Vol. 6 No. 1 (2020): July-December
PMI Australia 2018 Conference

Lean and agile project management concepts in the project management profession

Published 2020-10-27


  • agile,
  • lean,
  • project management

How to Cite

Mostafa, S., Sanchez, M., Dumrak, J., & Hadjinicolaou, N. (2020). Lean and agile project management concepts in the project management profession. Project Management Research and Practice, 6(1), 10. Retrieved from https://pmrp.online/index.php/pmrp/article/view/11


Lean and agile concepts have been the focus of researchers and practitioners since 1990. The lean concept started in the Japanese manufacturing sector to eliminate waste and enhance customer satisfaction. Whereas agile was introduced into the 20th-century manufacturing enterprise strategy report.The agile concept concentrates on quick response to variations in the market environment. The lean and agile concepts have emerged becoming managerial paradigms applicable to different industrial sectors and processes. However, the plethora of lean  and agile implementations and settings makes the recent literature diverse and fragmented, and comprehensive analysis of the latest contributions on this space is deemed essential. Therefore, this research uses a systematic literature review of 160 related articles published in peer-reviewed academic journals between 2012 and 2018. The study applies descriptive and thematic analyses to the recent trends in this area and provides a framework that organises lean and agile researched issues into developed, intermediate and emerging based on their position in the researchlifecycle.


  1. Agarwal, A., Shankar, R. and Tiwari, M.K. (2006), "Modeling the metrics of lean, agile and leagile supply chain: an ANP-based approach," European Journal of Operational Research, Vol. 173, pp. 211-25. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ejor.2004.12.005
  2. Alliance, A. (2001). Agile manifesto. Online at http://www. agilemanifesto. org, 6(1).
  3. Anvari, A., Zulkifli, N., Sorooshian, S., & Boyerhassani, O. (2014). An integrated design methodology based on the use of group AHP-DEA approach for measuring lean tools efficiency with undesirable output. International Journal of Advanced Manufacturing Technology, 70. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00170-013-5369-z
  4. Atkinson, P. (2010), "Lean is a cultural issue," Management Services, Summer, Vol. 54 No. 2, pp. 35-41
  5. Browaeys, M. J., & Fisser, S. (2012). Lean and agile: an epistemological reflection. The learning organization, 19(3), 207-218. https://doi.org/10.1108/09696471211219903
  6. Bruce, M., Daly, L., & Towers, N. (2004). Lean or agile: a solution for supply chain management in the textiles and clothing industry?. International journal of operations & production management, 24(2), 151-170.https://doi.org/10.1108/01443570410514867
  7. Cooke, J. L. (2012). Everything you want to know about agile IT governance publishing
  8. Dekier, ?. (2012). The origins and evolution of Lean Management system. Journal of International Studies, 5(1), 46-51.https://doi.org/10.14254/2071-8330.2012/5-1/6
  9. Demir, S. T., Bryde, D. J., Fearon, D. J., & Ochieng, E. G. (2012). Re-conceptualizing Lean in Construction Environments-"the case for "AgiLean" Project Management." In 48th ASC Annual International Conference Proceedings(pp. 1-9).
  10. Fitzgerald, B., Musia?, M., & Stol, K. J. (2014, May). Evidence-based decision making in lean software project management. In Companion Proceedings of the 36th International Conference on Software Engineering (pp. 93-102). ACM https://doi.org/10.1145/2591062.2591190
  11. Fullerton, R. R., Kennedy, F. A., & Widener, S. K. (2014). Lean manufacturing and firm performance: The incremental contribution of lean management accounting practices. Journal of Operations Management, 32(7-8), 414-428. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jom.2014.09.002
  12. Graber, J., & McCormick, N. (2012). Lean but Agile: rethink workforce planning and gain a true competitive edge.
  13. Gunasekaran, A. (2001). Agile manufacturing: the 21st-century competitive strategy. Elsevier. Inman, A.R., Saleb, S.R., Green, K.W. and Whitten, D. (2011), "Agile Manufacturing: relation to JIT, operational performance and firm performance," Journal of Operations Management, Vol. 29, pp. 343-55. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jom.2010.06.001
  14. Kaplan, G. S., Patterson, S. H., Ching, J. M., & Blackmore, C. C. (2014). Why Lean doesn't work for everyone. BMJ Qual Saf, bmjqs-2014. https://doi.org/10.1136/bmjqs-2014-003248
  15. Lagerberg, L., Skude, T., Emanuelsson, P., Sandahl, K., & Stahl, D. (2013, October). The impact of agile principles and practices on large-scale software development projects: A multiple-case study of two projects at Ericsson. In Empirical Software Engineering and Measurement, 2013 ACM/IEEE International Symposium on (pp. 348-356). IEEE. https://doi.org/10.1109/ESEM.2013.53
  16. Magenheimer, K., Reinhart, G., & Schutte, C. S. (2014). Lean management in indirect business areas: modeling, analysis, and evaluation of waste. Production Engineering, 8(1-2), 143- 152. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11740-013-0497-8
  17. Martínez-Jurado, P. J., & Moyano-Fuentes, J. (2014). Lean management, supply chain management and sustainability: a literature review. Journal of Cleaner Production, 85, 134- 150. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jclepro.2013.09.042
  18. Mazur, L., McCreery, J., & Rothenberg, L. (2012). Facilitating lean learning and behaviors in hospitals during the early stages of lean implementation. Engineering Management Journal, 24(1), 11-22. https://doi.org/10.1080/10429247.2012.11431925
  19. Mohammed, I.R., Shankar, R.&Banwet, D.K.(2008). Creating flex-lean-agile value chain by outsourcing, Business Process Management Journal, Vol.14 No.3, pp.338-389 https://doi.org/10.1108/14637150810876670
  20. Mostafa, S., Mostafa, S., Chileshe, N., Chileshe, N., Abdelhamid, T., & Abdelhamid, T. (2016). Lean and agile integration within offsite construction using discrete event simulation: A systematic literature review. Construction Innovation, 16(4), 483-525. https://doi.org/10.1108/CI-09-2014-0043
  21. Müller, R. M., & Thoring, K. (2012). Design thinking vs. lean startup: A comparison of two user-driven innovation strategies. Leading through design, 151.
  22. Putnik, G. D., & Putnik, Z. (2012). Lean vs. agile in the context of complexity management in organizations. The Learning Organization, 19(3), 248-266. https://doi.org/10.1108/09696471211220046
  23. R. Jadhav, J., S. Mantha, S., & B. Rane, S. (2014). Exploring barriers in lean implementation. International Journal of Lean Six Sigma, 5(2), 122-148. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJLSS-12-2012-0014
  24. Sabri, E., & Shaikh, S. N. (2010). Lean and agile value chain management: a guide to the next level of improvement.
  25. Simon, R. W., & Canacari, E. G. (2012). A practical guide to applying lean tools and management principles to health care improvement projects. AORN Journal, 95(1), 85-103. Sohi, A. J., Hertogh, M., Bosch-Rekveldt, M., & Blom, R. (2016). Does Lean & Agile Project Management Help Coping with Project Complexity?. Procedia-Social and Behavioral Sciences, 226, 252-259. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.sbspro.2016.06.186
  26. Stanleigh, M. (2008), "Effecting successful change management initiatives," Industrial and Commercial Training, Vol. 40 No. 1, pp. 34-37. https://doi.org/10.1108/00197850810841620
  27. Stare, A. (2014). Agile project management in product development projects. Procedia-Social and Behavioral Sciences, 119, 295-304. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.sbspro.2014.03.034
  28. Tyagi, S., Cai, X., Yang, K., & Chambers, T. (2015). Lean tools and methods to support efficient knowledge creation. International Journal of Information Management, 35(2), 204-214. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijinfomgt.2014.12.007
  29. Tyree, J., & Akerman, A. (2005). Architecture decisions: Demystifying architecture. IEEE Software, 22(2), 19-27. https://doi.org/10.1109/MS.2005.27
  30. Wang, X., Conboy, K., & Cawley, O. (2012). "Leagile" software development: An experience report analysis of the application of lean approaches in agile software development. Journal of Systems and Software, 85(6), 1287-1299. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jss.2012.01.061
  31. Womack, J. (2003). Lean thinking: banish waste and create wealth in your corporation (2 ed.).New York: Free Press.