Viewing Posts by Scott Ambler
We are often asked what the relationship is between Disciplined Agile (DA) and A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK®Guide) 7th Edition (PMBoK7). We thought we would share our thoughts on the topic, presented as a frequently asked question (FAQ) list.
Q: Is PMBoK7 based on DA?
A: No, PMBoK7 was written independently of DA. Like DA, PMBoK7 is based on ideas and experiences from a wide range of people and sources so there’s clear overlap.
Q: How much coverage does DA include of PMBoK7?
A: A lot. As you can see in the DA Browser, techniques captured in both PMBoK7 and PMBoK6 are referenced extensively in DA. Having said that, we’re in the process of updating those references so that they point to the same topics in PMIstandards+, which is PMI’s digital version of our standards, guides, and how-to content.
Q: How much coverage does PMBoK7 include of DA?
A: It depends on how you look at it. Explicitly, very little. Implicitly, a fair bit. As we indicated earlier, there is a lot of overlap between what PMBoK7 covers and DA. Both capture known, effective, and practical strategies.
Q: Why doesn't PMBoK7 include more DA concepts, given that it was published after PMI purchased DA?
A: DA was purchased by PMI in August 2019 and PMBoK7 was published in June 2021. Given that PMBoK7 is an ANSI standard, the submitted version of PMBoK7 was pretty much finalized at the point that PMI acquired DA.
Q: How do the PMBoK7 principles map to the DA mindset?
Q: How do PMBoK7 and DA differ?
A: PMBoK7, and the supporting materials in PMIstandards+, is a deep dive into Project Management. DA’s scope is much broader in that it addresses enterprise agility, putting a wide range of strategies that include but go beyond project management into context. Where PMBoK7 is deep, DA is broad.
Q: Where can I learn more about DA?
Q: Where can I learn more about PMBoK7?
A: You can access A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK®Guide) 7th Edition here. As a PMI member you can download a personalized PDF free of charge.
I'd like to thank Mike Griffiths for his input that went into this blog.
One of the changes that we made in the DA 5.3 release on September 30th was to update our advice around managing backlogs. We had been using older terminology from when we first developed Disciplined Agile Delivery (DAD) and we had an out-of-date description of what was being advised in the Scrum community (they've adopted a more disciplined strategy in recent years). So we've acted and updated this aspect of the tool kit.
There are three refactorings that are pertinent to our discussion:
Figure 1. The Intake Work process goal.
As you can see in Figure 1 there are four fundamental strategies for managing your backlog of work. These strategies are ordered, you know this because there is an arrow beside the list, indicating that the strategies towards the top of the list are generally more effective than the strategies towards the bottom. In order from most effective to least effective, these strategies are:
Figure 2. Lean backlog overview.
Figure 3. Agile backlog overview.
Figure 4. Requirements (product) backlog overview.
Comparing Backlog Strategies
The following table compares the four backlog strategies. For more information, please refer PMI's Disciplined Agile (DA) Browser.
I'd like to thank Curtis Hibbs and Klaus Boedker for their great work on Figures 2-4, which I reused from our upcoming Disciplined Agile Product Owner workshop.
We released Disciplined Agile (DA) v5.3 earlier today, September 30th 2021. While there are several visible changes that we've made, discussed below, most of this release is "behind the scenes" in that we've updated descriptions of many techniques and added many new references that link to articles, blogs, or books describing a given technique.
The "visible changes" include updates to several process goals:
We also updated the following process blades:
It is important to note that for the DASM and DASSM exams that we are still testing you against the DA 5.0 version of the model.
We recently released the 5.2 version of the Disciplined Agile (DA) tool kit, and in that release we added three new process goals: Intake Work, Organize Metrics, and Measure Outcomes. The focus of this posting is the Measure Outcomes process goal, the goal diagram for which is posted in Figure 1.
Figure 1. The Measure Outcomes process goal diagram (click to enlarge).
The Measure Outcomes process goal describes potential improvement outcomes, or improvement goals, and suggests potential metrics to measure progress against those outcomes. Disciplined Agile doesn't prescribe what to measure, that would be naive because every team is unique with its own priorities and desired outcomes.
All of the potential outcomes in Figure 1 are important. However, you will want to focus on a subset at any given time, and that subset is likely to evolve as your improvement focus evolves. Context counts.
We recently released the 5.2 version of the Disciplined Agile (DA) tool kit, and in that release we added three new process goals: Intake Work, Organize Metrics, and Measure Outcomes. The focus of this posting is the Organize Metrics process goal, depicted in Figure 1.
Figure 1. The Organize Metrics process goal diagram (click to enlarge).
As the name implies, this process goal describes strategies to organize the metrics approach within your team. This strategy will be driven both by your team's culture and skills as well as the needs of your stakeholders - your metrics will likely need to "roll up" to the program or portfolio level.
Your metrics strategy will focus on several important questions:
Where this goal focuses on how to measure, the Measure Outcomes goal describes what to potentially measure.