Skip to content

Lean and agile principles in IT

The National Convergence Technology Center’s (CTC) most recent “Brown Bag” webinar featured a look at lean and agile concepts, which are often used in the IT workplace to maintain competitive advantage by pursuing continuous improvement. Students who can understand the basics of lean and agile frameworks could have an edge in job interviews.

The presenter was Laura Chang, instructor at Dallas College and IT consultant. First launched in 2020, the Brown Bag series offers special topic presentations via bite-sized, 30-minute segments on both technical and employability topics. To date, these 17 webinars have been attended “live” by over 500 people with another 1350 views of the recordings on YouTube.

Below are a few highlights of Laura’s presentation.

Stock photo of a laptop screen showing code being created.

* Waterfall methodology is traditionally used in processes that involve “dependencies.” That is, you can’t do one thing before you finish another. But this can sometimes lead to lengthy development cycles where you’re taking a very long time planning and discussing and building before you finally have something to show to a customer. It’s a linear, step by step framework.

* Agile – first presented in the Agile Manifesto – proposes a more iterative framework that improves communication and collaboration to get something to the customer faster. Agile includes feedback loops of testing and revising that encourages quicker improvements.

* One tenet of lean is to focus exclusively on providing benefit to the customer. Anything else is waste. Lean principles, in fact, categorize and identify different categories of waste.

* Lean and agile principles have their root in the Toyota Production System. Both frameworks are concerned with “kaizen,” the Japanese word meaning “change for good.” This emphasizes the need for constant learning and changing and improving.

* Japanese interest in improving organizational performance led to visits to the United States in the 1950s where executives studied supermarkets. They were impressed with the way grocery shelves were replenished based solely on what customers bought. It’s more efficient to focus on what the customer needs and wants.

To view the entire presentation, visit:

Learn more about the differences – and similarities – between lean and agile, visit here.


Scroll To Top