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> I've also long thought that the details of your development methodology need to vary throughout the lifecycle of the project. Early on, there may be less clarity, and more "unknown unknowns", so it makes sense to focus more on experimentation and learning. Later on you (hopefully) start to converge towards a deep understanding of what you're doing, and can move more into the "gradual refinement" mode of work.

I think this is basically true but incomplete; early and late are misleading a bit, because it can be early in the life of a product that is in a well-explored space and it will look “late”, while a product can experience change in requirements or external context which makes it look “early”. A product should expect to move between modes multiple times if it is long-lived.




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