Agile to Waterfall 5. There and Back Again

Episode 78 - 29 Mar 2017

It's been a fun ride, but now its time to wrap things up. I'll recap each of the three processes and remind you of the key learnings.

If you missed any of the previous episodes, start here


We started way back in Episode 1 by looking at this process.

Note sure this it conforms to any recognised Agile framework.

It's iterative. Very iterative.

It was the right approach for my level certainty with the process at the time.

And do you know what, it got the job done.

Inefficient, Yes.

But iterating towards a finished product meant there were no surprises.

Which is more than I can say about the process that replaced it.


By moving the steps around, I found I could remove the iteration.

An iterative process became a Waterfall process.

Was it really Waterfall?

Mike Jones wasn't so sure: "you are still following some Kanban practices such as single piece flow - you are only working on one video at a time."

Mike's right.

As waterfall processes go, it's about as watered down [gettit?] as it could be.

But even then, I had pain points.

  • the part that I find difficult... became more difficult. (Remember we talked about Cognitive Load.)
  • the part I liked... became unpredictable. Sometimes it was a smooth as silk. Sometimes it was a car crash.

Too soon?

I now look at these SYMPTOMS as indicators that I wasn't ready for waterfall.

"Waterfall works well for processes that are well-understood."

As yet I haven't reached the right level of understanding... in video production.

Where I have reached the right level of understanding is in pizza production.

It's a pure Waterfall process.

And batch sizes of up to... err... three ... are no problem for me.

Quick aside

By the way, Mozart's ability to compose an entire piece... and then write it all down "As if taking dictation" is a reminder that it's not about the intrinsic difficulty or complexity of a task,

It's about our experience/understanding of the task

Wrap up

This is the process I use now. (see video.)

Is it a recognised Agile framework? Kanban, perhaps?

On second thoughts: "A new episode every Wednesday". A Sprint? Maybe it's Scrum?

Did you notice the dotted lines.

These loops are the LAYERS I talked about last time:

  • Once around I and have my "margharetta" video
  • Next time around...that's my pepperoni video
  • Around again.... my American Hot.


finishing a task... taking another from the backlog.

That's sounds to me... like KANBAN!