Project Management

What is a Process Blade?

From the Disciplined Agile Blog
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This blog contains details about various aspects of PMI's Disciplined Agile (DA) tool kit, including new and upcoming topics.

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Categories: blades, Terminology

Process Blade Notation

A process blade encompasses a cohesive aspect of your overall organizational process.  Each process blade addresses a specific organizational capability, such as Data Management, Continuous Improvement, or Security. Process blades are sometimes called process areas, although as we describe below we prefer the term process blade.

A process blade addresses the following aspects:

  1. Mindset. Each process blade extends the Disciplined Agile (DA) mindset with philosophies that are specific to that blade.  For example, the Sales process blade explores concepts that are specific to being successful at selling.
  2. People. Each process blade addresses specialist roles, and sometimes potential team structures, which are specific to that blade.  For example, the Sales process blade includes specialist roles such as Sales Manager, Salesperson, and Sales Support Engineer.
  3. Flow. Each process blade describes the business process, or business flow, that is a common starting point for organizations new to agile ways of working (WoW) in that area.
  4. Practice options. DA provides a collection of process options, such as practices and strategies, that should be chosen and then applied in a context sensitive manner.  For each blade there are also suggested practices that is common to start with when you are new to applying agile WoW in that area.


The Disciplined Agile Process Blades

Process blades are represented as hexes in the Disciplined Agile (DA) tool kit, overviewed below.  The blades are organized into three layers: Disciplined DevOps, Value Streams, Disciplined Agile Enterprise (DAE).  There is a fourth layer, Foundation, which captures non-blade aspects of DA.

The Disciplined Agile Tool Kit


Why Create a New Term?

Given our philosophies around terminology, in particular our preference for existing terminology, it is admittedly strange that we created a new term such as this.  Our thinking was that we wanted to get across the idea that a blade could be updated or even replaced, just like a server blade in your operational infrastructure.  As the situation that a team faces evolves, it should be possible for the team to update their configuration of a process blade, or even replace it entirely, with little or no impact to the teams around them.  Hence, a process blade is the process equivalent of a configurable server blade.

Posted by Scott Ambler on: September 23, 2016 08:32 AM | Permalink

Comments (1)

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While I respect both the right and the qualifications to coin a new term, thereby adding to an already incomprehensible collection of proprietary verbiage, it seems better to value more that "preference for existing terminology", rather than attempting to somehow delight our customers with the exclusionary use of IT infrastructure as a definition.
With that respect, could we consider re-defining a "blade" as a single slice of a Way of Working?

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