Flour, water, yeast, salt. Just a couple of simple ingredients to bake a nice bread in your oven. But the steps involved prior to your first taste may sound easy, but it really isn’t. Exact measurements are required for all ingredients on your kitchen scale. The oven must be right temperature, and the constant kneading of the dough over the course of several hours will presumably make great bread. But things happen, and once it’s ready for the first taste, it might not be what you expect and you may not initially know why this happened.
That’s why you should try to make stew when it comes to modern day product development. The idea is there, the recipe is close, and you start throwing ingredients at your stock pot. We know that simmering it a little longer would make the stew just that much more flavorful. Just like in the product development cycle, a quick taste during the simmering process will give you a sense of where the stew will be going. A little pinch of salt, and a crackle of pepper is no different than taking a look at the product and making a minor tweak to it. With the stew, you have the opportunity to stop it early when it’s ready for consumption, or keep simmering it down to tighten up the flavors. In a product, this could be tightening up the design. Keep checking, keep tasting, keep adjusting and you’ll have great stew.
This a comparison between waterfall (bread), and agile (stew) methodologies.