Lean vs. Agile

Difference between lean and agile

The market in the present state has become fiercely competitive due to a mounting pressure on companies to manufacture products faster, in far greater variants and at the least possible costs. There have been several theories that have been put forward in order to make a company cost efficient as well as more productive in terms of product delivery through improvement on the manufacturing processes. There are two most well known approaches in this context such as lean manufacturing and agile manufacturing.

There are however marked differences between the two concepts that are to be highlighted in order for a lay man to understand completely the characteristics of both these processes along with their pros and cons. Of the two aspects of manufacturing, lean manufacturing came up earlier. As the Agile manufacturing concept is fairly recent, it integrates some of the finest traits of Lean manufacturing and therefore there are certainly going to be similarities in both these processes of manufacturing.

Lean manufacturing is often alluded to as simply Lean. It is a practice of production which takes into consideration expenditure of resources for every other thing except creation of value for the end customer as a wasteful expense and therefore a target for eradication. It was a production viewpoint that was taken up in the first place by Toyota Motors and is also inferred as Toyotism. The steady growth of Toyota originating from a small motor manufacturing company to one of the giants in manufacture of cars in the whole world is accredited to this Lean methodology.

The objective in Lean manufacturing is to obliterate waste as far as possible from the progression and to optimize the flow of work to accomplish efficiency to the maximum possible level. In the present day, Lean has been altered as a perception from production to services based industries and there are people considering Lean in the area of software development. There are several leverages over the run of the mill procedures.

There are several advantages of Lean since it recognizes opportunities to further the quality of the product. It also lessens the risk through thorough testing of the product and taking advantage of feedback at every chance it is provided. There is a drastic reduction in the cost factor through the identification of waste which in turn enhances profitability while inspiring an atmosphere of a continual improvement and learning.


In the Agile manufacturing process, even though it is a recent product, it has come into view as a top notch system of carrying on business which adopts the finest characteristics of Lean as well as adding some fresh and new traits. The Agile stratagem lays stress on how operations can easily respond to a transforming environment. The companies or organizations who have adopted the Agile strategy are supported by an innovative staff, an easily adaptable structure in the organization and a huge network of suppliers, healthy customer relations and other knowledge based companies to help them in their efforts. These tactics proffer a leading edge to not only to Agile companies but also to their stakeholders. The Agile manufacturing process generally alludes to a manufacturing line of attack where fresh and recent products are brought into the fast and rapidly changing market to flourish in a highly competitive market that is typified by unanticipated transformations. It is dependent on the capability of the company to remain alive to opportunities that come into its way and be ready to effect alterations in proper time in order to keep ahead of the other companies in the industry. The Agile is able to seek solutions in the market rapidly thereby lessening the development cycle dramatically; futile projects are shelved sooner than planned thus preventing massive losses and priority changes are easily and immediately put into effect with the minimum of wastage.