The Disciplined Agile 2.0 process decision framework provides light-weight guidance to help organizations streamline their information technology (IT) processes in a context-sensitive manner.  It does this by showing how the various activities such as solution delivery, operations, enterprise architecture, portfolio management, and many others work together.  The framework also describes what these activities should address, provides a range of options for doing so, and describes the trade offs associated with each option.

This landing page overviews three key process-oriented aspects of the Disciplined Agile Framework:

  1. Guiding principles
  2. Delivery process
  3. Information technology (IT) process


Guiding Principles

There are several guiding principles, or philosophies perhaps, that underlie the Disciplined Agile (DA) framework:

  • People first. The first guiding principle behind the Disciplined Agile framework is “people first”.  What we mean by that people, the way that they collaborate, and the way that the are organized, are primary determinants of your success.
  • Hybrid framework. Disciplined Agile (DA) is a hybrid framework that builds upon the solid foundation of other methods and software process frameworks. The DA framework adopts practices and strategies from existing sources and provides advice for when and how to apply them together. In one sense methods such as Scrum, Extreme Programming (XP), Kanban, ITIL, Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe), and Agile Modeling (AM) provide the process bricks and DAD the mortar to fit the bricks together effectively.
  • Enterprise awareness.  Disciplined Agile teams, regardless of their focus, work in an enterprise aware manner.  This means that DA practitioners realize that their team is one of many teams within your organization, that they must work effectively with these other teams to accomplish their work goals.  Furthermore they must do what is best for the organization, not just what is convenient for them.
  • The principles of the Disciplined Agile Manifesto.  We have published a Disciplined Agile Manifesto, an extension to the original Agile Manifesto.  Since 2001 we’ve applied the ideas captured in the Agile Manifesto and have learned from our experiences doing so.  What we’ve learned has motivated us to suggest changes to the manifesto to reflect the enterprise situations in which we have applied agile and lean strategies.  We have made five basic changes: We prefer stakeholders over customers; We prefer solutions over software; Teams should leverage and evolve the assets of the organization (e.g. pay down technical debt); Teams should visualize their workflow; And your organizational ecosystem must support multi-modal approach (agile, lean, other…) to development.
  • Lean principles.  Lean principles are critical process aspects of the DA framework.  These principles, not in any particular order, include: Optimize the whole; Continuous learning; Visualize workflow; Minimize queues; Decentralize control; Stakeholder delight; Insightful experimentation; Plan Do Check Act (PDCA) lifecycle; Leadership over management; Eliminate waste; Build in Quality; Create knowledge; Defer commitment; Respect people; Deliver quickly; Limit Work in Progress (WIP); and adopt actionable metrics.


Delivery Process

Every team faces a unique situation.  Teams vary in size, they vary in the way that they are geographically or organizationally distributed, they vary by the domain and technical complexity that they face, and they vary by the compliancy issues that are relevant to them.  Furthermore, teams are made up of unique individuals, each of whom has a set of unique skills and experiences.  In short, because each agile team finds itself in a unique situation the team must find a way to effectively tailor the way that they work to best face that situation.  To do this they must do two things:  First, they must choose the most appropriate delivery lifecycle delivery lifecycle; Second, they must tailor their approach for the situation that they face.

The Disciplined Agile (DA) process decision framework is promotes working in a full, beginning-to-end, solution delivery lifecycle. The figure below overviews a high-level view of the DA delivery lifecycle.  Because delivery teams face a range of situations, the DA framework supports four detailed delivery lifecycles: The Scrum-based basic/agile lifecycle; the Kanban-based lean/advanced lifecycle; The continuous delivery lifecycle; The Exploratory (Lean Startup) lifecycle.

Disciplined Agile Lifecycle - High Level System

To support a light-weight approach to process tailoring, the Disciplined Agile (DA) framework takes a goal-driven approach.  The purpose of DA’s goal-driven approach is that it guides people through the process-related decisions that they need to make to tailor and scale agile strategies to address the context of the situation that they face. following figure depicts the delivery-oriented process goals of the DA framework.

Process Goals of Disciplined Agile Delivery

Information Technology (IT) Process

With the 2.0 release the Disciplined Agile framework was extended to explicitly support the full range of IT activities, including DevOps oriented ones that go beyond solution delivery.  The following diagram overviews the process blades of the Disciplined Agile 2.x framework (you can click on the diagram for more information, although some process blades are still a work in progress).

Delivery Lifecycles Program Management Release Management People Management Product Management Portfolio Management Enterprise Architecture Reuse Engineering Continuous Improvement

Disciplined Agile IT

We have also created a workflow diagram for Disciplined Agile IT: