Disciplined Agile

Escaping Method Prison

The good news is that these two strategies, adopting a prescriptive method/framework, then improving your WoW through GCI, can be combined as you see in Figure 1. By applying a continuous improvement strategy, or better yet GCI, their process improvement efforts soon get back on track. Furthermore, because the underlying business situation that you face is constantly shifting it tells you that you cannot sit on your “process laurels” but instead must adjust your WoW to reflect the evolving situation.

GCI All Curves

Figure 1. Evolving away from a prescriptive agile method (click to enlarge).

To be clear, GCI at the team level tends to be a simplified version of what you would do at the organizational level. At the team, level teams may choose to maintain an improvement backlog of things they hope to improve. At the organizational area or enterprise levels we may have a group of people guiding a large transformation or improvement effort that is focused on enabling teams to choose their WoWs and to address larger, organizational issues that teams cannot easily address on their own.

Concluding Thoughts

Continuous improvement, evolving your WoW through experiments, is a proven way to achieve lasting process improvement. Lean practitioners have been doing this for decades and virtually every DevOps case study advises you to evolve your WoW this way. Guided continuous improvement (GCI) takes it one step further and streamlines your experimentation efforts. Agile methods/frameworks will only get you part of the way towards working effectively, the rest of your journey requires you to adopt a constant learning, continuous improvement strategy. Disciplined Agile® (DA™), and more importantly DA practitioners, can help you do that.