20 March 2012

Seven Wastes

Lean Tools: Seeing Waste | Web Builder Zone
Partially Done Work

Also called WIP (Work In Progress), this waste is identified with all partially developed features or stories. Examples of WIP are features which are:

fully specified in a big document, but not developed yet.
Checked in, but not tested yet.
Unit tested, but not yet integrated with the rest of the system.
Integrated, but not yet released or deployed where a customer can use it.

These features are in a limbo, and won't provide any value to the customer until they reach him. Meanwhile, we are paying the burden of a bigger codebase, and accepting the risk that in the time that it takes to complete the feature the goals of the user will have changed, making part of our efforts useless. You won't deliver a Black Friday shopping application in December; the utility curve of other features is not usually so sharp, but the more is shifted into the future, the less its present value.

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