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.

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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?

Examining the differences between DA and existing PMI materials

Examining

Since Disciplined Agile (DA) joined the PMI family in August 2019 we've gotten a collection of questions from people along the lines of "Why is there a difference between the advice in DA and PMI's advice?"  So I thought I would write a few blogs examining why that is.  This is the first.

There are several reasons why there are differences between existing DA and existing (non-DA) PMI materials:

  1. They were created by different groups of people.  It's natural to get different takes on a topic from different groups of people.   
  2. DA took on a broader scope than PMI traditionally has (until now). PMI has focused on project management and critical topics surrounding it such as program management, portfolio management, and governance (amongst others).  That is the scope that PMI chose to focus on and has frankly done a very good job at doing so.  The scope of DA, on the other hand, has been to address how to take an agile/lean approach to all aspects of an organization, including but not limited to management.  This is a much broader scope than what PMI has taken on, until now. As a result DA addresses marketing, finance, enterprise architecture, operations, governance, software development, and many other process areas that are important to modern organizations.  Why is this broader scope important to PMI?  Because all of these areas need to be managed/led and governed.  I believe there's an interesting implication there. ;-)
  3. PMI has traditionally gone very deep into management and the governance of management activities.  I'll let the great material in our standards and practice guides speak for itself. As Stan Lee was prone to say, 'Nuff said.
  4. DA has traditionally taken a more holistic view.  DA includes both what is being managed as well as the management/leadership of it.  For example, consider The Standard for Program Management Fourth Edition.  Where the existing PMI standard does a fantastic job of addressing the management aspects of a traditional program it doesn't go into critical "doing aspects" of programs such as how to address architecture, requirements, and quality activities (it does address planning and management though) for example.  This isn't meant to be a criticism of the standard but merely an observation - When we (PMI) developed the standard our focus, and once again rightfully so, was on management and governance.  It was not on the overall, holistic view of what occurs with a program.  With DA we choose to take a more holistic view, as do agile frameworks such as SAFeR and LeSS amongst others, and go beyond management and governance.  

My point is that there are very good reasons for the differences between what is in DA and what PMI has traditionally focused on.  These differences are an important aspect of the value proposition of DA for PMI, and more importantly for our membership, because we can learn from these differences and then improve and grow based on those learnings.  We're currently evolving DA based on the great material encompassed by the existing PMI standards and practice guides and our hope is that the existing PMI offerings will evolve to reflect Disciplined Agile ways of working (WoW) too.  

In the next blog in this series I will do a deep dive into the differences between DA's take on Program Management and the PMI Program Management Standard.  I suspect this will help to make some of the ideas in this blog more concrete and it will certainly make the opportunity before us a bit more explicit.

Posted by Scott Ambler on: March 08, 2020 08:37 PM | Permalink | Comments (3)

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?

Yes!

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?

Yes.

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?

No.

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)

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?

Yes!

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?

Yes.

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?

No.

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)
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