The Right Way to do IT : Waste Identification and Reduction at Software Providers - a Case Study at Infor M3
Abstract: When delivering Software as a Service (SaaS), increased challenges regarding responsiveness and flexibility are introduced to software providers. In order to address these challenges and attain customer satisfaction, the Lean Software Development principle Eliminate waste can be applied. One organization that has recognized the potential of applying the Eliminate waste principle when developing software is the Integration & BI unit of the Enterprise Resource Planning system provider Infor M3. However, the implementation of the Eliminate waste principle at the Integration & BI unit’s five teams is still in an early stage. Consequently, the intended purpose of the thesis was to identify waste and suggest approaches to reduce waste at the case organization, Infor M3 Integration & BI. In order to collect the in-depth knowledge required, the thesis utilized a qualitative case study methodology, whereby a literature review, interviews and observations were conducted. The literature review created a foundation of knowledge regarding waste in software development, that subsequent culminated as a basis for the analysis and recommendations. It could be concluded that the subject of waste identification and reduction in software development is in an early stage, largely driven by practitioners, with few verifying studies that support the subject’s applicability. However, by utilizing a waste categorization model various wastes could be identified at all of Integration & BI’s teams during the interviews, whereupon Partially done work, Delays, Task switching and Relearning was considered as the most prominent wastes. Moreover, it could be established that one team had developed successful approaches that eliminates much of the team’s waste whilst the other teams’ approaches were generally deficient. In order to more successfully reduce waste, the Integration & BI unit is suggested to create awareness of the concept of waste within the unit. The teams need a common definition and an increased understanding of waste in order to reach this awareness. Additionally, the unit is suggested to use more comprehensive indicators, like cumulative flow diagram, in order to facilitate identification and root-cause analysis of waste. Lastly, the unit is recommended to reduce waste by continuous improvements with activities structured as a PDSA-cycle.
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