Agile Tools and Approaches: Lean, XP, Scrum & Kanban

Lean manufacturing & lean development

The approach is mainly focused on waste reduction across all production levels. Note, that in knowledge-based organizations all work that doesn’t contribute to progress is considered wasteful. Lean principles base largely on Value Streams, which are visual representations of the actions and process steps that contribute to the project success and help to get rid of those that don’t.
There are no definite management instructions of how to proceed with a Lean project — they are mainly guidelines.

Extreme Programming (XP)

This work management method has been designed for software development specifically. It largely focuses on increasing the responsiveness to a changing demand of the customer. XP advocates to release often and to plan development in short cycles, after which customer’s requirements can be confronted with latest release and possibly adjusted.


This is a specific visualization and task management system, that’s putting a lot of focus on team roles within the process and on planning work in small, time-definite cycles — called Sprints. Tasks are often devised as User Stories — development features as described by their future user or customer.
The great thing about Scrum in its ideal is that after each iteration, there should be a fully workable product achieved. Scrum works best for types of activities that can be planned ahead, as working sudden changes in requirements into an ongoing Scrum process can be tricky.


Also a visualization and task management system, originally developed for Lean Manufacturing (by one of Toyota’s industrial engineer — Taichi Ohno). It bases on sign cards, which indicated parts in stock — hence showing what parts were needed for ordering, simplifying the supply chain and highly raising productivity. In early 2000s, the idea of using sign cards and moving them about a process board has been introduced to software development and then spread onto all branches of business.
Kanban asks to visualize workflow and limit the Work in Progress to reduce waste and unfinished work. The long-term focus of Kanban is continuous improvement, achieved through learning on past process impediments and adjusting the process accordingly.



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