Lean in DevOps – An Exponential View for Software Factories

(Author – Garima Bajpai, DevOps Ambassador) – Series Software factories (2)

Beginning from where we left this topic last time with – Software factories of 2020 & DevOps, the next wave of DevOps practices will further enhance the flow, feedback and experimentation and the key is to maintain the cadence between mass production, re-useable software inventory keeping customer value at the focal point

There is no one way to approach the cadence, it depends on the maturity level which will be the key enabler for DevOps adoption cycle & enhancing practices for enabling throughput & efficiency in software factories. From experience having supported companies navigate the purpose and outcome of DevOps adoption, I have come across various pattern which can be helpful building the basis of lean in DevOps & enhancing practices to support improving throughput.

There are primary two types of adopter, one focused solving operation centric slowness & waste and other type is focused on development centric improvements. The sweet spot for leaning in DevOps might lie when boundaries are porus enough to build full collaboration. We will take a look into these states and try to integrate lean principles from manufacturing, the eight types of obstacles and learning from past. It is needless to say that it is advisable to start with value stream map to precisely identify and enhance the DevOps adoption outcome

In the next article we will investigate leaning in DevOps in more mature organisations where the boundaries between Dev and Ops are diluted and more mature outlook is needed for those type looking at other aspects

Note – this is not an exhaustive list, only indicative. The preferred adoption indicators are taken from industry practitioners & advocate without reinventing the wheel

Factors to consider for Lean Software Operation Centric Adoption Development Centric Adoption
Defects (Rework, Scrap, Deviation)
  • Embed “Infrastructure as code”, avoid “Infrastructure as clicks”
  • Investigate immutable infrastructure pattern adoption
  •  Let’s try to improve Continuous Integration, Continuous testing
  • BizDevOps is a real thing!
Overproduction (More than needed)
  • Infrastructure planning start with development (Shift Left)
  •  Scale infrastructure in increments
  • Assess cloud adoption & optimise
  • Small & Fast release cycle
  • Avoid CI/CD anti-patterns
  •  Let’s get started with “MVP”
  • How about Microservices
Waiting (Delay)
  • ·Consider Scrum, Kanban & Agile process integration into ops
  •  Continuous Deployment
  • Up your game with continuous learning
Non-utilised talent (Underutilized assets)
  • ·Upskill talent for T shaped org
  •  Consider roles like SRE, DevOps Engineer
  •  Let’s learn what ops team do
  • Cross functional engineering
Transportation (unnecessary movement)
  • ·Let’s get Triaging right
  • Lean policies for backup, artifact lifecycle
  •  Get your team to design right
  • Serverless is the new-way for specific deliveries
Inventory (Stock of finished & unfinished)
  • ·Visibility is important , how about revisiting configurations & artifacts
  •  Hit refresh button
  • · Maintain re-useable software component, inventory which is not used is scrap
  •  Architect microservices to build reuseable component
Extra-processing (More quality than needed)  


  •  Adoption of reliability engineering, emphasise on dependability



  • ·  Usability is the benchmark of quality
Motion (Flow)
  • Get serious about measuring & monitoring from holistic perspective
  • Continuous Compliance
  •  Reduce number of restart in the flow
  • ·Optimize CI/CD pipeline