Recommended Read: Reimagine Agile with Disciplined Agile

Ivelina Petkova

Vice President for Communications & Social Media

   In case you haven’t met it, it is time to do so - here goes the new kid on the block or as it would be more appropriate to say (as it’s not actually new) - the hybrid kid on the block - Disciplined Agile. Disciplined Agile Delivery (DAD) is a people-first, learning-oriented hybrid agile approach to IT solution delivery. It has a risk-value delivery life cycle, is goal-driven, is enterprise aware, and is scalable.

   If you’re wondering why it’s not new, then let’s take a quick look back: the DA website was launched back in 2011 and the first book published on it came out in 2012. The founders and thought leaders behind Disciplined Agile are Scott Ambler and Mark Lines.

   As a reminder, Project Management Institute (PMI), the world’s leading not-for-profit membership association for the project management profession, announced the acquisition of Disciplined Agile (DA) back in August, 2019. As the PMI President & CEO Sunil Prashara puts it back then “This acquisition is another important building block for PMI – addressing new ways of working in an increasingly agile world, and greatly expanding the capabilities of project managers and agile practitioners alike”.

DA Logo
   As for how far it has penetrated the community so far - the 14th Annual State of Agile Report acknowledges that The Scaled Agile Framework® continues to be the most popular scaling method cited by their respondents (35% in 2020 compared to 30% in 2019). Still it also shows that Disciplined Agile Delivery is present with 4% among the respondents as well.

   So, let’s take a short look into what it actually is - the DA toolkit itself enables teams to choose and evolve their way of working (WoW), thereby increasing their effectiveness over time. The DA toolkit is based on a handful of principles: Delight Customers, Be Awesome, Pragmatism, Context Counts, Choice is Good, Optimize Flow, Organize around products/services and Enterprise Awareness. From a high-level point of view DA provides straightforward and practical guidance to help individuals, teams and enterprises choose their “way of working” in a context-specific way. It goes after optimizing the whole in an “enterprise-aware” manner with the ask for teams to work in such a way as to do what is best for the whole organization. You can acquaint yourself with more of the DA and DAD principles with the help of the primary reference for disciplined agile, which is the book Choose Your WoW! written by the founders that we mentioned above - Scott Ambler and Mark Lines (PMI members may download it for free from their account).

   If you’re wondering about certifications - DA provides you with a certification path as well (DASM, DASSM, DAC and DAVSC). It actually offers a different approach to earning certification. The very first level DASM helps you understand the fundamentals of agile and lean approaches like Scrum, Kanban, SAFe® and more, along with how to implement the Disciplined Agile tool kit to choose your way of working based on the situation you face. The next one (DASSM) allows you to accelerate your ability to take on more complex initiatives and lead your agile team using Disciplined Agile and requires you to also prove two years of experience working on an agile team in a leadership role, like Disciplined Agile Scrum Master, Scrum Master, Product Owner, Architecture Owner, etc. You may check out more details on the rest of the certifications here.

   And when it comes to popularity - well, over 12 000 practitioners in 30 countries have been already trained in Disciplined Agile by 2019, so make sure to check it out and to take the best out of this hybrid approach.

   The Recommended Read section reached you thanks to Ivelina Petkova.