The IT sector is a powerful medium for creation and management of profound tools and applications. However, the great amount of power that the sector provides to the user does not come exempt of waste and unnecessary baggage. More often than not, these wastes and unnecessary elements that hinder the proper functioning of applications and technologies are caused due to human error. But, let’s face, we humans are not exactly “perfect”. So, here are some pockets of waste that need to be taken care of if the imperfect human wants to perfect waste management in IT.
Garbage #1: Partially done work
This element in IT is the waste that lines the backend of any application or software that one is creating. Bits of unstructured code, along with those parts of the code which have not been tested form a major part of this type of waste. Other than these aspects, other elements within this type of waste also include pieces or strings of code which cannot be deployed.
Let’s make it simpler: These bits and pieces of unusable and waste code are like the long lines in a story that ultimately do not contribute in any way to the entire essence of the story as a whole. Consider them like the characters in a story that are added into it at the last moment just to add a particular flavor or feel to the story as a whole.
Red Herring is the name given to a character or element in a movie which do not serve any other purpose other than to distract or mislead the audience from the actual essence of the movie.
Eradication Tactics: The essence of this problem arises from a lack of alignment between tasks and responsibilities, as well as between the team members themselves. Ensuring that important tasks are performed completely and not left asunder is an important part of the equation. The members on your team should be capable of handling different tasks and should have diverse roles so that a deadlock is avoided in all possible cases. There also has to be constant coordination between your team and the product owner at all times, so that the line of communication is maintained to the highest extent.
Garbage #2: Extra Features
We all love enthusiasm. It is one of the most valuable assets that a person can have in the IT sector. But then again, valuable assets have a large capability to cause immense fallout and unnecessary waste. Enthusiasm is good until it produces more harm than value. This becomes especially visible when it comes to your team producing more features than are required by the product owner, or the customers themselves.
Let’s make it simpler: Do you know how a nuclear reaction works? Well, you do not need to because that will just make things more difficult. However, the basis of a nuclear reaction is that it involves disintegration of a substance or the merging of two substances. Well, a simple thing really, right? But, add enough features and mechanisms to it and you have created a tool for large scale destruction! This is how adding features might turn out for you as well.
Eradication Tactics: This element requires careful planning as well as execution. For the plan to be created and subsequently implemented, you need to know the requirements of both your product owner as well as your target audience. Once you know what they need and what elements they would be comfortable with, you only need to concentrate on those instead of adding unnecessary elements.
Garbage #3: Hand-Offs
This element involves the transferring of work from one web developer to another in order to place emphasis on diversity of function. Even though this is an important element as far as working together in a team is concerned, it can become a huge burden when it comes to distributing tasks within a single project among individuals who are in different locations. There is bound to be a lack of communication and efficiency in this case owing to the fact that the entire essence of the information does not get conveyed to the individual on the other side. Another important malfunction due to this can be the lack of clarity between different employees on the same topic.
Let’s make it simpler: When a group of people listen to a song, they all have different perspectives towards the same. You cannot expect two people to interpret the same song in exactly coherent ways, which would be quite idealistic to say the least. However, if you are a part of the group who created the song itself, you will observe that all the members of the group will have a lot of commonalities as far as the song and its meaning to them is concerned.
Eradicating Tasks: The best way to reduce hand-offs is to keep the entire project in a single location, which can ensure a high degree of clarity as well as synchronicity between the members participating in the creation process as a whole.
Garbage #4: Delays
Well, this is one of those pockets of waste that all of us have been a victim to at some point or the other. This essentially involves the inability to adhere to timelines, as well as the missing of crucial value-addition specifics due to the lack of time management capacity.
Let’s make it simpler: Delays are like those gloomy monsoon days when you just do not feel like doing anything and want to just sit at home doing nothing. Whenever a delay occurs, it has the ability to numb you and considerably affect the creative process as a whole, resulting in considerable risks to the overall project itself. For instance, if a delay occurs, one resides in a space that I like to call “The Place of the Damned”, where you are constantly bombarded with thoughts that cause you to gradually lose all hope in your own abilities as a whole. This is not too dissimilar to the caverns of Hell where the damned are tortured for their sins for ages on end.
Eradication Tactics: Delays can be eradicated by ensuring that the project or task at hand is divided into separate elements or individual responsibilities, so each and every task can be managed with the intense dedication that it requires. Moreover, one should determine the important tasks within the project and differentiate them from the tasks which are not that important in comparison.
Garbage #5: Task Switching
This is where most teams fail to complete their projects and seem to be unable to achieve their targets as a whole. If your team tends to too inclined towards adopting a wavering approach towards your software or Web development process as a whole, it is more than apparent that there might be some serious problems in the processes and systems that you have adopted.
Let’s make it simpler: Have you seen machines on an assembly line? Yeah, the ones which have specific functions and perform only those for which they have been programmed to. Well, if you treat your team members in a similar fashion, then you can get your job done in a better way by “hiring” machines to do the same. However, if you want some real creation to happen, it is better if you involve your team members in a wholesome way, especially as far as application or software development is concerned.
Eradication Tactics: In order to ensure that waste due to task switching is avoided to the maximum extent, it is important to acknowledge and appreciate the role of each and every team member to the fullest. The only way in which task switching can be managed to a large extent is by ensuring that each team member is involved in the project on a larger level than mere “workers”.