Thursday, May 17, 2007

Agile or agile, Lean or lean?

Recently, I have seen a trend where other bloggers and authors are having difficulty or are trying to define the difference in using Agile (capital-A) vs. agile and Lean vs. lean. Some would say that by putting a capital in front of it that it means you are focusing on a particular methodology or defined Agile process. So if you are referring to something like XP or Scrum, you should use Agile. Otherwise, if you are talking about principles and particular practices, you should use agile. Others don't want to put a label on "Lean" or "Agile" because they are afraid I guess of watering down or maybe commercializing those terms? Other people would believe that you should use capitals in some situations and not in others.

Frankly, I just don't get it. All this brings is more confusion to the community. To me, putting a capital on Lean and Agile allows my readers to know that I am talking about the values, principles, practices, tools, measures, etc of a way to develop software differently. By not putting the capitals, I don't want to confuse people with the generic terms of lean and agile which are:


1. To hang outwards.
2. To press against.
3. (of a person) slim not fleshy or having little fat
4. (of meat) having little fat
4. Having little extra or little to spare; as a lean budget
5. (of a fuel-air mixture) having more air than is necessary to burn all of the fuel; more air- or oxygen- rich than necessary for a stoichiometric reaction


1. Having the faculty of quick motion in the limbs; apt or ready to move; nimble; active; as, an agile boy; an agile tongue.

Agile and Lean are states of mind, are a way to develop software, have common values and principles but many practices and tools to implement. agile and lean? They don't tell me much. I'm going to use capitals!

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