameters. It impacts on project velocity and can cause budget inflation. Waiting, incomplete story information/misunderstanding of the story, dependencies between stories, and improper prioritization are general causes.

How Process Helps Avoid This

Because the squad model contains all team members in sprint planning and boosts knowledge transfer, each team member fully knows the purpose and functionality of the story, and story dependencies are found prior to the beginning of the sprint. Eventually, squad-based development brings unexpected velocity, reduces inventory, and decreases budgetary risk.

7. Motion

In agile terms, motion refers to the decentralization of teams. While communication tools have enabled remote and decentralized teams, send emails or make phone calls to work through issues is still waste.


How Process Helps Avoid This

Co-location is an important element of the agile squad model. It helps smooth development time because teams can discuss issues in person and more easily transfer knowledge, meaning solutions are reached faster. More than just setting up a conference call or sending an email, squad members can turn to one another and talk in person.

8. Excess Processing

Excess processing is similar to overproduction, but is known when effort/time/resources are spent producing something that doesn’t add value; commonly, unnecessary bells and whistles. It’s typically referred to as gold plating.

How Process Helps Avoid This

The notion of team alignment is one of the most important elements of the squad-based development approach. Every member of the squad is aligned towards a common goal and has full comprehending of acceptance criteria. The concept of this process also encourages rapid and frequent delivery; it is known that product development is an repeated process, and each release aims for a practical and viable product. Because the entire squad clearly outlines and understands the criteria for the viable product which is the goal; based on that criteria,the team avoids processing which is unvalued.

Squads are independent in which they decide themself to reach their goals within the overall product strategy. We’ve found that this practice makes our squads more productive and creative, which ultimately makes better products.

The final goal of agile is to greatly decrease – ideally, destroy – waste in product development. The importance is to create a process that explains waste risk and is designed to lessen it. Hence, you can avoid these 8 wastes and achieve predictable project velocity in mobile app development.

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