A Luna Tractor client asked me the other day, “What’s the relationship between Agile and Lean? How do you know which to choose?” It’s a great question and the answer is actually pretty simple: most of the time you need to apply both. In fact we would add Systems Thinking to the list and suggest that you need to think hard about how to apply the right aspects of all three disciplines to your problem. So how does it work?
Lean – How to do the least work while maintaining value.
Agile – Habits to create an adaptive, incremental development and learning cycle.
Systems Thinking – Solving problems by viewing the problem as part of a system, rather than a broken part.
What does applying all three look like?
All three value humans as a key part of the system.
All three value customers as the key driver of the system.
Use Systems Thinking to define your approach, use Agile habits to solve problems and use Lean priciples to tune and refine your resulting system.