Does DAD address Agile Transformation or Adoption?

There are some differences as well as some similarities when comparing agile adoption to agile transformation.  Which does the DAD book address?  One or the other, or both?  I know that I have my opinion, but I am interested in yours.  Add your comments and let us know what you think.  Then we can discuss.

4 thoughts on “Does DAD address Agile Transformation or Adoption?

  1. Sameh


    Do you have actual case studies of using DAD for Agile transformation especially for product organization?

    Using a thought process I would say we can use DAD as Agile transformation framework and not just as IT project framework as mentioned in chapter 1.

    Two points I’d like to make:

    1) Implementation success is bound by mastering the framework
    If we fail in an implementation initiative, you can interpret this as the framework (DAD, Scrum…) have failed us. Alternatively this failure could be attributed to “us” failing the framework. It depends on the degree of mastery of the framework. Also, we can’t expect Ken Schwaber to to be around helping in Scrum transformation or Mark/Scott be around helping in every DAD transformation.
    In absence of data, there are contexts which are better addressed by certain framework.

    2) CMMI as higher level of abstraction for organization Agile transformation
    CMMI is well proven organizational transformation framework which is neutral towards the process(es) to be adopted (Scrum, XP, Kanban, DAD, RUP…). CMMI advocates having combination of processes and the right process is decided based on data from past performance given the context.One key practice I liked about CMMI is its attention for choosing the process(es) or combination of them to be used for the project.CMMI is a level of abstraction higher than process frameworks and I see the model can be be useful for Agile transformation using DAD and other process frameworks. There are proven cases studies of CMMI companies who achieved great results from their Agile transformation, please see their case study


    My short answer yes, DAD can be used for Agile adoption but within a higher level of abstraction.

    I am currently reading your book and it has many lessons that I plan to implement in my next “IT” projects.


    1. Mark Lines

      Hi Sameh,

      I agree that DAD can be useful for your agile transformation not just adoption. In the book we provide various strategies for satisfying your many project goals. For instance, initially you may need adopt a strategy that is not ideal for an agile project, but makes sense for the context of your current capabilities or organizational constraints that are present. As you become more capable and the constraints of adoption are removed, you can evolve your strategy towards more ideal agile practices.

      Regarding point 1, Scott & I completely agree with your comment that your success depends on your ability to apply the framework properly for the situation that you find yourself in.

      On the matter of CMMI, I think that your success that you will achieve also depends on how you apply it. While there are some examples of successful implementation of CMMI, there may be as many examples of questionable value realized. Perhaps this is a subject of a separate post at some point. Some organizations fall into a trap to trying to optimize a process that can be applied across all projects. This of course is not consistent with the agile philosophy of local optimization of processes and practices within the team. What makes DAD a bit different from mainstream methods such as Scrum is our focus on being “enterprise aware” and understanding that we also need to optimize processes for collaboration and interacting with other teams, and governance bodies (reuse, architecture, database, and PMOs for instance).

  2. Takehiko Amano

    I think DAD address both transformation and adoption. In simple stereo typical view point, I think Agile transformation is “Be Agile”, and Agile adoption is “Do Agile”. Even in legacy software development room (i.e. adopt water fall), developers can be agile. For example, they can be self-organizing, eliminate waste though lean management. Then, they gradually adopt Agile “process”.

    Transformation is long way to go to “Do Agile”. But they can not be agile without “Be Agile”. So in another view point, transformation is the mandatory step, and then adoption. I believe DAD contains principles and techniques of transformation and adoption.

  3. Sameh

    I suggest that implementing DAD can lead to experience which can be promoted to the organization level for reuse with other projects. That experience can help also in triggering organizational changes for better managing delivery projects.

    For me “being Agile” is that the organization has took the extra step to change itself so that it became suitable platform for conducting successful Agile projects. We can’t start with the organization, but we should start with the projects where learning happens and the priority of changes are established.


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