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Lean vs Agile Programming

Published on 28 October 15
Lean vs Agile Programming - Image 1
Lean programming is deemed to be developed for enhancing efficiency and minimizing waste in the design and development of a computer program. The concept of lean programming is adopted by Toyota's lean production system during the 1980's, where it focuses on continuous product improvement at all operational levels and stages.

The notion is that efficiencies can be applied and waste managed at all levels for software applications, development and delivery. Lean programming requires the cooperation of each individual, department, the entire organization, and the stakeholders that are involved with the organizations.
Summarized under 7 core components
Lean development can be summarized by seven principles,
  1. Eliminate waste
  2. Amplify learning
  3. Defer commitment
  4. Deliver as fast as possible
  5. Respect the team
  6. Build quality in
  7. Optimize the whole
Importance of Lean Programming
In lean programming software, defects are accepted as part of the application development process. This means minimizing the amount of code associated with error-free products, which in turn diminishes inflated inventories and waste. For instance, excerpts of pre-tested and error-free code are regularly used to construct huger applications to meet customer needs.

If carefully executed, lean programming can deliver a comprehensive product that falls within budget and have greater efficiency, resulting to a boost in customer satisfaction.

Like most programming methodology, the challenges of lean programming are to persuade programmers to implement new development methods.
Lean software development (LSD)
Lean software development (LSD) consists of Lean manufacturing and lean IT principles and practices to the software development domain. Moreover, a pro-lean subculture is emerging from within the Agile community.

Lean is regularly used by start-ups that intends on penetrating the markets, or test their idea and see if it would make a viable business.

Here are couple of courses that can help you get a fair idea of Lean Software Development
Agile programming
Agile software development consists of a group of methods in which requirements and solutions evolve through collaboration between self-organizing, cross-functional teams. It promotes adaptive planning, evolutionary development, early delivery, continuous improvement, and encourages rapid and flexible response to change.

Agile refers to a set of values and principles put forth in the Agile Manifesto. The Manifesto was a reaction against popular methodologies that were popular but was not effective in helping customers. The misconception that Agile and Lean are the same is due to the fact that Agile's values & principles are derived from Lean and so you'll see a lot of similar themes repeated in Agile.

Agile Manifesto's values
  1. Individuals and interactions over processes and tools
  2. Working software over comprehensive documentation
  3. Customer collaboration over contract negotiation
  4. Responding to change over following a plan
Here are few highly rated Online IT Courses and learning paths to learn and master Agile methodology

Learn and Master Agile Software Development
Learn and Master Scrum
Similarities between Agile and Lean
It turns out there are similarities between Lean and Agile as they both have the same set of tool kits such as Kanban, multitasking, empowerment and visual management. Also both are used to boost the application development in the software industry.

On the other hand, such similarities have created a misconception that Agile and Lean are the same.

Difference between Lean programming and agile programming
Most people believe lean programming and agile programming are identical, which is incorrect.

As stated, Lean programming is designed to reduce waste and improve operational efficiency in software development. Agile programming on the other hand is designed to execute tasks over a short period of time, with regular customer involvement, and the programming software is enabled to make changes quickly.

This means, Lean is more of a holistic approach to make an organization or process more effective and efficient, while Agile is based on the notion of efficient management to a particular application development at a specific period of time.

However, many are unable to fathom the difference.
Reasons for confusing the Agile with Lean
  1. First reason is when manufacture vendors utilize Lean and Agile as enticing selling points; they tend to mix both terms together.
  2. Another reason would be that what works in manufacturing may not be appropriate for software development. Sure, when it comes to Lean manufacturing, many would term lean production as Agile production but that doesn't make Agile software development inherently Lean nor vice versa.
Can you make a career our of just Agile/Scrum?
Experts in Agile and Project Management are here to help you on this. Interact and discuss your Career progression/transition into Agile with Agile & Scrum certified professionals and career coaches (click here) or visit:
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This blog is listed under Development & Implementations and Project & Service Management Community

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