Lean vs Agile: Differences Between Two Top Development Methodologies

Toyota developed it in the late 1940s and early 1950s as part of the Toyota Production System. Over time, like many other manufacturing enterprises from various sectors adopted it, the name evolved to Lean. The method was initially used to create software in 2003 with the publication of Lean Software Development.

Dashboards give you quick visual overviews of your Agile software development or Lean projects. In Lean project management, you form multiple Lean teams, consisting of members from relevant departments. They usually limit their work-in-processes, which reduces the overall project timeline. However, unlike Agile, there’s no specified time frame.

Taking your first steps with Lean and Scrum

This ensures everything works and this part of the development phase is productive. Delivering the product faster and allowing feedback from customers increases value for everyone. You need to be able to identify waste and remove it from your process, as well as constantly be looking for ways to improve your workflow and remove bottlenecks. Software development is a complex process requiring many different people’s coordination.

agile lean software development

In Lean, teams deliver value by delivering a product quickly and without waste. In Agile, value is a moving target defined and changed with ongoing customer feedback to iterate and improve the product. Each methodology is dedicated to optimizing the processes of software development with regular feedback loops to catch defects or inefficiencies early.

How to Introduce the Scrum Methodology into Your Project

In addition to empowering your team to devise solutions to complex problems, the framework supports proper screening and selection of the chosen solution. This in-depth approach ensures that you only focus on the most essential https://globalcloudteam.com/ features and processes from the beginning. It feels safer to make complicated decisions in advance. All stakeholders get engaged in the process, all thoughts are weighted, all decisions are well-considered and made carefully.

agile lean software development

For example, when you’re building features that users don’t need or features that don’t match what customers want. The focus on delivering value to customers early often helps you get feedback on whether your product is useful and how you can improve it. This allows you to iterate quickly and constantly improve your product. The client, in turn, receives a lean development process product that brings value and can enter the market early in order to make an income while continuously developing the product. As a result, the danger of wasting resources, time, and money is reduced. After analyzing all the similarities and differences between Lean and Agile, we can see that Lean principles lie at the foundation of the Agile methodology.


Whether you should focus on going Lean or focus on Scrum depends on your goals, the size of your team, and existing customer relationships. While one of the main differences between the two is that Scrum is a tangible framework, Scrum also has a set of guiding principles and values that we can compare to Lean. To aid in the coach-certification and learning process, the original deliveries by external certified trainers may be video-recorded .

agile lean software development

This article introduces the principles, origins of, and differences between Lean and Agile software development methodologies. In recent decades, many Lean development teams have found success by applying the following Lean development tools to build quality into their work. In Lean development, quality is everyone’s job, not just that of the quality analyst. It might seem self-evident; every team wants to build quality into their work. But unless this is part of a disciplined practice, it’s far easier said than done. In trying to ensure quality, many teams actually create waste – through excessive testing, for example, or an excessive logging of defects.

Category Archives: Lean Software Development

As you exclude everything that doesn’t contribute to the final outcome of the project, the production process automatically shortens and becomes efficient. This saves you tons of valuable money and time in the long run. TPS was inspired by the inventory management system in grocery stores and used visual signals to indicate inventory needs precisely when items were needed. This reduced the overall waste and optimized the entire production process. Agile helps teams better adapt to change by involving stakeholders throughout the process.

Lean teams use a combination of the following tools to correctly document and retain valuable learning. Redundant Code or functionality – does not provide additional value to the user; requires time for discussion, development, testing, and documentation; delays feedback loops. Additionally, be it Agile, the Scrum methodology, Kanban, Lean, Six Sigma, or any project management methodology, your software should be able to handle it.

From the course: Advanced Agile: The Team’s Mindset

There are a few things we don’t want to do in the development process. We don’t want to do something too fast at the cost of the code, making sloppy changes to get it out the door. We also don’t want to make changes without testing, offering a product that is suboptimal to the customer. Minimize time to eliminate anything that might create waste. If there are bugs, fix them immediately instead of creating a backlog. This ensures that the quality of the product remains intact.

  • The tools are simple to use, collaborative, flexible, and they work seamlessly with Scrum, Kanban boards, and other agile processes managed in Jira software.
  • This process allows for constant improvement in the product being created, as well as for teams to get feedback from users about what does and does not work in the product.
  • Scrum is one of the most used methods in the IT environment.
  • In Agile software development, teams apply an iterative approach to software delivery.
  • One of the principles outlined in the Agile Manifesto insists on close, daily cooperation between business stakeholders and developers.
  • Turning a “value” into a measurable objective for the team to pursue will be described later in this chapter.


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