Beware of Waterfall in disguise proposed 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 linear and sequential 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, each one with a separate set of roles 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.

Lean and Agile are not about learning to adopt a target framework, but they are about the learnings made during the journey of gradually growing internally the organisations’s own ways of working with help from some guiding principle, an incomplete starting point, and inspirations from a set of known patterns & practices leading to other novel practices.

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