Difference Between Agile and Lean (With Table)

Many projects are launched in the software industry. Before starting a project, we need a proper model to decide whether we can go with the project or not. Without knowing the proper model will always lead to discrepancies. The two most commonly used models in the software industry are agile and the other is lean. They are taken considering the advantages and disadvantages. 

Agile vs Lean

The main difference between Agile and Lean is that in the agile software model, they used phases, which are divided into six, and every iteration in this model will be used to undergo all these six phases. In the lean model, they will not contain phases, but they are developed using the manufacturing model, and they have a good managerial flow in their work. 

The agile model is used by many companies because the works are divided into smaller iterations. In this model, you cannot simply start the work without any good coding knowledge or experience. You should be very qualified to do the work. Also, you have to conduct a meeting with clients many times to understand their requirements because there will be no proper documentation.

Lean is very popular because you can get the software product quickly. They follow some principles, which makes them more unique. They will always have good respect for their clients. Their work is not only developing the product. While developing the product, they will also learn and help other team members to grow as well, which makes them unique. 

Comparison Table Between Agile and Lean

Parameters of ComparisonAgileLean
DefinitionA software model containing six different phases for their entire cycle of lifeA software model which got derived from a manufacturing model
Developed usingScrum framework or Kanban frameworkUsing the transition of manufacturing principles and processes
TimeThey are used to deliver everything in a dynamic mannerThis can be used to increase the speed
PrincipleThey give scope and value to the productThey will improve the quality of the product
Built-in facilitiesIt can be used to design any productIt is used for building only small-batch products

What is Agile?

Agile is a software life cycle model used for developing a software product. Here they have some advantages and disadvantages, so based on that, they will decide whether to go with the agile model or not. If your project is going to be very short, then you can go for the agile model. If you think your project is very long and needs lengthy documentation, then it is not advisable to go for the agile model. 

If the client is ready to have a meeting with you and your team members whenever you ask them, then you can go for the agile model. Since this model does not have any proper documentation, you have to take care of all the work then and there itself without skipping the part. It is divided into smaller iterations, and each iteration will be completed within 1 to 4 weeks. It won’t take time more than that. And all the iterations will go through all the phases described in the software development life cycle model.

The biggest disadvantage of this model is that once the project gets completed, then the team members will be assigned to the next project. So, they won’t come and look back at their previous project. So, maintenance will become a big problem. Also, to develop a software product using this model, you need to have good qualified team members with high experience by your side. This is considered to be one of the frequently used models in the software industry.

What is Lean?

Lean is project management that is used in the agile model for developing projects. In lean, there will be nothing in excess, so nothing will get wasted while you develop the product. When we develop any software product, the most important factor that we look for is not to waste our time and resources. There might be more resources available. But that does not mean we can use and waste them.

And the next important thing is saving money. Not all projects can be finished with money. Some clients may have less money. Based on their requirement, we should plan and create them. In lean, there will be an increase in speed in terms of managerial flow. This is the thing that agile models lack. There you will not be able to manage the flow. You will divide everything into small iterations, so managerial flow is not possible in lean.

They value their customer. So, they make the best use of the available resources. Some principles are followed in lean. Some of the principles are they will eliminate all the waste, they will create quality products, they will create knowledge among them, they used to defer commitment, they deliver everything faster, they respect the client and the people in their team members, and the last thing is everything will be optimized.

Main Differences Between Agile and Lean

  1. The agile software model contains life cycle phases. On the other hand, the lean model will be developed from the manufacturing model.
  2. In the agile model, they don’t have any managerial flow. Whereas in the lean model, they have a good managerial flow.
  3. In the agile model, they deliver all their products in a dynamic manner. On the other hand, in the lean model, they used to deliver everything in a fast manner.
  4. The agile model is developed using scrum techniques. On the other hand, the lean model is developed using manufacturing principles.
  5. In the agile model, they used to give more scope to the product. In the lean model, they have importance to the quality of the product.


Both these can be used to build the projects. But we can’t start them without making a proper feasibility study. Only after making a proper feasibility report, we can decide which one would be good for us. If you are working on a short-term project and have to move to another project without taking more time in the previous project, then people will go for the agile model.

No matter what kind of project we do, we need a project manager to assist and guide us in all the steps. They will set up a meeting to discuss how far we have completed and achieved the target. Based on that, they will proceed to the next step. To be good at these models, you should be good at the basics of computer science and coding. 


  1. https://ieeexplore.ieee.org/abstract/document/6475408/
  2. https://ieeexplore.ieee.org/abstract/document/6005500/

About the Editorial Staff

Editorial Staff at Ask Any Difference is a team of experts in the field of "Difference Between" topics and led by Sandeep Bhandari, Piyush Yadav and Chara Yadav. Trusted by over 1.5 million readers worldwide
PinterestLinkedIn, Facebook

2D vs 3D x
2D vs 3D