Disciplined Agile

Book: Choose Your WoW!

This book, Choose Your WoW! A Disciplined Agile Approach to Optimizing Your Way of Working (WoW) – Second Edition, overviews key aspects of the Disciplined Agile® (DA) tool kit. Hundreds of organizations around the world have already benefited from DA, which is the only comprehensive tool kit available for guidance on building high-performance agile teams and optimizing your WoW. As a hybrid of the leading agile, lean, and traditional approaches, DA provides hundreds of strategies to help you make better decisions within your agile teams, balancing self-organization with the realities and constraints of your unique enterprise context.

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This book:

  • Provides a foundation for enterprise agility, value streams, and a disciplined approach to DevOps;
  • Is a pragmatic application of agile, lean, and traditional techniques for your enterprise-class environment;
  • Overviews a strategy for teams to evolve a fit-for-purpose, flexible WoW that still supports a consistent governance strategy for leadership; and
  • Makes a perfect study guide for Disciplined Agile certification.

Why “fail fast” (as the agile industry likes to recommend) when you can learn quickly on your journey to high performance? With this book, you can make better decisions based upon proven, context-based strategies, leading to earlier success and better outcomes.

Why You Should Buy This Book

We believe there are several reasons to motivate you to read this book:

  1. 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.
  2. It embraces the complexity you face. This book effectively holds up a mirror to the inherent complexities faced by today’s organizations 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.
  3. 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.”

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:

  1. Lifecycle choice. This book describes six life cycles 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 (large initiative) lifecycle, and a Lean Startup-based Exploratory lifecycle.
  2. Technique choice. This book overviews outcome-based process goals from which guide you through choosing from the hundreds (yes, hundreds!) of techniques available to your team.
  3. 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.
  4. 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. 

Book Table of Contents

This 125-page book is organized into the following chapters:

  • 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 Life Cycle
  • Chapter 7: Disciplined Success 

What's Different in This Edition?

Where the first edition provided an overview and detailed reference for the DA tool kit, the focus of the second edition is to only provide an overview. As you know we update the reference material on a quarterly basis, as per our version control strategy, which meant the reference material contained in the first edition has gotten out of sync with the current material. To address this issue, we have removed sections 2-5 from Choose Your WoW, which provided reference information for Inception, Construction, Transition, and Ongoing process goals respectively. This information is now captured on PMI.org, via a combination of the process goal overview pages and in the DA Browser.

We have also updated the overview material in the book to bring it into alignment with version 5.3 of the DA tool kit.

How This Book Relates To Our Other DA Books


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.



Choose Your WoW! is also available in our bookstore and at Amazon.