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Difference between Lean and Kanban

Every software development methodology has multiple roles during development. The structure of the team decides the procedure. Several companies have different layouts, which ultimately results in distinct methods. This leads to different strategies according to specific requirements.

This article will briefly introduce the lean and Kanban technologies with a comparison in the last.


Lean vs Kanban


This methodology arose in the 20th century. At that time, it was called the methodology of manufacturing. The problem that arose was in the delivery of Toyota motors during production. The manager of Toyota discovered it and named it the Toyota production system, but the rest is history. Many companies then adopted the system.

In later 2003, a book was published named "Lean software development" by two lean researchers.


Lean is an agile methodology that improves product delivery by reducing wastes. Sometimes it sounds awkward but is very effective. The definition of waste is quite different in lean terms, so that anything that does not add any new functionality to the final product is known as waste in it. Hence this approach makes lean agile because there is a needed iterative structure of the projects. It is much easier to remove waste during an iterative cycle than to remove it when the product is ready.

Necessary procedure in Lean methodology:

  1. Testing is an essential procedure in this agile methodology. We all know that there cannot be a project which has no bugs. Fixing bugs is needed. The iteration cycle detects the bugs in each loop which is then removed as soon as it arises. Generally, XP practices are used by lean developers, out of which there is Test-driven development. This development allows the bugs to be minimized.
  2. It is a necessity that the communication inside a lean team should be strong. All the project issues must be discussed when needed, and solving bugs follow a hierarchical structure. Furthermore, the developers contact clients constantly during the project. This improves the customer and user acceptance of the product.


  1. The structure of the lean team is similar to the scrum team.
  2. Small and self-managing.
  3. The three primary roles: Product owner, team members, and team lead.
  4. People in a team are interchangeable.
  5. Though petite but effective.


Lean vs Kanban


Toyota introduced "Just in time" in the late 1940s regarding manufacturing to its production. It was then known as the pull system, which implies that show is based on customer need rather than the standard push practice to produce goods and introduce them to the market. In the 21st century, the key players in the software industry key players positively and effectively use it in production.

In Japanese norms, the Kanban is defined as a billboard or signboard. It originated via manufacturing which initially became a territory called agile software development,


It is workflow management used for defining, managing, and improving the services that deliver knowledge work. It aims to maximize efficiency and visualize the work and further improve. The role of kanban is to identify the potential bottlenecks in the process and fix them for a cost-effective optimal throughput.

Principles of Kanban:

  • Start with what you are doing now: The Kanban does not believe in making the changes to the setup or the continuing process. It is mainly applied to the current workflow. Any changes that occur gradually over a while at a pace when the team is comfortable with.
  • Agree to pursue incremental, evolutionary change: Kanban believes in making small steps rather than making big changes. If significant changes are made, it may be led to substantial resistance between the team and the organization.
  • Initially, respect current roles, responsibilities, and job titles: No organizational changes are made by Kanban. So it is not mandatory to change the existing parts which might be performing well because the team will collaboratively identify and implements whenever the changes are demanded. This principle will overcome the typical fear of change and resistance that usually accompanies an organization.
  • Encourage acts of leadership at all levels: Kanban encourages the team members by continuously encouraging them. It is because it believes that leadership does not come from senior managers only. Peoples at any level can present their ideas and show leadership whenever it is required to implement changes so that they can deliver their products and services continuously.
Parameter Lean Kanban
  1. Eliminate waste
  2. Amplify learning
  3. Decide as late as possible
  4. Decide as fast as possible
  5. Empower the team
  6. Build integrity in
  7. See the whole
  1. Focus - reduce multitasking
  2. Decrease waste
  3. Customer needs first
  1. Seeing waste
  2. Value stream mapping
  3. Set-based development
  4. Pul systems
  5. Queueing theory
  6. Motivation
  7. Measurements
  • Visualization
  • Limiting work in process
  • Flow management
  • Using feedback loops
  • Making policies explicit
  • Experimental evolution

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