Book: Choose Your WoW!

Choose Your WoW! Cover

This page overviews the book Choose Your WoW! A Disciplined Agile Delivery Handbook for Optimizing Your Way of Working (WoW).  This page is organized into the following topics:


This handbook is an indispensable guide for agile coaches and practitioners to identify what techniques – including practices, strategies, and lifecycles – are effective in certain situations and not as effective in others. This advice is based on proven experience from hundreds of organizations facing similar situations to yours.

There are literally hundreds of books that have been written on agile and lean. So why one more? Most books focus on just a subset of what is required to delivery end-to-end solutions in an agile manner. Developing a coherent approach to the complete picture by piecing together these practices is difficult, especially when the advice in many of these books is conflicting and not well researched, often based on just a few successful applications in a specific context.

Disciplined Agile Delivery is the only toolkit available that combines the most effective practices across lean and agile methods into one comprehensive context-driven approach that you can use to optimize your way of working (WoW).

Why You Should Buy This Book

We believe there are several reasons to motivate you to read this book:

  1. It embraces your uniqueness. This book recognizes that your team is unique and faces a unique situation. No more false promises of a “one size fits all” process that requires significant, and risky, disruption to adopt.
  2. It embraces the complexity you face. This book effectively holds up a mirror to the inherent complexities of solution delivery, and presents a lightweight representation to help guide your process improvement efforts. No more simplistic, silver bullet methods or process frameworks that gloss over the myriad of challenges your organizations faces because to do so wouldn’t fit in well with the certification training they’re hoping to sell you.
  3. It provides explicit choices. This book provides the tools you need to make better process decisions that in turn will lead to better outcomes. In short, it enables your team to own their own process, to choose their WoW, that reflects the overall direction of your organization. This book presents a proven strategy for guided continuous improvement, a team-based process improvement strategy rather than naïve adoption of a “populist process.”
  4. Certification study guide. This book is the study guide for Disciplined Agile CDA and CDAP certifications. These are certifications that are based on earned knowledge and experience, because skilled people produce better results.

There are many ways that a team can adopt to help them improve their WoW, strategies that are captured by the Evolve WoW process goal. Many people recommend an experimental approach to improvement, and we’ve found guided experiments to be even more effective. The basic idea with the PDSA/PDCA/OODA continuous improvement loop strategies are that you improve your WoW as a series of small changes, a strategy the lean community calls kaizen, which is Japanese for improvement. The first step is to identify a potential improvement, such as a new practice or strategy, that you want to experiment with to see how well it works for you in the context of your situation. The value of DA is that it can guide you through this identification step by helping you to identify a new practice/strategy that is likely to address the challenge you’re hoping to address. By doing so you increase your chance of identifying a potential improvement that works for you, thereby speeding up your efforts to improve your WoW – we call this guided continuous improvement.

There are several ways that this book provides the guidance your team requires to choose and evolve your WoW:

  1. Lifecycle choice. This book describes size lifecycles to choose from, providing lightweight guidance for when and when not to choose each one. These lifecycles are: A Scrum-based Agile project lifecycle, a Kanban-based Lean project lifecycle, an Agile Continuous Delivery lifecycle, a Lean Continuous Delivery lifecycle, a Program (team of teams) lifecycle, and a Lean Startup-based Exploratory lifecycle.
  2. Technique choice. This book provides outcome-based process goals from which guide you through choosing from the hundreds (yes, hundreds!) of techniques available to your team.
  3. Guided continuous improvement. This book provides guidance to improve how you reflect and improve upon your WoW, increasing the chance that you’ll choose techniques to experiment that are likely to work in the context that you face, thereby increasing the rate at which your team improves.
  4. Consistent governance. Most importantly, we show how teams can have unique WoWs yet still be governed in a consistent and effective manner by your organization’s leadership. In short, guided continuous improvement enables your team to make better process decisions which then lead to better outcomes.


Choose Your WoW! is organized into several sections:

  1. Disciplined Agile Delivery in a nutshell
  2. Successfully initiating your team
  3. Producing business value
  4. Releasing into production
  5. Sustaining and enhancing your team

Section 1: Disciplined Agile Delivery in a Nutshell

This section describes guided continuous improvement, the Disciplined Agile (DA) Mindset, and of course DAD.

  • Chapter 1: Choosing Your WoW!
  • Chapter 2: Being Disciplined
  • Chapter 3: Disciplined Agile Delivery (DAD) in a Nutshell
  • Chapter 4: Roles, Rights, and Responsibilities
  • Chapter 5: Process Goals
  • Chapter 6: Choosing the Right Lifecycle

Section 2: Successfully Initiating Your Team

This section describes strategies for how a team can do just enough work to get themselves organized and to come to a general agreement around the scope, architectural strategy, and plan for the current release.

  • Chapter 7: Form Team
  • Chapter 8: Align With Enterprise Direction
  • Chapter 9: Explore Scope
  • Chapter 10: Identify Architecture Strategy
  • Chapter 11: Develop Release Plan
  • Chapter 12: Develop Test Strategy
  • Chapter 13: Develop Common Vision
  • Chapter 14: Secure Funding

Section 3: Producing Business Value

This section describes a myriad of agile and lean strategies for producing a minimal marketable release (MMR) of a consumable solution that is ready to be transitioned into production or the marketplace.

  • Chapter 15: Prove Architecture Early
  • Chapter 16: Address Changing Stakeholder Needs
  • Chapter 17: Produce a Potentially Consumable Solution
  • Chapter 18: Improve Quality
  • Chapter 19: Accelerate Value Delivery

Section 4: Releasing Into Production

This section describes techniques to successfully release a consumable solution into production or the marketplace. Ideally this is a fully automated activity that runs in minutes or hours.

  • Chapter 20: Ensure Production Readiness
  • Chapter 21: Deploy the Solution

Section 5: Sustaining and Enhancing Your Team

This section describes strategies that support the team and/or help to make it more effective. This includes techniques for helping to grow individual team members, for evolving your team’s WoW, and for coordinating both within the team and with other teams in your organization.

  • Chapter 22: Grow Team Members
  • Chapter 23: Coordinate Activities
  • Chapter 24: Address Risk
  • Chapter 25: Evolve WoW
  • Chapter 26: Leverage and Enhance Existing Infrastructure
  • Chapter 27: Govern Delivery Team

How This Book Relates To Our Other DA Books

ComplementaryIntroduction to Disciplined Agile Delivery 2nd Edition: A Small Team’s Journey from Scrum to Disciplined DevOps is a brief introduction to DAD and describes a fictional case study of a team evolving their Scrum-based WoW to support a continuous delivery/DevOps style of working.  Choose Your WoW! provides the details behind the lifecycles and process goals overviewed in the intro book.

Executive's Guide to Disciplined Agile

Complementary. An Executive’s Guide to Disciplined Agile: Winning the Race to Business Agility overviews the Disciplined Agile (DA) toolkit and how to adopt it within your organization. Choose Your WoW! provides the details behind the DAD portion of the DA toolkit.

Replacement. Choose Your WoW! replaces our first DAD book, Disciplined Agile Delivery: A Practitioner’s Guide to Agile Software Delivery in the Enterprise which was published in 2012. DAD has evolved considerably since then so it’s time for an update. Here it is.

How to Obtain the Book

The book is currently available on in both print and Kindle formats at:


We are maintaining an errata page for the book, and release updates into Amazon when warranted.  If you’ve found any issues that are not listed on this page we’d love to hear about them.