The Difference between Lean and Agile Operations
There are lots of software development methodologies in modern world. All of them have different operation strategies. Perhaps that is the reason why some software developers wonder: “What is the difference between Lean and Agile operations?” However, it is hard to answer this question, because it is formulated improperly. Before answering it, we have to give the definitions of Agile and Lean methodologies and describe their operation strategies.
Agile is a popular approach to software development that originated in the early 2000s. It was a response to the traditional Waterfall methodology. The new requirements to software development needed to be satisfied. That is why Agile inventors have decided to make their methodology flexible. Most software developers agree that Agile is based on three main principles: strong customer involvement, iterative structure of projects, and strong communication inside of the teams.
Agile teams involve customers into the process of project realization because that eliminates the risk of low client acceptance of their production. The intermediate products are shown to the customer after each iteration.
Agile products are iterative, because that allows them to be flexible. If the customer changes his requirements in the process of project realization, the developers can change the structure of their project to meet them.
Agile teams require strong communication between their members because they are self-managing. They have no formal leaders and all their members are interchangeable.
All Agile operations are conducted with implementation of the above mentioned principles.
Lean methodology originated in the middle of the 20th century in Japan. It was invented by the managers of Toyota Corporation. The main idea of Lean was to improve the terms of product delivery by waste elimination. Anything that does not impact the functionality of the final product positively is a waste. After Lean was applied to software development industry in 2003, it became a new Agile methodology. That is because of the fact that the structure of its projects is iterative. Lean teams are small and self-managing like other Agile teams.
So what is the difference between Lean and Agile operations? The answer is simple: there is no difference between them. Lean operations are a particular type of Agile operations. This is the main thing you should know about them.