The Lean-Agile Prism: Going Beyond The Agile Triangle


use the product or service in addition to the value added by the functionality.

It is for that reason that I propose to give Design its deserved place by expanding the agile triangle, going 3-D to form a prism where the fourth vertex is Design (see Figure 4). I put Value at the top because I consider it the central one. The prism could be applied to products and services for any kind of industry and not only software development.


Figure 4. The lean-agile project prism


Some people go after the product they like best, even if it is more expensive than competing ones. Thus, design is more important to most users than price. Quite certainly many people like Apple products over competitors because they are very cool looking and don’t care at all paying more for them. Back in the days of the first generation iPod I purchased an mp3 player that actually had more functionality than the iPod and had a significantly lower price, as well as being smaller in size. When I showed it to people, they would see it and comment: “oh, that is nice, but I still like my iPod best!”

If Mike takes all this into account to improve his systems the end result will be a system that provides the same great functionality to the hotel staff but in a way that is easier and more appealing. The result will be more productive hotel staff and more time for him to get the hours of sleep he needs and time to increase the level of automation.


  2. Highsmith, Jim “Agile Project Mangement.” Addison-Wesley, 2010.
About the Author Masa Maeda is an avid lean-agilist. He is president and founder of Shojiki Solutions ( a lean-agile coaching and training business based in the San Francisco Bay Area. Masa has worked for large and start-up companies in the Bay Area, Japan, and Mexico; where he has lived extended periods of time. Masa holds a Ph.D. and M.S. from Japan and a B.S. from Mexico. His passion beyond lean-agile is mountain climbing, diverse outdoor activities, photography, and cooking.

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