LEAN + Startup = AGILE

LEAN + Startup = AGILE

Lean Startup and Agile Software Development/Agile Project Management are pretty synonymous.  Indeed, when I speak, I reference Eric Ries’ book, “Lean Startup” saying you can really cross out the word “Lean” and insert the word “Agile” because that’s what he is really talking about.  For more see:

Harvard Business Review: Why the Lean Start-Up Changes Everything for which some of the headlines are:

  • Quick Responsive DevelopmentLean start-ups practice something called agile development, which originated in the software industry. Unlike typical yearlong product development cycles that presuppose knowledge of customers’ problems and product needs, agile development eliminates wasted time and resources by developing the product iteratively and incrementally. It’s the process by which start-ups create the minimum viable products they test. (See the exhibit “Quick, Responsive Development.”)

Waterfall vs Agile/Sprints/Scrum for which some headlines are:

  • Waterfall” vs “Agile” contrasts two fundamentally different modes of teamwork.  The problem is that we have to unzip our mindset from the waterfall schooling we have had.  The future of “Agile” teamwork is already here, perhaps best embodied in the field of “Agile Software Development”, which is already huge.  This was born out of a 2001 meeting of software gurus resulting in the 4 core values of the Agile Manifesto:

    We have come to value:
    Individuals and interactions over processes and tools
    Working software over comprehensive documentation
    Customer collaboration over contract negotiation
    Responding to change over following a plan

    “Waterfall” is the colloquial name for the old approach to the teamwork of software development on the right-hand-side of each of these core-value statements.

Agility is King! (AGILE is the new LEAN!) for which some headlines are:

  • How huge has LEAN been in business?  Try humongous!  Ubiquitous!  AGILE is going the same way … it’s going to be huge.  Why?  For several reasons:
  1. Because LEAN can easily default into being continuous improvement only.  AGILE is inclusive of both continuous improvement (sustaining innovation) and discontinuous improvement (disruptive innovation) as an “and-proposition”.
  2. Because of one of my favorite sayings, “The future is already here, it’s just not evenly distributed”!  AGILE is already here and is already huge … in the field of Agile Software Development … which has already been up-framed into Agile Project Management, of any kind of project not just software projects.
  3. Because all of the seeds of AGILE exist within LEAN.  We are looking into the same body of wisdom but through an AGILE lens not a LEAN lens.

About Mike Richardson

Agility-Facilitator/Mentor/Coach; Agility-Author/Speaker; Agility-Board-Member/Chairman. All-round Agility Activist in everything I do, every day, everywhere, in every way. Provocative, Profound, Practical. At Eye-Level. With Love/Hate!

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