There have been many methodologies used in software today. A few of the buzzwords that we came across are Waterfall, Lean, Agile, Scrum etc. Learn about these methods in this blog and understand the difference between those concepts, objectives and benefits.
Basics: Lean, Agile and Scrum
- Lean and Agile both are different but they are considered similar in a few cases. Both methods are modern and used as trial and error versions.
- Lean Manufacturing and Lean Startups both are technically different but it’s okay to consider them Lean.
- While Scrum is a popular agile implementation framework used as an iteration cycle.
Let’s understand the approach of each method
It understands the customer’s value and focuses on the key processes to increase it continuously. The main goal is to provide perfect value to the customer using the best value creation process with zero waste.
5 Steps Lean Approach
- Specify the standpoint value of the customer.
- Identify the steps in the value stream for each product family by eliminating possible steps.
- Make value-creating steps that occur in tight sequence with a smooth flow.
- Introduce the flow to the customer and pull value from the next upstream activity.
- As value is specified, streams are identified, the process begins until the state of perfection is reached, and there’s no waste created.
Principle of Lean Product Development
- Defining Value
- Streamlining Inventory
- Mapping Streams
- Building a Production Flow
- Continuously Improving Products
Advantages of Lean Software Development
- Better Results
- Reduce Waste
- Added flexibility
- Easier error tracking
- Extended Knowledge
- Clear Metrics
Disadvantages of Lean Software Development
- It takes time
- Hard to implement
- Lack of Focus
- Overstructered Process
Agile is derived using Lean thinking that it applies the Lean concept in the information technology environment. The focus of the lean approach is mostly done to:
- Minimize the business non-value-added activity
- Eliminate waste from processes
- Maximize the value from the customer’s perspective
Advantages of Agile Software Development
- High Quality
- Focus on users and business value
- Faster Results
- Predictable Cost and Schedule
Disadvantages of Agile Software Development
- Hard to Scale
- Expensive to implement
- Poor Resource Planning
- Limited Documentation
Scrum comes with the best agile way to manage a project using software development. Scrum comes with a perceived method that rather helps to view scrum as a method for managing the process. As it’s one of the most used methods in the IT environment, it gives more agility to the execution of the IT process with avoiding problems like conflicts, gaps and lack of integration.
The main characteristics of Scrum are:
- Setting up multidisciplinary teams
- Work with the team
- Create a task list that’s fulfilled
- Adopt a regular and daily feedback routine
- Organize work with determination
Advantages of Scrum Framework
- Money Well Used
- More Control
- Daily Meetings
- Project Deliverability
- Disadvantages of Scrum Framework
- Higher Chance of Failure
- No End
- High Level of Frustration
- Hard to Scale
What do you think, which one is right for you? Lean or Scrum
As we have seen both Lean and Scrum come with great value. Whether we focus on Lean or Scrum, depends on the goal, team size and existing customer relationships. Does your business model sell existing products to a steady customer base? Does it come with a small process improvement that means a big impact on the bottom line?
Internalize the lean thinking by optimizing your business process
If you develop new software or products then, adopt the Agile mindset using the Scrum framework.
Apply options to different parts of your company. Let’s say, use Lean to evaluate processes for the team and handle existing products and scrum for new product development.
By taking the first steps using Lean and Scrum
If you have already decided to get started using Lean and Scrum then, there’s no need to do it from scratch. It comes with options such as copying or applying a specific method to your business.
- Choose Lean, if you’re looking to manage the resources better. Lean helps to manage resources efficiently to provide better value to the customers.
- In case of breakdown, if you use important assets such as buildings, trucks or people it can easily identify waste.
- It helps to improve processes that start reviewing and recording everything that company does.
- It can only be identified by challenging your assumptions and finding a way to do things in a better way along with improving the fundamental process.
- Additionally, it offers a great way to start capturing and tracking current processes.
- If you’re not looking for a perfect product plan with a timeline, features and stages then Scrum is perfect for the product backlog.
- It comes with a list of features that your customers are looking for. It supports solidifying short-term product vision by meeting the customer involved to start your backlog.
- The feature backlog template helps to build the first product and sprint backlog to keep up and keep going.
There’s no specific answer, to whether you choose Lean development or Scrum development for your agile project management. Or which one does the job better. All it depends on what the company size is, the business model and other factors. But one certain thing is your project management process that has room for improvement.
The above comparison is between Lean, Agile and Scrum frameworks of agile software development methodologies. One should understand that no method is better than the other. Simply one needs to look for pros and cons and eventually decide which works better for your team and flex the system accordingly.