Project Management

Case Study: Disciplined Agile Delivery – Does It Work? A Retrospective Application of DAD

Christopher Gay, BSc., DASM, has worked as an independent-contract agile delivery lead for the last 7 years delivering scaled agile solutions in the UK financial services sector. Before that, he worked at IBM and PricewaterhouseCoopers delivering large programs of work for customers in the telecommunications, banking, and public sectors.

Disciplined Agile Delivery (DAD) offers a comprehensive, knowledge-based approach to delivering agile projects that are operating in complex technical and enterprise environments. This case study conducts a retrospective analysis of a real-life project that was delivered for one of the United Kingdom’s largest retail banks. The organization had a mature and diverse IT capability, delivering complex customer services through web and mobile applications. The purpose of this exercise was to see how DAD could have been applied to the project and where project process improvements could have been identified. The case study follows the key DAD processes for assessing the team’s scaling factors, selecting a life cycle, and choosing a way of working (WoW).

1. What Did the Project Look Like?
The scope and complexity of the project that this case study is based on was not uncommon for the delivery organization, but the key difference was the conscious use of multiple agile teams to achieve a specific business requirement. The project characteristics, based on the Disciplined Agile scaling factors, are summarized below. A more detailed version can be found in Appendix A.

  • Team size – There were three very experienced agile delivery teams, with two covering the web browser and one covering the mobile application. Team sizes varied from 10 to 15 …

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