Gartner you got it wrong. The new Lean-Agile Waterfall is not cool – Part 2

Continue from Part 1.

In the Gartner diagram and in the derivative work, there are 3 flawed ideas in conflict with fundamental lean and agile principles. Compare them with the problems you have spotted:

  1. In the diagram the problem space is fully understood upfront, then the solution is defined accordingly. This approach is typical of a Waterfall mindset.

  2. The approach in the diagram promotes functional silos, one for each sub-process associated with a different lean/agile approach, and hands-over between them, as it is typical in a Waterfall approach.

  3. The diagram tries to describe an all-comprehensive approach to be tailored down to specific needs, as it is common to pre-lean and pre-agile 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.

What have we learned from Gartner’s mistake? Does that improve our understanding of lean and agile?