How Scrum Blends the Philosophies of Lean and Agile

Some management or governance philosophies should not be mixed. Because the mix will be a blurry amalgam and the unique flavor of the individual ingredients will get lost in the mix. In general it’s even worse. Not only the flavor and the envisioned benefits get lost, the total ‘product’ may be even well less performant than the sum would suggest.

Lean is a management or organizational model that thrives on a typical mindset, with powerful but distinct fundaments, principles and thinking. But beyond the assumption that such strategies are best not mixed, I see not only much common ground to Lean and Agile, I am even convinced of the power of the combination. I believe that combining Lean management principles with the Agile product development spirit, as a total outcome, will result in a more powerful mix. I believe that Lean and Agile are truly blending philosophies.

As Professional Scrum Trainer I worked with Scrum.org to release my views as a whitepaper at http://www.scrum.org/storage/articles/The%20blending%20philosophies%20of%20Lean%20and%20Agile.pdf.

In this paper I highlight the main aspects of the distinct views of Lean and Agile, and indicate the similar grounds to them. But I have also included the Scrum perspective to Agile to make very clear how the tangible, yet open framework of Scrum aligns and blends the underlying thinking of Agile and Lean.

My paper elaborates on my statement that the houses of Lean and Scrum are similar houses, just different materials:

2 thoughts on “How Scrum Blends the Philosophies of Lean and Agile

  1. @Olaf,

    You might then find this post about Scrum vs Kanban interesting! Check the post to see if it’s really pointless or not!

  2. Gunther,
    Thank you for this awesome post.
    Good contrast to the currently prominent, yet pointless discussions about “Agile vs Lean” or “Scrum vs Kanban” which IMO very often lack understanding of the roots…
    Scrum was originally based in Lean Thinking, Agile only arrived on stage much later…
    Take care
    Olaf

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