• Romano Roth

What is waste 🗑 in Software Development?

Updated: Mar 28



I’ve identified 9 types of waste 🗑 in Software Development:

🧩Partially done work

💲Extra features

😤Extra processes

🤯Task switching

🤲Handoffs

🐞Defects

🧟‍♀️Nonstandard work

😴Waiting

🦸‍♀️Heroics

What types of waste have you identified?


1. 🧩Partial work done: This is the work that sits in the pipeline and is not yet finished. This can be code that is not committed, tests that have not been executed. But it also refers to, for example, when we are doing something like developing a feature and we suddenly need to stop the work on that feature and go to another feature, this is partially done work.


2. 💲Extra features: Extra features are also known as gold plating. This is done when the PO thinks this is nice to have features that should be done by software development. But, it does not add any value to the customer and the customer does not need it.


3. 😤Extra processes: These steps do not add any customer value, but they keep you safe. We can automate these but am talking about the extra processes that are needed because someone needs a report or does not need a report. These are useless and should be removed.


4. 🤯Task switching: When we are doing something and we are interrupted by, for example, another colleague or another task we need to do. Such switching causes us to load and reload information in our minds.


5. 🤲Handoffs: When we are doing something, we need to give the information to someone else. So, the information moves to someone else, we have some loss of information during that process and this is something we should minimize or automate.


6. 🐞Defects: Defects are in softwares, but that is not the problem if they are identified. It is the defects that are hidden in our softwares and must be eliminated quickly for quality.


7. 🧟‍♀️Non-standard work: There are some cases where manual work makes sense because the business case of automating it is negative. We should always go in the direction that non-standardized work is eliminated and automated.


8. 😴Waiting: Waiting should be reduced and for that, we need to analyze our value chains. We can eliminate these waiting times.


9. 🦸‍♀️Heroics: We always have a hero in our project that can solve everything. But, the problem with that is you do not automate the things that he fixes. Focusing on root problems and automating elements is more important than these heroics.


Thus, these are the nine types of waste in software development that you should be aware of.