Agile Is a Lean Work Cell
A common concept discussed with lean is setting up work in a value stream and not functional silos. This means getting people from cross functional areas to sit and work together in a work cell. An example would be someone from customer service, credit check and order writing all sitting together to make the work of order taking flow.
This allows for the handoffs to occur immediately and increased communication between the functions resulting in reduced lead time and better quality of work.
Agile is a great example of putting the work cell concept into action.
An agile software development team brings the business partner, software developers, data managers and quality assurance together in one room. This allows for quick turnaround discussions when someone is stuck getting to a resolution quicker and moving the development along.
There are many other aspects to agile but the work cell is a instrumental component to allowing many of the other concepts and tools to work so well for an agile team.
Work cells are not just for the manufacturing floor. They are applicable anywhere you need to bring cross functional teams together in order to drive a quicker more efficient process.