Lean Startup vs Agile Methodology – Can You Use Both?
Working in a startup, I am constantly looking at different types of team collaboration methods, useful test cases, and any kind of advice and opinions by my peers in the industry. One thing that I always loved to research was the Lean Startup vs Agile Methodology. Being in a demanding startup job, it requires me to think on my feet and take on multiple tasks at once. I came across two great posts that explain Lean Startup vs Agile Methodology. The first was a great post written on Medium (see post here), that discusses an interview done by Clair Byrd, of InVision APP – a prototyping, collaboration, and workflow platform. In Clair’s post, she conducts an interview with the team at Dribble – an exclusive community for show and tell for designers in the all sorts of categories, such as graphic design, UI/UX, and more.
I was intrigued by the interview because I am an avid follower of Dribble. My startup is involved with dealing with designers in that space, so to learn about how Dribble’s Team operates was a great find for me. What was most interesting to me was that Dribble is only a team of 6, and they are all remote. I couldn’t believe it at first, seeing how the platform is so big within the artists community. But what really stuck out to me the most was that their entire team is REMOTE. That struck a chord with me as my team is entirely remote as well. We have been for the past 3 years. I remember when I first started working remotely, how I wasn’t a big fan. However, I learned to adapt and found out that we could work together easily, if not better, being remote. As the interviewed moved on, Dribble’s team said that they work in an Agile Methodology environment. Makes sense, since they’re more about product design. However, what is Agile you might ask? This is why I decided to make a post that explained Agile vs Lean Startup.
We don’t have a ton of structure — it’s more of an agile setup. We’ll scope out a feature, for instance, and collaborate on what that means from a visual and a functional standpoint. – Dribble Team
To discuss the two methodologies further, I will reference the second article I read via CabForward – a software development agency that focuses on Rugged Software Design, Agile Project Management and Lean Customer Development. To read the full article, see here. The definition of the two are:
Lean Startup: measure ongoing results but then challenge those requirements as needed, as part of a build-measure-learn loop
Agile Methodology: an approach to project management, typically used in software development
Upon reading the definition of the two, it occurred to me that both can play nice with one another, especially if you’re in a scenario where you’re trying to grow a business that involves a product. At STKR, we implement both practices. The product guys go one Agile sprints while they work with the business team in terms of Lean Startup. In the startup world, team collaboration is very integral. Everyone needs to be on the same page, and there cannot be island splits amongst your group. This is why I think both Lean and Agile can work hand in hand, and in fact, most likely will need each other. Both feed off of each other in my opinion, and by working hand-in-hand, it can only help your company lead to success.
With that, let’s all achieve our goals!