Lean Software Development
Submission Deadline: CLOSED
Publication: September/October 2012
The lean product development paradigm entails an end-to-end focus on delivering to customer needs, minimized rework, efficient work streams, empowered teams, and continuous improvement. Entire businesses have based their processes on lean principles, with eBay and Amazon as prominent examples (as investigated by Business Week). When the worldwide economic crisis hit in 2008–09, many companies started looking to lean principles to make their software development more efficient. More recently, the same companies find themselves looking to lean to compensate for an increasing lack of engineers.
Lean thinking was first used in manufacturing to empower teams, reduce waste, optimize work streams, and above all keep market and customer needs always as the primary decision-driver. Although some have claimed that principles from outside the software industry cannot apply to a creative engineering and design discipline such as software development, many studies had proved that we too can benefit from empowered and motivated teams, learn from previous defects, emphasize repeatable processes, and build high-quality components. Lean conferences are being born, lean software books are being written, and organizations are keenly adopting lean principles.
But software is different. The intangible nature of software, the role of developers as knowledge workers, and the difficulty of defining flow in software development make the application of lean principles and practices difficult. Thus, while we see lean practices such as eliminating waste or improving interfaces and workflows being adopted, we are still in the early phases of truly understanding what "lean" means in software development.
The Special Issue
Thus, this issue aims to learn from industry experiences and from academic empirical studies what principles deliver value and how lean ideas are introduced in order to best manage change. This special issue will emphasize lean principles that influence software design, development, and management and can affect the success or failure of new software projects. We seek to bring together the mutual interests of practitioners in commercial projects (who want to enhance their future success) and academic researchers (who want to study and advance thinking on the subject that offers cross-cutting perspectives). The most important audience is practitioners interested in novel ideas and state-of-the-art understanding of lean software issues that are relevant to their day-to-day work.
This special issue seeks articles reporting case studies, experience reports, practices, approaches, techniques, and guidelines. The articles will present validated practices and strategies to advance the practice-relevant body of knowledge. The emphasis will be on newly emerging issues as driven by lean thinking, and on relevant issues that are of broad interest across software products and services, embedded software, and end-user developed software.
The editors will solicit articles in the following areas and will consider articles in other relevant areas:
- Lean thinking and software development
- Overview on lean software development principles
- Lean product development and software business
- Managing the transition from traditional development to lean
- Applying lean to critical environments, such as safety-critical systems
- Lean development for embedded software
- Experiences with combining lean and agile techniques
- Lean methods and experiences in commercial software (for example, Kanban, value stream analysis, options thinking, queuing theory, and pull systems)
- Systems thinking
- End-to-end product development flow
- Case studies of notable successes or failures in implementing lean thinking
- Empirical studies on adoption and usage of lean principles in software engineering
- Experience reports showing relevant evidence
- Tool support for lean development
For more information about the special issue, contact the corresponding guest editor:
- Christof Ebert, Vector Consulting Services, Christof.Ebert@vector.com
Editorial team: Pekka Abrahamsson, Christof Ebert, Nilay Oza, Mary Poppendieck
Manuscripts must not exceed 4,700 words including figures and tables, which count for 200 words each. Submissions in excess of these limits may be rejected without refereeing. The articles we deem within the theme's scope will be peer reviewed and are subject to editing for magazine style, clarity, organization, and space. We reserve the right to edit the title of all submissions. Be sure to include the name of the theme or special issue you are submitting for.
Articles should have a practical orientation and be written in a style accessible to practitioners. Overly complex, purely research-oriented, or theoretical treatments are not appropriate. Articles should be novel. IEEE Software does not republish material published previously in other venues, including other periodicals and formal conference/workshop proceedings, whether previous publication was in print or in electronic form.
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