Marc challenged us today:
Oh, and does anyone have a succinct definition of the difference between lean and agile?
I’ve been thinking about this too, and had an epiphany.
Agile focuses on early delivery; it handles changing values.
Lean focuses on cheap delivery; it minimises waste.
Since unsuccessful delivery would be waste, Lean happens to focus on successful delivery; and since delivery of poor value requirements would be waste, Agile has some focus on cheap delivery. But Lean’s focus is all about trimming the fat everywhere, whatever other practices and processes may be used, and I think it therefore represents better value-for-money.
I accept that Agile has taken some practices from Lean, and that its focus may have shifted somewhat, but I’m pressed to think of a practice that Lean’s taken from Agile. I also accept that I’m biased towards the meaning of the names of each of the different practices, and the focus which those names have impressed upon me. Since names suggest behaviour (consider horses called Thunder and Buttercup), I expect that others might be similarly biased, whether they know it or not.