Since 2001 we’ve applied the ideas captured in the Agile Manifesto and have learned from our experiences doing so. What we’ve learned has motivated us to suggest changes to the manifesto to reflect the enterprise situations in which we have applied agile and lean strategies. Because the original authors of the Agile Manifesto have decided not to evolve the Manifesto, a decision that we fully respect, we have decided to move forward on our own.
The Disciplined Agile Manifesto is an evolution of the original Manifesto for Agile Software written in 2001. We first published it in the book Disciplined Agile Delivery (DAD) in 2012, evolved it again in 2014 here on this website, and just recently evolved it yet again in our forthcoming book Choose Your WoW!
We believe that the changes we’re suggesting are straightforward:
- Solutions , not just software. Where the original manifesto focused on software development, a term which too many people have understood to mean only software development, DA suggests that we should focus on solution delivery. In short, we prefer solutions (software + hardware + supporting documentation + business process + organization structure) over just software. We also believe those solutions should be consumable (provide valuable working functionality + be usable + be desirable) rather than just be working.
- Stakeholders, not just customers. Where the original manifesto focused on customers, a word that for too many people appears to imply only end users, DA suggests that we focus on the full range of stakeholders instead. We prefer stakeholders – end users, operations people, sustainment people, audit, finance, and many more – over just customers. See Chapter XX for a more detailed discussion of this.
- Teams, not projects. Where the original manifesto talked about projects, we believe it is more accurate to talk about teams.
- Organizations, not just teams. Where the original manifesto focused on development teams, DA suggests that the overall organization and its improvement be explicitly taken into consideration.
- We’ve learned a lot since 2001, so let’s make that explicit. The original manifesto focused on the understanding of, and observations about, software development at the time. But we’ve learned a lot since then, particularly around continuous delivery and testing strategies that are embraced by DAD.
- Feedback, not just change. As Neil Killick and Dan North both point out, being agile is more about responding to feedback than it is to responding to change. This is an important nuance because it underlines the importance of working closely with our stakeholders. Additionally, it is more accurate to say that requirements emerge rather than requirements change as we develop a better understanding of the true needs.
- Lean and agile, not just agile. We have learned from the lean community. The Disciplined Agile Manifesto incorporates lean principles, in particular considering the whole, visualizing workflow, and minimizing work in progress (WIP).
The original manifesto principles were crafted to reflect the environment in the ‘90s when it was an accomplishment to have a demonstrable increment of a solution even every month. In modern times the bar is significantly higher. As such, if you compare the wording of the updated principles as we describe them to the original, you will observe that they reflect a lean philosophy of a continuous, just-in-time, experimental, and emergent approach to everything we do. What we have written may be perceived as heresy to some agile religious puritans but we believe it is time to move on to reflect modern realities and capabilities.
We’d love to hear your feedback.
Good things to know
- This blog posting has been modified from Chapter 2 of the book Choose Your WoW!
- We’ll be working with the translators of the DA Manifesto to get the translations pages up to date. We expect this to take a month or so.
- Dan North’s Agile Revisited talk from 2015 provides some very interesting insights.