Introducing DAD – Disciplined Agile Delivery

Since the creation of the Agile Manifesto in 2001, many frameworks have been used to achieve Agile objectives. Originally, Extreme Programming (XP), Crystal, DSDM, and Scrum were tried by many organizations and Scrum bubbled up to the top. Nowadays when an organization says they practice Agile, they typically mean Scrum.

Scrum has evolved over the years. While the ScrumAlliance, (owners of the Scrum Master, and Product Owner certifications) purposely try to keep Scrum simple and pure, the rest of the world has evolved Scrum in various ways including ScrumBan, PMI-ACP, Less, and SAFe.

Most of these evolutions materialized because Scrum kept simple doesn’t scale easily beyond a small dev group. In addition, there are several different scenarios a product team might face that change the dynamics of their long-term planning needs.

Disciplined Agile was created by IBM to meet these needs, and works so well the Project Management Institute® purchased it, and now promotes it. Disciplined Agile Delivery (DAD) is one part of a greater structure called Disciplined Agile, which includes DA Enterprise, DA IT, DA DevOps, and DAD.

Why a New Agile?

Disciplined Agile expands the Agile toolbox in the following ways:

  • In addition to Scrum’s Construction phase, we now recognize the full spectrum of product lifecycle phases: Concept, Inception, Construction, Transition, Production, and Retire phases.
  • Different product life cycle positions require different Agile approaches. DA provides six different lifecycles.
  • DA provides a set of universal product-development roadmap milestones.
  • DA provides process guidance for common software development scenarios, called process blades.

An Updated Agile Manifesto

Scrum has become wildly popular, and the principles of the Agile Manifesto are now about twenty years old. This length of time allows us to retrospect on the implications and accuracy of the Agile Manifesto, since it’s birth in 2001, in Snowbird, Utah.

The original four original Agile Manifesto values:

  • Individuals and interactions over processes and tools
  • Working software over comprehensive documentation
  • Customer collaboration over contract negotiation
  • Responding to change over following a plan

The original manifesto we pretty good, but can be approved upon. Here are the improved Disciplined Agile Manifesto values (changes in bold):

  • Individuals and interactions over processes and tools
  • Consumable solutions over comprehensive documentation
  • Stakeholder collaboration over contract negotiation
  • Responding to feedback over following a plan
  • Transparency over (false) predictability

If you think about it, these updates make sense. There is a difference between working software (“It works on my machine”) and a consumable solution that is installable, supported, and has adequate user-guides.

We know from the popular “thee-Amigos-meetings” in Scrum that there are more stakeholders to collaborate with than only the customers.

Change is handled naturally in Scrum, but we want more input than just customer requested changes. Directly solicited feedback ensures a safer collaborative environment and a better solution.

The fifth and additional value, transparency, is critical for project tracking and sustaining trust within the team, and between the team and it’s stakeholders.

In addition, some Agile concepts such as self-governing teams having an absence of central leadership have become misunderstood by some teams and Agile executives, causing chaos within their organizations. More structure would improve the unwanted extremes, but keep the agility.

An Updated Set of Principles Behind the Agile Manifesto

Like the Principles behind the Agile Manifesto, DA also has updated them to produce the Principles Behind the Disciplined Agile Manifesto.

The Four Views of Disciplined Agile

When we talk about Scrum, we tend to list the Roles, the Meetings, and the Artifacts of Scrum. In Disciplined Agile, we talk about the Mindset, the Flow, the People, and the Practices. We call these the Four Views of Disciplined Agile. A summary of each follows

Stay tuned for a multi-part overview of DAD.

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