In short, the answer is a resounding ‘YES’. LEAN does not feature heavily in most Project Management Methodologies, but it should. LEAN can improve your team’s performance by many folds.
Disciplined Agile incorporates LEAN into its toolsets
What is LEAN?
LEAN has its origin in the manufacturing industry and it pre-dates Agile and PMBOK by a couple of decades.
What are LEAN principles?
The 8 principles of LEAN are as follows:-
- Build Quality In
- Learn Pragmatically
- Keep Options Open
- Respect People
- Build in Resilience
- Optimize the Whole
- Deliver Value Quickly
- Eliminate Waste
How can you incorporate LEAN into your own project management practice?
Disciplined Agile specifically adopts a LEAN Life-Cycle as one of its key offerings. D.A’s adoption is quite ingenious in that it is a hybrid of Agile and LEAN.
The following diagram shows a high level view of Disciplined Agile’s adoption of LEAN:
The D.A LEAN Life-Cycle incorporates Product Backlog, Demo, Retrospective, Kanban, and many useful aspects of Agile. But it does away with the concept of Iterations (or Sprints). So, a project running LEAN Life-Cycle would continuously ‘pull’ a new piece of work (whether it’s a user-story or task) into their Kanban board and start working on it whenever they have capacity to do so.
Another key feature of the D.A LEAN Life-Cycle is all user-stories / tasks in the product backlog are of roughly same size and are very small in order to reduce the batch size.