Lean and Agile


What does it take software to be up-to-date in age of obsession with bodily fitness? Of course, same principles – being lean and agile. In fact, these two are official terms for concepts of better development, so let’s capitalize them: Lean is the economic one (in terms of energy, firstly) and Agile is flexible one, ready to morph.

Agile Manifesto was published in Utah, USA in 2001 and was written pretty in religious and solemn style [1] to define main principles of what was to become a new approach to software development. Meaning, less oriented on strict plans and control, and more on fluent demands and last minute changes; less on positions people take, more on motivated individuals.

“Working software is the primary measure of progress”

Principle #7

Also – and this is where Agile meets (or becomes) Lean – cutting the unnecessary work and expenses is also amongst its goals.

But all of this is good for one team, and Agile does not answer how to connect the work of many different teams, and that’s where Lean comes in.

What’s Lean? In such a production system, all the work is divided into a set of value streams enacted by demand signals (be it customer demand or labourer). The output of each stream sets others into action, sequentially or in parallel. And then, just like ancient Greek did say, there is whole product, which is greater that just a sum of its parts. Same way, the system of just-in-time suppy of components works [2].

Also, Lean approach is very good for start-ups, since in literally lets to start up from the skratch and build next necessary steps around what’s already done, to create MVP (minimum value product) fast and grow as resources come into company [3].

Still, there are some “versus” aspects of this alliance, shown in a pretty square table below.


  1. The Agile Manifesto
  2. Lean and Agile merge
  3. Lean start-up principles