The difference between 'Agile' and 'Lean' ?

Here is a point of view:  It's easier to find things in common between 'Lean' and 'Agile' than differences: both work on the basis of small batch sizes that enable you to get early and frequent feedback;  inspect and adapt. Both imply greater 'fitness' (for purpose). 


Broadly, 'agile' management helps you to plan and deliver what is necessary and 'lean' management helps you to identify and remove what is unnecessary; so they are quite complementary. 


'Agile' includs a lot of 'faiths' and 'values' and I don't even think it's entirely encapsulated by the Agile Manifesto.


Probably, all learning-based innovation should be agile and all agile projects includ some learning. 


Meanwhile, you get 'leaner' by removing something unnecessary, like carrying an umbrella when it's not raining, checking your e-mails every 5 minutes, or possibly un-optimised, like travelling to work at the same time as everybody else; although there may always be other risks. 


The main risk in 'agile' is that you might not be good at teamwork and team coordination, but that's also the reason for doing it ! 


So with 'agile' you may have to do quite a lot of experimentation, and 'lean' will help you to make sure that the experiments are worthwhile; quite a synergy then !


Therefore, "Learn to be Lean and Lean towards Agile."

rss : Ian Stokes, Project Leader and Advisor

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