Join Doug Rose for an in-depth discussion in this video Introduction to DAD, part of Enterprise Agile: Disciplined Agile (DA) versus Spotify.
- Disciplined agile is one of the most complicated enterprise agile frameworks. It originally started out as disciplined agile delivery. This framework was initially developed by Scott Ambler while he was working at IBM. Later he co-authored a book with Mark Lines titled Disciplined Agile Delivery: A Practitioner's Guide to Agile Software Delivery in the Enterprise. The book says that the disciplined agile delivery or DAD process decision framework is a people-first, learning-oriented, hybrid agile approach to IT solution delivery.
It has a risk-value delivery lifecycle, is goal-drive, enterprise aware, and scalable. The key point here is that DAD is a hybrid approach, which means it works well with traditional project management and many different agile approaches. One team might be scrum, another team might be kanban, and yet another might even try a different scaling approach. Another thing to remember is that it's goal driven. That means that the framework only points out key decisions that you have to make when you're talking about each process.
It lays out certain goals to get values from the process. So when you're planning out your project, you might have a goal to secure funding, form initial team, or explore the scope. DAD doesn't tell you how to do these things, it just points out that they should be done. DAD also puts a lot of emphasis on being enterprise aware. In some ways, this is an implicit criticism of how the developers of DAD see agile teams and large organizations.
They see these teams as trying to create their own set of processes that are unaware of the responsibilities to the larger enterprise. There's also the point about the risk value life cycle. It's here we see a lot of influence from IBM. The DAD framework says that each agile team should put a lot of emphasis on identifying the risks before they start developing software. There's a little bit of implied criticism here with regular team agile. The DAD developers are implying that when agile teams jump right into developing software, they might not be putting enough emphasis on identifying the risks.
They feel if you identify your risks early, then you're more likely to stay out of trouble and deliver better products. Finally, DAD works hard to position itself as a process-decision framework. That means that they try to make sure that you're organization knows the right questions to ask. That's much different from more prescriptive enterprise agile frameworks that clearly define processes, meetings, and roles. DAD stays away from being prescriptive.
It doesn't offer any new meetings and the roles they describe are probably already in your organization. This approach to enterprise agile might be a little unsatisfying for some organizations. DAD doesn't tell you what to do and instead, helps you set goals on things you're already doing. But, in the end, this might be a more realistic approach for large organizations. Unfortunately, this approach also makes DAD needlessly complex. By trying to be everything for everyone, they can overload even the most open-minded organizations.
That's what it's important to take a very high level view when you're starting out with discipline agile. It's almost like agile quicksand, with the more you struggle, the deeper you get sucked into the framework. So look at the higher level processes and stay away from some of the goals and milestones. Remember, the key ones to look at are the full agile lifecycle, primary roles, secondary roles, and the agile lifecycle phases.
- The Disciplined Agile lifecycle and phases
- Disciplined Agile roles
- Evaluating Disciplined Agile
- Challenges of the Disciplined Agile framework
- Evaluating the Spotify approach
- Pitfalls of the Spotify approach