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Gartner you got it wrong. The new Lean-Agile Waterfall is not cool

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A flawed idea, from a big consulting company, is a poisoned seed that once planted in the mind of inexperienced practitioners can spread misinformation and distort people’s understanding.
Let’s turn this poisoned seed into an opportunity to reflect on the foundations of lean and agile, and deepen our understanding.
In 2016 Gartner published a diagram that combines ideas from Design thinking, Lean Startup, and Agile.

I was initially attracted to it because it combines different approaches and practices instead of contrasting them, and I also overlooked the three underlying flawed ideas. Those flawed ideas, planted in the mind of inexperienced practitioners, grew into a new lean/agile waterfall evident in the derivative diagrams.

This below is a simplified diagram that highlights the flawed areas:


It should be read from left to right, from the initial product need/goal (left) to the product delivery and operation (right). The overall process is a sequence of sub-processes. Each sub-process has its internal feedback loops. Sub-processes are connected by a loose feedback loop.


Can you see what’s wrong with it, and how it is in conflict with fundamental lean and agile principles? How many problems can you spot? Click here to read what I’ve spotted.