This handbook is an indispensable guide for agile coaches and practitioners to identify what techniques – including practices, strategies, and lifecycles – are effective in certain situations and not as effective in others. This advice is based on proven experience from hundreds of organizations facing similar situations to yours. There are literally hundreds of books that have been written on agile and lean. So why one more? Most books focus on just a subset of what is required to deliver end-to-end solutions in an agile manner. Developing a coherent approach to the complete picture by piecing together these practices is difficult, especially when the advice in many of these books is conflicting and not well researched, often based on just a few successful applications in a specific context. Disciplined Agile Delivery is the only tool kit available that combines the most effective practices across lean and agile methods into one comprehensive context-driven approach that you can use to optimize your way of working (WoW).
We believe there are several reasons to motivate you to read this book:
It embraces your uniqueness. This book recognizes that your team is unique and faces a unique situation. No more false promises of a “one size fits all” process that requires significant, and risky, disruption to adopt.
It embraces the complexity you face. This book effectively holds up a mirror to the inherent complexities of solution delivery, and presents a lightweight representation to help guide your process improvement efforts. No more simplistic, silver bullet methods or process frameworks that gloss over the myriad of challenges your organizations faces because to do so wouldn’t fit in well with the certification training they’re hoping to sell you.
It provides explicit choices. This book provides the tools you need to make better process decisions that in turn will lead to better outcomes. In short, it enables your team to own their own process, to choose their WoW, that reflects the overall direction of your organization. This book presents a proven strategy for guided continuous improvement, a team-based process improvement strategy rather than naïve adoption of a “populist process.”
Certification study guide. This book is the study guide for Disciplined Agile CDA and CDAP certifications. These are certifications that are based on earned knowledge and experience, because skilled people produce better results.
There are many ways that a team can adopt to help them improve their WoW, strategies that are captured by the Evolve WoW process goal. Many people recommend an experimental approach to improvement, and we’ve found guided experiments to be even more effective.
The basic idea with the PDSA/PDCA/OODA continuous improvement loop strategies are that you improve your WoW as a series of small changes, a strategy the lean community calls kaizen, which is Japanese for improvement. The first step is to identify a potential improvement, such as a new practice or strategy, that you want to experiment with to see how well it works for you in the context of your situation.
The value of DA is that it can guide you through this identification step by helping you to identify a new practice/strategy that is likely to address the challenge you’re hoping to address. By doing so you increase your chance of identifying a potential improvement that works for you, thereby speeding up your efforts to improve your WoW – we call this guided continuous improvement.
There are several ways that this book provides the guidance your team requires to choose and evolve your WoW:
Lifecycle choice. This book describes size lifecycles to choose from, providing lightweight guidance for when and when not to choose each one. These lifecycles are: A Scrum-based Agile project lifecycle, a Kanban-based Lean project lifecycle, an Agile Continuous Delivery lifecycle, a Lean Continuous Delivery lifecycle, a Program (team of teams) lifecycle, and a Lean Startup-based Exploratory lifecycle.
Technique choice. This book provides outcome-based process goals from which guide you through choosing from the hundreds (yes, hundreds!) of techniques available to your team.
Guided continuous improvement. This book provides guidance to improve how you reflect and improve upon your WoW, increasing the chance that you’ll choose techniques to experiment that are likely to work in the context that you face, thereby increasing the rate at which your team improves.
Consistent governance. Most importantly, we show how teams can have unique WoWs yet still be governed in a consistent and effective manner by your organization’s leadership. In short, guided continuous improvement enables your team to make better process decisions which then lead to better outcomes.
Section 1: Disciplined Agile Delivery in a Nutshell
This section describes guided continuous improvement, the Disciplined Agile (DA) Mindset, and of course DAD.
Chapter 1: Choosing Your WoW!
Chapter 2: Being Disciplined
Chapter 3: Disciplined Agile Delivery (DAD) in a Nutshell
Chapter 4: Roles, Rights, and Responsibilities
Chapter 5: Process Goals
Chapter 6: Choosing the Right Lifecycle
Section 2: Successfully Initiating Your Team
This section describes strategies for how a team can do just enough work to get themselves organized and to come to a general agreement around the scope, architectural strategy, and plan for the current release.
Chapter 7: Form Team
Chapter 8: Align With Enterprise Direction
Chapter 9: Explore Scope
Chapter 10: Identify Architecture Strategy
Chapter 11: Develop Release Plan
Chapter 12: Develop Test Strategy
Chapter 13: Develop Common Vision
Chapter 14: Secure Funding
Section 3: Producing Business Value
This section describes a myriad of agile and lean strategies for producing a minimal marketable release (MMR) of a consumable solution that is ready to be transitioned into production or the marketplace.
Chapter 15: Prove Architecture Early
Chapter 16: Address Changing Stakeholder Needs
Chapter 17: Produce a Potentially Consumable Solution
Chapter 18: Improve Quality
Chapter 19: Accelerate Value Delivery
Section 4: Releasing Into Production
This section describes techniques to successfully release a consumable solution into production or the marketplace. Ideally this is a fully automated activity that runs in minutes or hours.
Chapter 20: Ensure Production Readiness
Chapter 21: Deploy the Solution
Section 5: Sustaining and Enhancing Your Team
This section describes strategies that support the team and/or help to make it more effective. This includes techniques for helping to grow individual team members, for evolving your team’s WoW, and for coordinating both within the team and with other teams in your organization.
Chapter 22: Grow Team Members
Chapter 23: Coordinate Activities
Chapter 24: Address Risk
Chapter 25: Evolve WoW
Chapter 26: Leverage and Enhance Existing Infrastructure
Introduction to Disciplined Agile Delivery 2nd Edition: A Small Team's Journey from Scrum to Disciplined DevOps
Introduction to Disciplined Agile Delivery 2nd Edition: A Small Team's Journey from Scrum to Disciplined DevOps is a brief introduction to DAD and describes a fictional case study of a team evolving their Scrum-based WoW to support a continuous delivery/DevOps style of working. Choose Your WoW! provides the details behind the life cycles and process goals overviewed in the intro book.
An Executive’s Guide to Disciplined Agile: Winning the Race to Business Agility
An Executive’s Guide to Disciplined Agile: Winning the Race to Business Agility overviews the Disciplined Agile (DA) tool kit and how to adopt it within your organization. Choose Your WoW! provides the details behind the DAD portion of the DA tool kit.