Book: Disciplined Agile Delivery (2012, Defunct)


This page describes the original book that we wrote describing Disciplined Agile Delivery. In January 2019 we replaced this book with Choose Your WoW! Although this book is still for sale at and other places we recommend that you purchase Choose Your WoW! instead.

The original description of this book follows.


The Disciplined Agile Delivery (DAD) process framework, as described in this book, is a hybrid approach which extends Scrum with proven strategies from Agile Modeling (AM), Extreme Programming (XP), and Unified Process (UP), amongst other methods. DAD extends the construction-focused lifecycle of Scrum to address the full, end-to-end delivery lifecycle from project initiation all the way to delivering the solution to its end users. The DAD process framework includes advice about the technical practices purposely missing from Scrum as well as the modeling, documentation, and governance strategies missing from both Scrum and XP. More importantly, in many cases DAD provides advice regarding viable alternatives and their trade-offs, enabling you to tailor DAD to effectively address the situation in which you find yourself. By describing what works, what doesn’t work, and more importantly why, DAD helps you to increase your chance of adopting strategies that will work for you.

Our focus in DAD is on delivery, although we discuss how the other aspects of the system lifecycle affect the delivery lifecycle. A full system/product lifecycle goes from the initial idea for the product, through delivery, to operations and support and often has many iterations of the delivery lifecycle. DAD addresses agile practices across the entire delivery lifecycle, from requirements, architecture, and development to delivery and governance. The authors show how these best-practice techniques fit together in an end-to-end process for successfully delivering large, complex systems–from project initiation through delivery. This includes:

  • Tactically scaling agile for mission-critical enterprise endeavors
  • Avoiding mistakes that drive poorly run agile projects to chaos
  • Effectively initiating an agile project
  • Transitioning as an individual to agile
  • Incrementally building consumable solutions
  • Deploying agile solutions into complex production environments
  • Leveraging DevOps, architecture, and other enterprise disciplines
  • Adapting your governance strategy for agile projects

Book Table of Contents

Section 1: Introduction to Disciplined Agile Delivery (DAD)

  • Chapter 1: Disciplined Agile Delivery in a Nutshell
  • Chapter 2: Introduction to Agile and Lean
  • Chapter 3: Foundations of Disciplined Agile Delivery

Section 2: People First

  • Chapter 4: Roles, Rights, and Responsibilities
  • Chapter 5: Forming Disciplined Agile Delivery Teams

Section 3: Initiating a Disciplined Agile Delivery Project

  • Chapter 6: The Inception Phase
  • Chapter 7: Identifying a Project Vision
  • Chapter 8: Identifying the Initial Scope
  • Chapter 9: Identifying an Initial Technical Strategy
  • Chapter 10: Initial Release Planning
  • Chapter 11: Forming the Work Environment
  • Chapter 12: Case study: Inception phase

Section 4: Building a Consumable Solution Incrementally

  • Chapter 13: The Construction Phase
  • Chapter 14: Initiating a Construction Iteration
  • Chapter 15: A Typical Day of Construction
  • Chapter 16: Concluding a Construction Iteration
  • Chapter 17: Case study: Construction phase

Section 5: Releasing the Solution

  • Chapter 18: The Transition Phase
  • Chapter 19: Case study: Transition phase

Section 6:  Disciplined Agile Delivery in the Enterprise

  • Chapter 20: Governing Disciplined Agile Teams
  • Chapter 21: Got Discipline?


Scott Ambler and Mark Lines are authors of the book “Disciplined Agile Delivery: A Practioner’s Guide to Agile Software Delivery in the Enterprise” (IBM Press, 2012).


Purchase Your Copy

Please don’t. We recommend that you purchase Choose Your WoW! instead.


“Mark and Scott not only made me think, they reminded me of lots of things that I had forgotten. Things that the agile fashion police have made uncool to talk about. This book is not about fashionable agile; it is about serious change, and it should be required reading for any change leader.” 

Dave West, chief product officer, Tasktop, and former VP and research director Forrester Research

“Finally, a practical down-to-earth guide that is true to agile values and principles while at the same time acknowledging the realities of the business and the bigger picture. You will find no purist dogma here, nor any hype or hyperbole. Ambler and Lines show how to navigate the varied contexts and constraints of both team-level and enterprise-level needs to hit the agile “sweet spot” for your team and attain the real benefits of sustainable agility. I wish I’d had this book ten years ago!”

Brad Appleton, Agile/lean development champion for a large fortune 150 telecommunications company.

“There are many ways to achieve the benefits of agility so it’s really encouraging to see a pragmatic and usable ‘umbrella’ description that encapsulates most of these without becoming a diluted kind-of “best of” compilation, or a one-size-fits-all. Great reading for anyone orientating themselves in an ever-growing and complex field.”

Nick Clare, Agile Coach/ Principal Consultant, Ivar Jacobson International

“Scott and Mark have compiled an objective treatment of a tough topic. Loaded with insights from successful application under game conditions, this book strikes a good balance between progressive agilistas looking to accelerate change and conservative organizational managers looking for scalable solutions.”

Walker Royce, Chief Software Economist, IBM

“We have found the guidance from DAD to be a great help in customizing our PMO governance for agile projects at CP Rail. The book will definitely be on the must read list for teams using agile delivery.”

Larry Shumlich, Project Manager Coach, Canadian Pacific Railway

“Disciplined Agile Delivery, a hybrid and experience-based approach to software delivery, reflects the growing trend towards pragmatism and away from the anti-syncretism that has plagued the software development industry for over 40 years. I commend Scott and Mark for writing this book, and showing the leadership necessary to take our profession to the next level.”

Mark Kennaley, CTO, author of “SDLC 3.0: Beyond a Tacit Understanding of Agile”

“I’ve seen ‘certified’ agile run rampant in an organization and create more severe problems than it solved. Finally, we have a definitive source on how to apply Agile pragmatically with discipline to deliver success. Thanks Scott and Mark.”

Carson Holmes, EVP, Service Delivery, Fourth Medium Consulting, Inc.