Disciplined Agile

Disciplined Agile® Transformation Roadmap: Greenfield Improvement

When an organization is new to agile, and this includes organizations that have been experimenting with agile and are now ready to get serious about adopting it, we say they are in a “greenfield” environment. Disciplined Agile® (DA) can help with that. Figure 1 overviews the steps that organizations typically take for greenfield improvement.


Figure 1. Improvement roadmap for an organization that is new to agile (click to enlarge).

As you can see in Figure 1, there are three high-level ongoing activities for greenfield transformations:

  1. Organizational transformation. Successful greenfield transformations are made as an ongoing series of small improvements. Your transformation guidance team, working closely with your agile center of excellence (CoE), will lead an ongoing improvement effort across your teams via a lean change management (LCM) strategy. Small, cross-team improvements will be made over time, with the guidance team and CoEs providing support for teams to do so.
  2. Cultural evolution. An important aspect of your transformation is cultural change. Culture change tends to be the result of behavior change, in other words, changes in your ways of working (WoW) lead to changes in your ways of thinking (WoT). Having said this, you must support the adoption of new WoT via ongoing coaching of your executives, management, and other staff members.
  3. Incremental transformation of teams. Greenfield transformations are incremental in nature – you only have the capacity to transform a portion of your organization at any given time. Your transformation starts by focusing on a few teams, and as teams successfully become self-sustaining in their improvement efforts this frees up coaching resources and thus enables you to begin supporting the transformation of other teams. There are two aspects to this work, initiating teams and helping them to adopt new WoW.

To initiate a team into your ongoing transformation, you will first train everyone in the fundamentals of Disciplined Agile (DA). PMI training partners offer a range of training for your teams. Your agile coaches should be trained in leading teams in process improvement, so we highly suggest that they earn their Disciplined Agile Coach (DAC) certification to do so. You will also want to ensure that your product owner (PO) is sufficiently skilled, and the Disciplined Agile Product Owner (DAPO) workshop is a good option for doing so.

Once the initial training within a team is complete you will change your focus to help the team to experiment new WoW and WoT and more importantly to become self-sufficient at doing so. The team coach, assisted by the CoE as needed, will guide this effort. The goal is to gain practical experience with new WoW, to learn how to improve via guided continuous improvement (GCI), and to provide skill-based training as needed. Teams typically require 3-6 months to become self-sufficient at improvement.