Lean and Agile are both flexible, end-user-focused philosophies that are employed by several industries across the globe to produce high-quality products and services quickly. Both methods create high-quality products sustainably while handling one iteration at a time and are applied holistically and effectively across the organization. Both share common principles and goals and use similar terms to describe their practices. Thus they are usually confusing to teams who do not have suitable professionals with an Agile or a Lean Portfolio Management certification. Many organizations fail as they adopt the Lean framework but are instead scaling Agile.
Development of Agile
The Agile manifesto is a set of twelve guiding principles that are mainly used for software development. Agile was developed in the 80s and 90s by computer programmers to manage their work better. Programmers found that they spent years working on a product, testing it, refining it, only to find it is outdated by the time it got released. Their processes were not only slow but also expensive to justify the short lifespan of the released software. This gave way to define lightweight practices that any professional with the Agile certification for scrum master employs at the organization.
Development of lean thinking
Lean thinking was developed in the 1950s to manage inventory, reduce waste, and optimize the production line in the manufacturing industries. Lean at this stage was overly simplistic and justified the relentless cutting down of costs but it created issues in quality and employee turnover. The modern-day version of the Lean framework applied by any professional with a Lean Portfolio Management certification elevates the understanding of lean. It moves an organization from simply mimicking others to approach the guiding principles of lean and gain suitable flexibility and suitability through the adoption of perspective practices.
The differences between Agile and Lean
The main difference that any Agile certification for scrum master will quote is the approach towards speed and handling iterations. Agile aims to handle frequent product and software delivery quickly and efficiently by using customer feedback. Lean also provides quick delivery while handling customer feedback by limiting the work-in-progress, while Agile delivers quickly through sprints. Both Agile and Lean prioritize customer satisfaction as their primary goal. Agile achieves this by focusing on open communication between customers and developers. While Lean improves the processes to eliminate waste by automating the tasks wherever possible.
Most Agile implementations are less regimented than the structured Lean. Any professional with a Lean Portfolio Management certification relies on defining roles, estimation techniques, structured meetings, and systematic reviews. They focus on disciplined management practices to make the system work. Discipline in Lean is less about external rules and expectations. While Agile also follows a disciplined process but it is much more open to adapt and change quickly. Thus for organizations with old structured processes, adopting Agile seems like a complete shift of culture. Lean may seem easier to adopt but is a challenge to implement across large organizations.