Skip large models during the workflow

Problem Statement

Assume that I have a workflow with three models, say Staging, Intermediate and Publish. Publish depends on Intermediate, which in turn depends on Staging. Intermediate model transformation is very time consuming and does some heavy lifting.

Staging ← Intermediate ← Publish

In Production environment, I want all three models to be running in the order. However, in lower environment, during testing, I want to skip the time consuming intermediate model and just use the earlier output transformation materialization.

Possible options

One option I could think of is to conditionally set enabled to false in lower environment. The challenge is that anything that depends on this model fails saying that the dependent model is not enabled.

Another option would be to change the subsequent models to refer to the table or the model conditionally. Here we can only start the workflow only from the subsequent models.

Wondering if there a better way to cater to this requirement.