Project Management

Disciplined Agile

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

About this Blog


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Scott Ambler
Glen Little
Mark Lines
Valentin Mocanu
Daniel Gagnon
Michael Richardson
Joshua Barnes
Kashmir Birk
Klaus Boedker
Mike Griffiths

Recent Posts

Embracing Mindset Diversity in Disciplined Agile

Disciplined Agile: An Executive's Starting Point

Using Lean Agile Procurement (LAP) in complex procurement situations

Vendor Management in the Disciplined Agile Enterprise

Asset Management: What Types of Assets Might You Manage?

Disciplined Agile at WWDVC/EU 2019

Categories: DW/BI, News

Earlier today I keynoted at the World Wide Data Vault Consortium European conference in Hannover Germany.  I presented an overview of Disciplined Agile, some of the challenges that organizations are experiencing in their agile transformations, and how their teams can improve their way of working (WoW) via Guided Continuous Improvement (GCI).

Although all of the presentations were great, I was particularly enthralled with Bill Inmon’s keynote on Thursday.  As you may know Bill is the father of data warehousing and has written 59 (59!) books over his career, clearly putting me to shame.  Bill shared some of his experiences in extracting information from text-based sources and described several stories doing so.  One story focused on how his team had combined information culled from multiple text-based sources that together indicated that BP had a potential maintenance risk in their Gulf of Mexico operations.  Sadly his warning was ignored and several months later BP had a catastrophic oil rig failure on Deepwater Horizon.  Another story described how his team processed 5000 online postings from Nike customers and 5000 from Adidas customers.  Their analysis indicated that while Adidas was a “normal company,” that on the other hand Nike had quality problems with their shoes.  Although Bill contacted Nike to inform them, free of charge, of what he had discovered this advice was also ignored because Nike apparently already had consulting companies providing them with advice.  A year later Nike suffered a $2 billion market capitalization loss when Zion Williamson’s sneaker exploded in a basketball game watched by over 100 million people. Another text analysis project led him to discover that airlines are consistently not well liked by their customers, revealing that Bill doesn’t always end up with earth-shattering revelations.  Although the stories were interesting, Bill’s description of the techniques he was following and the challenges surrounding text-based data analytics were fascinating.

Data Vault 2 (DV2) is an extension to Inmon’s approach to data warehousing.  Dan Lindstedt, the creator of DV2, worked for years with Bill.  DV2 brings a lot of very practical strategies to data warehousing.  Furthermore, a few years ago DV2 adopted Disciplined Agile Delivery (DAD) for its process which was one of the reasons why I suspect I was invited to speak at the conference.

Kudos to everyone who made the conference a success.  I’m looking forward to next year.

Posted by Scott Ambler on: September 13, 2019 11:35 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Disciplined Agile and PMI FAQ

Categories: announcement, News, PMI, PMI

As you have likely heard, the Project Management Institute (PMI) has purchased Disciplined Agile (DA).  Since the announcement we’ve received  a very large number of congratulatory messages (thank you for that!) and quite a few queries around where we’re going with all of this.  We’ve decided to start this FAQ to address the common queries that we’re getting.  This FAQ will evolve over the next few weeks as we receive queries as well as when our answers themselves evolve.

We address the following questions in this FAQ:

Why did you do this?

We want to bring Disciplined Agile (DA) to the next level and we need a partner to do this.

For years we have pointed to PMI as a respectable organization that has done  a very good job at educating and certifying their membership in their body of knowledge (BoK) in a disciplined way.  We like to think that Disciplined Agile has done something similar albeit on a smaller scale.

As a small Canadian company, DA has grown quickly and organically, but not as fast as its potential.  With the PMI acquisition, we have immediate reach into thousands of companies around the world that will appreciate DA’s agnostic, pragmatic, and context-based approach to enterprise agility.

Regardless of traditional or agile approaches, project or product, PMI now has guidance to help organizations and teams be more successful.

You might find that the Quick Podcast on PMI’s Disciplined Agile Acquisition to be an interesting thing to listen to.

Are Scott and Mark sticking around?


We’re looking forward to working with PMI for many years to come to evolve and make Disciplined Agile (DA) even more successful in the marketplace.  The short story is that the two of us are continuing in our existing roles, albeit with significant help to do so now. Mark will be the Vice President of Disciplined Agile and I will be Vice President and Chief Scientist of Disciplined Agile.

Since we now work for a not-for-profit organization, we will however be cutting back on the consulting services that we provided in the past.  We will still be in the field as we continue to learn from agile organizations about what ways of work are effective in different contexts, but our key focus will be on enhancing the DA content, and supporting and growing our membership and partners.

How do you see the Certified Partner program changing?

It will continue to expand.

We see a huge demand for DA Certified agilists and Partners.  In fact, even prior to this acquisition we are getting an increased level of inquiries into how to find local partners and certified DA practitioners and coaches to help roll out DA.  Given that we will  be cutting back on these services we are already handing customer leads to existing partners.  If you are a services company we recommend that you look into the partner program.

We will also certify more DA instructors and are introducing a train-the-trainer program.  The requirement will be that you are a CDAC with significant teaching experience.

How does this affect my current certification(s)?

It doesn’t.

All existing certifications will be fully supported going forward.  We will be enhancing the program in the future, all for the better.  As you know, both DA and PMI have always believed that certifications should be earned and they should be meaningful.  That isn’t going to change.

Should I still be moving forward on a new certification?


Please see above. The DA certifications build upon one another, so if you’re in the process of moving to CDAP from CDA, or CDAI/CDAC from CDAP, then please continue working on doing so.

Where are you going with the DA toolkit?

We’re going to get back to you on this.

What we can tell you now is that we will accelerate a few changes that were already on the roadmap, improve the consumability of the toolkit, and flesh out the toolkit even further.  Having the resources of the PMI behind us will be very good for DA itself.

We are certainly going to continue with our pragmatic and agnostic approach to helping you to choose your way of working (WoW).  From the very beginning the DA toolkit put practices and strategies from a wide range of sources, including agile, lean, and traditional sources.  Contrary to what the purists may want you to believe, there are great ideas for improving your WoW coming out of all of the various “camps,” not just the agile camp.  The aim of the DA toolkit is to help you to better understand your options.

Will DADay2019 be affected?

DADay2019 will not be affected at all.

The only potential change is the content that we will share to kick off the event.  Our plan was always to give you an update around where we are and where we’re heading.  With PMI behind us now our timelines are accelerating.

Will the Next PMP Exam Update Cover Disciplined Agile?


The next update for the PMP exam is scheduled for December 2019.  The questions have been baselined already.

Is there a conspiracy?

No, but that’s exactly what you’d expect us to say, isn’t it?  Bwa ha ha ha ha!

Seriously though, we have seen a few postings online about how this is all some sort of nefarious plot.  Don’t get us wrong, we love conspiracy theories (particularly Scott) and we’d love to hear what you’ve got.  BUT we’re going to ask you to up your game because as you know all good conspiracy theories involve one or more of Area 51, The Illuminati, Sasquatch, a secret dark government agency, the 1%, or Vladimir Putin.  So we’re looking forward to any theories you may want to share – which is probably all part of our overall strategy to distract you from what we’re really plotting.

– Scott Ambler and Mark Lines

Posted by Scott Ambler on: August 12, 2019 08:10 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Announcement: PMI Acquires Disciplined Agile

Categories: News, PMI

PMI Logo

We are excited to announce that the Project Management Institute (PMI) has acquired Disciplined Agile.  The official announcement is posted here. In the coming weeks we will have more information for you, so please stay tuned!

Posted by Scott Ambler on: August 10, 2019 11:16 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Disciplined Agile Goes to India

Categories: Conference, India, News

India Flag

Mark and I are lucky enough to spend a few weeks in India this March.  In addition to speaking at Agile India 2019 we’ll also be running several Disciplined Agile workshops and a user group presentation one evening.  Here is our schedule in both Pune and Bengaluru.


  • March 16&17.  Workshop – Implementing Disciplined Agile Delivery.  Delivered by Mark Lines.  This is our new workshop that works through how to use the DA toolkit to choose and then evolve your way of working (WoW).  You’ll learn how to break out of “method prison” if you’ve hit the limits of Scrum or SAFe, and more importantly how to take an agile approach in an enterprise-class setting.  This isn’t “purist agile” but instead is pragmatic and agnostic.


If you’re based in India we hope you can make it out to one or more of these events.  If you have colleagues in India please pass this along to them as this may be a great chance for them to learn about DA from the source!

Posted by Scott Ambler on: March 02, 2019 07:11 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Mike Beedle

Categories: News

Mike Beedle

By now many of you will have heard about the tragic loss of Mike Beedle, one of the signatories of the Agile Manifesto and the thought leader behind Enterprise Scrum.  Mike passed away on March 24th and leaves behind a family that includes six children.

For those of us who were lucky enough to know Mike we’ll remember him as a generous and intelligent gentleman.  He made significant and ongoing contributions to the agile community and we’ll all miss him.

The Disciplined Agile Consortium is proud to have donated to the Memorial Fund for Mike Beedle’s Family and we hope that you consider doing the same.

Rest in peace Mike.

Posted by Scott Ambler on: March 26, 2018 12:26 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

"No man who has once heartily and wholly laughed can be altogether irreclaimably bad."

- Thomas Carlyle