To me it sounds like you are collecting empirical evidence testing different variables, you learn how the process work. Then you hypothesize what will happen if you alter any of the variables, because you collected evidence by experimenting. Well it might not be an exact science, but your method is almost scientific. Probably you don't want to deal with measuring or calculating all molar calculations, dmax measurement, humidity amount and stuff like that but your approach is very close being scientific, IMO of course.
I do use a similar approach like yours, but I feel there are times that require calculations for solving certain problems with a specific process.
Yes, I think you are about right in this description of how I work and like you I do accept the need to make some calculations within the chemistry and practice.