Lean vs. Agile Software Development: Differences and Similarities You May or May Not Have Known

Lean vs Agile Software
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Summary: There are numerous approaches to software development, out of which two of them are the most popular – Lean and Agile. Both methods are used by development teams to deliver fast and sustainable results. The two approaches are similar and different on many fronts. You must be confused if you are new to this term. Do you want to know them? This article explains Lean vs. Agile Software Development to help you understand what they are and how they help team development. Let’s explore them here.

Developers follow numerous software development approaches when it comes to building software. Different software development methods are used for different requirements, and lean and agile project management method is used to deliver quick and sustainable results. In this blog, we’ll explore:

  • What is Lean and Agile software development?
  • Similarities between Lean and Agile development
  • Differences between Agile and Lean development

Let’s begin.

What Is Agile Software Development?

This software development methodology focuses on discovering the requirements of a business and developing a solution for them. The process is completed with the collaborative effort of self-organization, cross-functional teams, and end-users. Adopting an Agile approach for software development leads to proper planning, fast delivery, and constant improvement.

Each software development phase, from the planning and implementation to testing and deployment, is carried out by dividing the project into various parts. It follows a Software Development Life Cycle Model rather than a simple line.

What Is Lean Software Development?

The lean methodology for software development seems complicated. However, this approach involves:

  • Optimizing the resources and the time taken for development
  • Eliminates unnecessary procedures that may hinder the outturns
  • Delivers the version that meets user’s core demands

The entire goal of this software development approach is to remove anything and everything ‘unnecessary.’ This optimization process is also known as the Minimum Viable Product or MVP strategy.

The question is how both of these approaches are similar and different. Let’s take a look at them.

Similarities between Agile and Lean Software Development

These are the similarities between the two software development approaches:

  1. The fundamental similarity is that both approaches share great adaptability.
  2. Both of them are focused on continuous improvement of the process, and they consistently evaluate the current work and look for positive modifications.
  3. The two approaches are concerned with providing value to their customers. With attention to quality and proactive engagement, the customers are kept first on the priority list.
  4. Both the software development methodologies work intending to keep the processes running smoothly.
  5. Agile and Lean software development methods offer a continuous flow of results.

Lean vs Agile Software Development: The Differences

Here are the six significant differences between the two software development approaches!

  1. Methodology

The main difference is that the agile method focuses on continuous improvement. In contrast, the Lean methodology is undertaken to optimize the entire production process. The core of this method is to eliminate production wastage!

  1. Difference in approaches

In Agile methodology, each of the phases for software development is first divided, and then planning, execution, and testing are carried out. On the other hand, the lean approach looks forward to improving the efficiency of the process by bringing continuous changes!

  1. Project timelines

Both approaches are meant to provide the product as quickly as possible. However, in the Agile method, each short cycle or sprint lasts for at least 2 to 4 weeks, and the lean methodology cuts the project’s overall duration by optimizing the process. In fact, there is no deadline here!

  1. Team structures

The Agile software development team consists of self-organized and cross-functional small groups of people. The team usually includes:

  • Product manage
  • Scrum Master or Agile coach
  • Product owner
  • Business analyst 

Lean software development teams, on the contrary, are made of various professionals from different departments. Each group is supervised by a team leader and closely monitored by PM (Project Manager). It isn’t necessary that the team leader must be self-organized and cross-functional in the lean development environment.

  1. Goals

Both approaches have varying objectives. The agile methodology for software development aims to create a product that fulfills the needs and wants of the end-user. Whereas, in the lean methodology, the goal is to eliminate anything that doesn’t offer value to the product creation process.

  1. Area of focus

The key areas of focus for Agile software development methodology are the project’s scope and client value. Compared to Agile, the Lean software development methodology focuses on improving development process efficiency and boosting product quality!

Which Is Better – Agile Software Development Or Lean Software Development?

It is relatively difficult to decide which of the two software development methodologies is better. However, the primary thing to note here is that this decision depends on your Software Development Service Providers and the type of project your development team is working on.

Both of these approaches are similar on many turfs. They are interconnected and usually concerned with the value provided to the end-user. The main objective is to offer a compelling product that customers use. If you are a project manager or a CTO, you must not rely upon only one of these methodologies. Combine them all and manage the project in a totally different manner.

Each of these methods of software development has its own set of strengths and weaknesses. So, read through their characteristics once again if you want to!

In Conclusion

I’d only suggest you put your right foot forward with the software development experts to wrap up. However, you know that both of these approaches focus on delivering 100% customer value with 200% efficiency. Yet, it is best to dig in deeper and select a more suitable, beneficial, and mature approach for your software project.

Get in touch with a globally renowned software development company with years of experience. Their team will be able to define Agile vs Lean software development better!

Read more: Finding The Ideal Software Development Partner For Your Business

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