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What is Lean Agile Methodology?

lean agile methodology

Before going to Lean-Agile Methodology, first let’s look at what is a methodology.

What is a Methodology?
Here are the definitions of what is a “Methodology”.
• A body of methods, rules, and postulates employed by a discipline: a particular procedure or set of procedures.
• The analysis of the principles or procedures of inquiry in a particular field
This means, it is very structured and very detailed rules and methods.
Based on this, we understand that Lean & Agile are not methodologies. They bring new mindset and doesn’t give every detail required to transform. They bring a culture, mindset and thinking in people.

Lean Agile Methodology
img Credit: Scaled Agile Inc.

Lean-Agile Thinking

Lean Agile is a combination of Lean Manufacturing principles and Agile Software Development, both of which aim to provide the most value to customers in the most efficient way possible. Here’s a brief overview of each of them:

Lean Manufacturing:
This approach originated in Japan, with Toyota Production System (TPS), and it is focused on the elimination of waste from production processes. This not only pertains to physical waste but also to wasted time, effort, and resources.
The key principles of Lean include delivering as much value as possible to the customer and continuous improvement (Kaizen).

Agile Software Development:
Agile is an iterative approach to software development and project management. It’s built on the principles outlined in the Agile Manifesto, which emphasize flexibility, customer collaboration, and responding to change.
Agile encourages frequent delivery of working software and promotes active stakeholder involvement.

Lean & Agile
When combined into Lean Agile, these principles form a framework that promotes efficiency, adaptability, and customer value. Key aspects include:

Eliminate Waste: Any process or task that doesn’t directly add value to the end product is considered waste. This can include anything from unnecessary meetings to complex code that could be simplified.

Amplify Learning: Teams should aim for continuous improvement through regular retrospectives and reviews. This process often involves experimenting with different methods or processes, gathering data, and then adjusting based on the results.

Decide as Late as Possible: This principle is about maintaining flexibility. By keeping options open and delaying decisions until the last responsible moment, teams can adapt to changes more easily.

Deliver as Fast as Possible: The quicker the value is delivered to the customer, the quicker feedback can be obtained and used for the next iteration.

Empower the Team: The team doing the work should have autonomy and be empowered to make decisions. This promotes engagement and leads to better solutions.

Build Quality In: Quality isn’t something to be ‘tested in’ at the end. Instead, it should be considered at every stage of development. This can involve practices such as Test-Driven Development (TDD) and Continuous Integration (CI).

See the Whole: This involves understanding the project or product as a whole, rather than as isolated parts. This ‘systems thinking’ can lead to better decisions and a more cohesive end product.

Implementing Lean Agile can help organizations increase their agility, reduce waste, and improve their overall performance and customer satisfaction. However, it’s not just about implementing practices or tools, it’s also about a change in mindset and culture, focused on continuous learning and improvement.