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Disciplined Agile

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View Posts By:

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

Recent Posts

Would you like to get involved with the 20th Anniversary of Agile?

The Four Layers of the Disciplined Agile Tool Kit

The Disciplined Agile Foundation Layer

The Team Lead Role: Different Types of Teams Need Different Types of Leaders

Disciplined Agile is a Hybrid

A Disciplined Agile Approach to Business Agility

A Disciplined Agile Approach to Business Agility

Mark Lines and I edited a special issue of the Cutter Business Journal in 2018 entitled A Disciplined Agile Approach to Business Agility which can be downloaded free of charge.  It contains several articles.

Itamae, the Agile Organization, and You by John Hogan

Hogan shares some insights on delighting customers. He argues for a customer-focused organizational structure, with Agile teams supported by Agile leadership. Hogan describes the importance of goal setting to focus on delighting customers, supported by incremental planning and delivery to do so. He works through the implications for:

  1. People who face the customer. These people need to understand what customers need and then fulfill that need.
  2. People who face each other. They need to identify their internal customers, collaborate with them, and bring business value to them at the lowest possible cost.
  3. People who face suppliers. These people are effectively customers to that supplier and must collaborate with them as transparently as possible and should expect to be delighted.
  4. People who are managers and leaders. They must be customer-focused and empower your teams.

The Agile Enterprise and the Division of Labor by Gene Callahan

Gene Callahan has some great advice for building awesome people. Beginning with the idea of the division of labor, Callahan walks us through the history of how traditional organizations find themselves as a collection of specialists who struggle to be responsive to the changing marketplace. He then examines the need for people who are generalizing specialists (people who can collaborate effectively and learn from one another).

The Necessities for Successful Enterprise Agile Transformation by Matthew Ganis and Michael Ackerbauer

This article describes how to build awesome teams. You want to be Agile (of course!) and adopt Agile practices. Awesome teams have the skills and resources to fulfill their mission and include the right mix of personalities. The authors argue that the organization is really a “team of teams” that needs a shared purpose and way of working to make the abstract concrete. According to them, awesome teams build on a common foundation based on the concept of Breakthrough Thinking/diversity of thought.

Business Agility: A Roadmap for the Digital Enterprise by Jaco Viljoen

In his discussion of the five levels of a digital business ecosystem (DBE), Jaco Viljoen explores the idea that“choice is good because context counts.” The five levels, each with its own set of capabilities that build one on top of another, are: waterfall/traditional, hybrid Agile (a combination of waterfall and Agile), regular delivery, continuous delivery, and continuous exploration. The five DBEs provide insight into which process-building blocks to apply. Viljoen also discusses using a frame- work to achieve business agility at scale.

Case Study: Linking Business Workflows and Agile User Stories in an SOA Environment by Gill Kent and Robin Harwood

Gill and Robin provide a case study about linking Business Process Model and Notation (BPMN) workflows and user stories. They focus on the importance of initial modeling during what they call the Discovery phase of a digital trans-formation project. In their example, they followed a pragmatic, Agile approach to modeling the business and their host systems to gain important insight into the enterprise transformation scope and a vision of the required system change for their endeavor. This enabled them to establish a business/stakeholder vision that captured a clear scope for the following phases. With an initial technical strategy/architecture identified, the team was able to name a backlog of architecturally relevant stories, mitigating the risk of late identification of system integration requirements and the potential for significant rework. In short, a pragmatic investment in initial modeling and planning paid off in huge divi-dends for their Agile team.

The Wizard of OSS: Follow the Open Space and Sociocracy Road to Enterprise Agile Transformation by Jutta Eckstein and John Buck

The principle of enterprise awareness appears in several of the articles, and Jutta Eckstein and John Buck walk us through an enterprise-aware approach that helps optimize the process flow of value streams. The authors show how to apply “Open Space” and “Sociocracy” to support enterprise Agile transformation. Open Space is a technique where everyone is invited to put forward ideas that they’re passionate about; if there is enough interest in the idea people will get behind it and make it happen. Sociocracy is a form of democracy for use in organizations, building feedback mechanisms into the organizational structure itself that ensure every voice is heard. Both strategies promote enterprise awareness, increasing collaboration between people in what would normally be disparate parts of the organization and helping optimize flow as the situation evolves.

Core Thinking Patterns for Lean/Agile Organizations by Srinivas Garapati

This article explores important philosophies and the mindset behind Agile and Lean. He starts with the thinking patterns required to be successful and then considers the nature of an Agile organization and finishes with strategies for organizational design.

Posted by Scott Ambler on: July 16, 2019 03:30 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

A Disciplined Agile Approach to Business Agility

A Disciplined Agile Approach to Business Agility

Mark Lines and I edited a special issue of the Cutter Business Journal in 2018 entitled A Disciplined Agile Approach to Business Agility which can be downloaded free of charge.  It contains several articles.

Itamae, the Agile Organization, and You by John Hogan

Hogan shares some insights on delighting customers. He argues for a customer-focused organizational structure, with Agile teams supported by Agile leadership. Hogan describes the importance of goal setting to focus on delighting customers, supported by incremental planning and delivery to do so. He works through the implications for:

  1. People who face the customer. These people need to understand what customers need and then fulfill that need.
  2. People who face each other. They need to identify their internal customers, collaborate with them, and bring business value to them at the lowest possible cost.
  3. People who face suppliers. These people are effectively customers to that supplier and must collaborate with them as transparently as possible and should expect to be delighted.
  4. People who are managers and leaders. They must be customer-focused and empower your teams.

The Agile Enterprise and the Division of Labor by Gene Callahan

Gene Callahan has some great advice for building awesome people. Beginning with the idea of the division of labor, Callahan walks us through the history of how traditional organizations find themselves as a collection of specialists who struggle to be responsive to the changing marketplace. He then examines the need for people who are generalizing specialists (people who can collaborate effectively and learn from one another).

The Necessities for Successful Enterprise Agile Transformation by Matthew Ganis and Michael Ackerbauer

This article describes how to build awesome teams. You want to be Agile (of course!) and adopt Agile practices. Awesome teams have the skills and resources to fulfill their mission and include the right mix of personalities. The authors argue that the organization is really a “team of teams” that needs a shared purpose and way of working to make the abstract concrete. According to them, awesome teams build on a common foundation based on the concept of Breakthrough Thinking/diversity of thought.

Business Agility: A Roadmap for the Digital Enterprise by Jaco Viljoen

In his discussion of the five levels of a digital business ecosystem (DBE), Jaco Viljoen explores the idea that“choice is good because context counts.” The five levels, each with its own set of capabilities that build one on top of another, are: waterfall/traditional, hybrid Agile (a combination of waterfall and Agile), regular delivery, continuous delivery, and continuous exploration. The five DBEs provide insight into which process-building blocks to apply. Viljoen also discusses using a frame- work to achieve business agility at scale.

Case Study: Linking Business Workflows and Agile User Stories in an SOA Environment by Gill Kent and Robin Harwood

Gill and Robin provide a case study about linking Business Process Model and Notation (BPMN) workflows and user stories. They focus on the importance of initial modeling during what they call the Discovery phase of a digital trans-formation project. In their example, they followed a pragmatic, Agile approach to modeling the business and their host systems to gain important insight into the enterprise transformation scope and a vision of the required system change for their endeavor. This enabled them to establish a business/stakeholder vision that captured a clear scope for the following phases. With an initial technical strategy/architecture identified, the team was able to name a backlog of architecturally relevant stories, mitigating the risk of late identification of system integration requirements and the potential for significant rework. In short, a pragmatic investment in initial modeling and planning paid off in huge divi-dends for their Agile team.

The Wizard of OSS: Follow the Open Space and Sociocracy Road to Enterprise Agile Transformation by Jutta Eckstein and John Buck

The principle of enterprise awareness appears in several of the articles, and Jutta Eckstein and John Buck walk us through an enterprise-aware approach that helps optimize the process flow of value streams. The authors show how to apply “Open Space” and “Sociocracy” to support enterprise Agile transformation. Open Space is a technique where everyone is invited to put forward ideas that they’re passionate about; if there is enough interest in the idea people will get behind it and make it happen. Sociocracy is a form of democracy for use in organizations, building feedback mechanisms into the organizational structure itself that ensure every voice is heard. Both strategies promote enterprise awareness, increasing collaboration between people in what would normally be disparate parts of the organization and helping optimize flow as the situation evolves.

Core Thinking Patterns for Lean/Agile Organizations by Srinivas Garapati

This article explores important philosophies and the mindset behind Agile and Lean. He starts with the thinking patterns required to be successful and then considers the nature of an Agile organization and finishes with strategies for organizational design.

Posted by Scott Ambler on: July 16, 2019 03:30 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Choose Your WoW! is now available

 


Choose Your WoW! Cover

Our new book, Choose Your WoW! A Disciplined Agile Delivery Handbook for Optimizing Your Way of Working, is now available!

This handbook is an indispensable guide for agile coaches and practitioners to identify what techniques – including practices, strategies, and lifecycles – are effective in certain situations and not as effective in others. This advice is based on proven experience from hundreds of organizations facing similar situations to yours.

There are literally hundreds of books that have been written on agile and lean. So why one more? Most books focus on just a subset of what is required to delivery end-to-end solutions in an agile manner. Developing a coherent approach to the complete picture by piecing together these practices is difficult, especially when the advice in many of these books is conflicting and not well researched, often based on just a few successful applications in a specific context.

Disciplined Agile (DA) is the only toolkit available that combines the most effective practices across lean and agile methods into one comprehensive context-driven approach that you can use to optimize your way of working (WoW).

This book is organized into several sections:

  1. Disciplined Agile in a Nutshell. This section describes guided continuous improvement, the Disciplined Agile (DA) Mindset, and of course DA itself.
  2. Successfully Initiating Your Team. This section describes strategies for how a team can do just enough work to get themselves organized and to come to a general agreement around the scope, architectural strategy, and plan for the current release.
  3. Producing Business Value. This section describes a myriad of agile and lean strategies for producing a minimal marketable release (MMR) of a consumable solution that is ready to be transitioned into production or the marketplace.
  4. Releasing Into Production. This section describes techniques to successfully release a consumable solution into production or the marketplace. Ideally this is a fully automated activity that runs in minutes or hours.
  5. Sustaining and Enhancing Your Team. This section describes strategies that support the team and/or help to make it more effective. This includes techniques for helping to grow individual team members, for evolving your team’s WoW, and for coordinating both within the team and with other teams in your organization.

For more information, please visit the Choose Your WoW! book page.

Posted by Scott Ambler on: January 08, 2019 01:41 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
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