Join Doug Rose for an in-depth discussion in this video Two niche approaches, part of Enterprise Agile: Disciplined Agile (DA) versus Spotify.
- The top enterprise agile frameworks work to be familiar to the greatest number of organizations. This familiarity has some enterprise agile frameworks a distinct advantage. Still, being familiar doesn't necessarily mean it's the best fit for your organization. Instead, you might be interested in some of the more niche enterprise agile frameworks. These are frameworks that are a little bit outside the main stream. The two most common of these frameworks are Disciplined Agile and Spotify's approach.
These are both outside the main stream for completely different reasons. Disciplined Agile is a process-decision framework. That means it doesn't give you the processes you need for a more agile organization. Instead, it encourages you to think about certain things at different points in your product delivery. This is much different from most enterprise agile frameworks. They usually end up being much more prescriptive. It's almost like following a recipe. So if you had a recipe to bake cookies, you would see something like add two cups of sugar, one teaspoons of salt, and a generous helping of chocolate chips.
Disciplined Agile, on the other hand, simply describes the characteristics of the cookie. It should be chewy, slightly sweet, with melted chips and salted top. Then it gives you the process decision points along the way. Something like in the mixing process you should make sure to combine all the ingredients. The browning occurs during the baking process. It's broadly based on IBM's rational unified process. So if you're a large organization that's used to seeing this unified process, then it might be an easier transition.
If you've never heard of the unified process, then you might be in for a steep learning curve. On the other end of the spectrum there's Spotify's approach. This approach wasn't originally designed to work for anyone outside of their organization. In fact the creators of Spotify went out of their way to rename common agile practices so that they seemed customized for their own organization. In many ways, that makes it much different from the other approaches. If Disciplined Agile is a cookie decision framework, then Spotify is really like watching a cooking show.
You're watching a highly skilled chef bake gourmet cookies and hoping that you can garner a few tips. Like a cooking show, Spotify doesn't give you the steps you need for a terrific product delivery, you also shouldn't expect that whatever comes out of the oven will look exactly the same as what you see on the show. Still, it might be helpful for many organizations to see how advanced chefs chop, slice, and mix enterprise agile to fit their organization. The key challenge for both of these enterprise agile frameworks is that they usually leave you with more questions than answers.
Disciplined Agile does a good job of leading you to key decisions. It just doesn't give you very much information on how to make those decisions. That might give you a lot more choices, but it also might make you dizzy with possibilities. The Spotify approach wasn't intended for other organizations. There are several videos and blog posts floating around but there isn't nearly enough out there to guide a coach on a large scale enterprise agile transformation. Think of it more for inspiration than a prescriptive approach on how to change your enterprise.
Knowing both of these approaches might not give you everything you need to know to transform your organization, but they will give you a more well rounded perspective on what it means to have an enterprise agile mindset.
- 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