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  • Writer's picturekyle shook

Lean vs. Agile: Which Is Better for Your Small Business?

The business world is always swimming with jargon for how to better operate a company. Two of the most common, "lean" and "agile," are two different approaches to managing and improving business processes.


Originally developed by Toyota in Japan, Lean is a methodology that focuses on identifying and eliminating waste in a process, with the goal of improving efficiency and reducing costs. Even though this approach was developed for a manufacturing company, it has since been applied to a wide scope of industries globally. Agile, on the other hand, is an approach to project management that emphasizes flexibility, collaboration, and quick iteration. It was originally developed for software development, but its application can suit any industry sector.


So which approach is best for your small business? Whether agile or lean is better for a company depends on the specific needs and goals of the business. Both approaches have their strengths and can be effective in different situations. For example, if a small business is looking to optimize its processes and reduce waste, then lean is better philosophy. By identifying and eliminating non-value-added activities, a business can improve efficiency and reduce costs---which is especially important when tackling the issue of limited resources.


On the other hand, if a small business is focused on adapting quickly to changing customer needs or market conditions, then agility is key. The agile business model emphasizes flexibility and collaboration, which allows speedy responses to feedback and adaptation to new opportunities.


Ultimately, the choice between agile and lean will depend on the specific circumstances of your company. In fact, even a combination of both approaches could be the most effective way to achieve your goals. Whatever methodology you adopt, it is nevertheless important for small business owners to carefully evaluate their targets and consider which approach is best suited to achieving them.

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