Suggested Duration: 30 Mins.

Recommended Size: 9 to 12 people

Needed Supplies: Printed Copies of Core beliefs of Waterfall, Agile and Lean

Procedure: Download the core beliefs file, print file using single side using landscape page format and cut each paper into four equally sized portions. Lines are marked on the sheets. In the end, you should have printed statements on a index size cards.

Place three main cards (The Core beliefs of Waterfall, Agile and Lean) on the table in a row.

Shuffle the rest of the cards and ask participants to read one by one using a round-robin fashion. After each read, a group can discuss, agree and place the card under the associated approach.

As a facilitator, you may have to re-emphasize essential learning points and guide team appropriately throughout the activity.

This learning activity does not only improve the basic knowledge of Waterfall, Agile and Lean but also help participants to identify the differences between each belief system.

Before you run with your team, I suggest providing them a quick overview and highlights main characteristics of each approach. I ran this exercise couple of times in my PMI-ACP Exam Prep session as well as with my coaching clients and made the following observations.

  • Almost every single person recognized statements related to waterfall
  • People are having difficulty in distinguishing between Agile and Lean. Most of the time you will hear that, but we do the same in Agile)

Good luck and please do provide your observations and ways to improve this activity, so we all can benefit from it.

Correct Answers can be found at 360PMO blog post


6 thoughts on “The Core Beliefs of Waterfall, Agile and Lean

  1. Thank you for this nice work.
    Is it OK for you if i use it when teaching Agile Testing ?
    I will translate it in french (and of course, will credit you), if you like i will send you the translation.
    I teach people in professionnal reorientation, and it is often difficult to make difference between Agile/Scrum/Lean.

  2. Couple of questions about the lean cards – are these typos, or am I not undertanding the principles?

    “3. Ad hoc is not an acceptance process.” (I don’t understand that belief. Is acceptance the correct word here, or should it say instead “acceptable process”?)

    “4. Looking at when things are done is a process is a more useful guide than trying to make sure every step of the way is as efficient as possible” (should it say instead looking at when things are done IN a process, rather than IS a process?)

  3. Hi,

    Do you have a download with the principles? I could only find the agile principles online, but not the waterfall and lean ones.

    Thank you

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