Lean integration is a continuous improvement methodology for bringing disparate data and software systems together. The goal is to maximize customer value through greater use of automation and a continuous, gradual improvement of data-driven business processes.
Lean integration is a long-term strategy for improving data quality and organizational processes that create and modify business data. The goals are to eliminate waste and increase productivity, which is largely accomplished through careful analysis of processes, metrics, and human feedback, which can be used to optimize and automate the lifecycle events of various data.
The overarching philosophical difference is that lean integration views data integration as a long-term, ongoing activity rather than a temporary activity or hurdle with a finite project timeline. Lean integration strives to provide a continuous stream of value to the bottom line by strengthening organizational agility through data use, quality, and human productivity.
Lean integration also relies heavily on bottoms-up input from the lines of business and other application users, rather than solely on IT innovation. New ideas are welcomed from users and then tested and validated. Valid improvements are then implemented, leading to greater integration understanding, higher morale, and real and perceived customer value.
The primary tool is automation, but any tool or control to improve quality or speed processes falls under lean management objectives. This includes things like templates for line-of-business processes, wizards or tools for metadata collection, code testing and migration, reusable objects, and role-based tools.