The Disciplined Agile Poster v2.1

DAD Poster People 7-4

On Wednesday, September 21 2016 we ran a webinar overviewing the latest version of the DA poster. A recording of the webinar can be viewed online from the DAC Webinars page and a PDF of the slide deck is posted on Slideshare entitled The Disciplined Agile IT Department.

During the webinar we received several questions, many of which we answered, although we did run out of time and did not get to all of them. As usual, we’ve written a blog posting to answer these questions. We’ve organized the questions into the following topics:

  1. The poster and terminology
  2. Organizational issues
  3. Adoption of DA
  4. Learning more
  5. Miscellaneous


1. The Poster and Terminology

1.1 What’s the significance of the concentric circles in shades like white, blue yellow? How do we look at those groupings?

Those are groupings on the poster. There are headings, they sort of look like ribbons, indicating the scope of each one: Delivery, Disciplined DevOps, IT.

1.2 What’s the best way to read or traverse the diagram (for beginners)? left–>right, top–>bottom, inside–>outside … ?

It’s a workflow diagram that is cyclic, so in a way it doesn’t matter. However, it does make sense to start in the top left corner if you like.

1.3 What was the thought behind the “process blade”?

We have a detailed article about the term process blade here.


2. Organizational Issues

2.1 What range of IT dept sizes is DA best suited for? Is there a sweet spot?

We’re seeing Disciplined Agile being adopted by IT departments as small as 40 people and as large as 20,000+. The issue really isn’t the size of the IT department but rather how well it is able to support the rest of your organization,

2.2 What is a role played by Chief AO and Chief PO in terms of Solution Delivery? Where can we put DAD Roles in the DA poster?

If you visit the DA home page there is the poster on there. There is also a button in the bottom left corner leading to a beta version of the diagram with the roles on it.  The IT-level roles are overviewed at Disciplined Agile Roles at Scale.

2.3 Where would someone like say a “Peoplesoft Administrator” fit into the new (beta) DA 2.x picture. I’ve seen loads of similar people/roles in a Agile Transformation initiatives at a Bank and hence the ask.

This sounds like a specialized version of an Operations Engineer to me. Also, sounds like more of a position than a role.


3. Adoption of DA

3.1 Do you have any examples of organizations in Canada (besides IBM) that are using DA or DAD framework?

There are many organizations using Disciplined Agile although this is not a complete list nor is it broken down by country. If your organization is using DAD, and you would like to get on this list, please reach out to us.

3.2 Any recommendation for terminologies/nomenclature in Agile Portfolio Management? sub-task=>story=>Epic=>Initiatives/Product=> Themes??

Use the terminologies and techniques that are right for your organization. There is no standard terminology in agile, nor will there ever be. Furthermore, every organization is unique so one process size does not fit all. You need to tailor your approach to address the situation that you face.


4. Learning More

4.1 Will there be a new book re IT and DevOps additions? When?

Yes, we have a book underway right now. Having said that, we always publish to the web first. We have published a lot here on the Disciplined Agile site, including a detailed article on Disciplined DevOps.

4.2 Is a new version of the big book coming up? Any updates to the Certification or tracks wrt. DA 2.x?

At the present moment we do not intend to publish an update to the big book. We find publishing smaller books, such as Introduction to DAD, to be more effective, and that’s what we’re currently focused on. When we publish the new book we will also be updating the certifications to reflect that, so please stay tuned.

4.3 Your current book says very little about scaling, but with the example of Barclay’s 30K IT Dept, will the new book have more “scaling” content?

We have published a fair bit about scaling online. The page Agility at Scale is a good starting point.  Also, Disciplined Agile Delivery (DAD) provides a foundation from which to scale, so I would argue we’ve written quite a bit, even in the first book.

4.4 Where I can find guidance for process blades? Will new version of book cover it?

We have published detailed information about the process blades at the DA site. A good starting page is Strategic Agility at Scale. Yes, we will be covering this material in the new book.

4.5 Will the download posters be updated to 2.1? Lot nicer to follow and look at 🙂

The poster is available for download, in various formats, from Disciplined Agile Posters.


4.6 This is very new in Europe. What are your plans to expand your DAD coverage there?

We are actively looking for business partners, including both trainers and consulting firms, in Europe, Asia, and Australia. For more information, see our Certified Disciplined Agile Instructor (CDAI) Program and our Certified Disciplined Agile Partner Program.


5. Miscellaneous

5.1 Governance is depicted at lower left (and appears IT centric). Isn’t the reality that each of the artifacts (and there are lots! on this poster) can be subjected to a simple artifact governance? Does DA leverage this?

Governance is built right into all aspects of the DA framework. The IT Governance blade is purposefully IT centric because that is the scope that we chose to address. It is in fact one part of your organization’s overall governance strategy (often referred to as a control strategy, yuck).

5.2 Does DA group recommends any tools for Agile?

We try to avoid recommending tools because it really does depend on your situation. However, we do have a good relationship with Blueprint Technologies and have been working with several of the agile management tool vendors. We do have a page discussing tool support for DAD but it’s not comprehensive.

5.3 Should operations teams run one of the lifecycles like a software delivery team? Should support?

Operations teams and support teams should definitely have a method that they follow to do their work. Given that they often need to respond to help requests, or address production problems, they very likely need to consider adopting a lean lifecycle for that type of work. In particular the Continuous Delivery lifecycle is likely closest to what they need, but this of course depends on the situation.

5.4 Where do you see DA complementing SAFe or vice versa.

In many ways SAFe is an instance of a portion of DA. Where SAFe prescribes an approach DA gives you a range of options and asks you to choose the right approach for the situation that you face.



Have any Question or Comment?

2 comments on “The Disciplined Agile Poster v2.1

Fakhar Anwar

Scott, Your effort in seemless transformation of Agile maniacs into “Process Driven Methodology” is appreciable. Actually, you are behind EUP, AUP and DA all discard the weekly defined principles of Agile Manifesto and Agile-Scrum. To me, Agile-Menifesto and Scrum are disastrous for organizations in that they violate all principles of Management Sciences and are totally devoid Disciplines of Engineering. Above all, Daily Stand up Meetings of an Agile Team (a cross-functional team) is totally useless and injurious.

I really liked EUP and now i believe that AUP and DA Framework is actually extension / refinement to EUP with Agile tag so that seemless transformation of distracted Agilers can be made. I have worked in Scrum environment and learn that Agile is actually Fr(Agile).


Fakhar, it sounds as if you’ve had some negative experiences with Scrum teams, or perhaps more accurately with teams claiming to be doing Scrum.

As far as your assertions about Agile not following principles of Management Sciences or (software) Engineering you’re really missing the mark. The management folks are actively adopting agile thinking and have been finding the hard way that traditional approaches to management are not very effective. You might want to start reading Harvard Business Review if you’re not doing so already. As far as engineering practices the agile and lean communities are leading the way in expanding on known practices and experimenting with new ones. Virtually all of the interesting work in software engineering is happening in the agile/lean space.

In the future, could you please post material like this on the Disciplined Agile forum on LinkedIn instead of here? I think that there would be a lot of value for you in hearing about the experiences of others applying agile effectively in practice.


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