What is a Process Blade?

Sheathed Katana

A process blade encompasses a cohesive collection of process options, such as practices and strategies, that should be chosen and then applied in a context sensitive manner.  Each process blade addresses a specific capability, such as Data Management, Continuous Delivery, or Portfolio Management.


The Disciplined Agile Process Blades

We’ve organized the process blades into three categories, each of which builds on the previous category:

  1. Disciplined Agile Delivery (DAD).  This category supports the four delivery lifecycles – Continuous DeliveryExploratory/Lean StartupLean/Kanban, and Agile/Scrum – as process blades as well as Program Management (the coordination of a large delivery team).
  2. Disciplined DevOps.  This category expands on Disciplined Agile Delivery to add five process blades: Non-Agile/Lean Lifecycles (which are recognized by, but not supported by, the DA framework),  Release Management, Operations, Support, and Data Management.
  3. Disciplined Agile IT. This category expands on Disciplined DevOps to add the following process blades: People ManagementProduct ManagementPortfolio Management, Enterprise ArchitectureReuse EngineeringIT Governance , and Continuous Improvement.


Why Create a New Term?

Given our philosophies around terminology, in particular our preference for existing terminology, it is admittedly strange that we created a new term such as this.  Our thinking was that we wanted to get across the idea that a blade could be updated or even replaced, just like a server blade in your operational infrastructure.  As the situation that a team faces evolves, it should be possible for the team to update their configuration of a process blade, or even replace it entirely, with little or no impact to the teams around them.  Hence, a process blade is the process equivalent of a server blade.

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