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Beware of Waterfall in disguise by Gartner – Part 2


Continue from Part 1.

In the Gartner diagram (and in the derivative work you still find around), there are 3 mistakes that conflict with fundamental lean and agile principles.

  1. In the process designed by Gartner the problem space is fully understood upfront, then the solution is defined accordingly. This approach is typical of a Waterfall mindset.
  2. The process promotes functional silos, one for each sub-process that Gartner associates with a different lean/agile discipline, and it promotes hands-over between them as it is typical in Waterfall.
  3. The process tries to be an all-comprehensive approach to be tailored down to specific needs (this become more evident in the derivative work), as it is common to pre-lean and pre-agile heavyweight approaches.

This is how a lean-agile approach could look like instead:

  1. In lean and agile, the understanding of the problem and the discovery of a solution evolve gradually in concert. This double act called co-evolution continues until a working solution is fully discovered and developed, and only then the problem is fully understood.
  2. Lean and agile promotes co-creation: a cross-functional deep collaboration and shared ownership of the artefacts to minimise hands-over and delays, to take advantage of the diversity of ideas and multiplicity of points of view, and to enable fast feedback loops.
  3. Lean and agile suggest starting with the simplest possible, even incomplete, approach that will be continuously evolved and adapted to circumstances through experimentation, experience, and learnings.