Disciplined Agile – A toolkit for Organizational Agility

In today’s market conditions, organizations must be able to adapt to evolving consumer needs at a crazy fast pace, stay competitive, and should be able to scale. We need to build awesome teams that work nimbly on small increments, leveraging technology as a strategic enabler. With the COVID situation this year, distributed teams have become the new normal. Now more than ever organizations have a compelling need to transform digitally. Agile has always led any successful transformation due to its proven effectiveness on teams. Teams are continuously in pursuit of a framework that brings predictability on delivery, managing cross dependencies with focused business objectives.

Across industries, teams have adopted various agile frameworks based on their need and available talent. This has helped engineering teams to be responsive to change and be customer-centric. An organization is nothing but a collection of teams across different departments. True agility would require us to apply agile values and practices across different departments like HR, Finance, and so on. Most of these frameworks lose relevance if we try to extend them beyond software development to other faculties. Thus emerges Disciplined Agile, a new evolved approach on lean based thinking and process patterns that improves an organization’s ability to achieve business agility.

Disciplined Agile is a hybrid toolkit that is built upon other process frameworks like SCRUM, Kanban, agile modelling, and so on. Disciplined Agile delivery adopts practices and strategies from existing sources and provides guidance on how to apply them as tools. DA Delivery supports multiple life cycles for solution delivery. Leading development organizations have started adopting DA as a supplement to augment existing Agile practice be it SCRUM, SAFe, or Kanban. (Reference: https://bit.ly/2EmtIx0)

DA has also addressed the larger challenge of recommended Agile practices and strategies that can be adopted contextually across the enterprise onto Marketing, Sales, HR, Legal, Business Operations, and Procurement. They are termed as “process blade” in DA. It is a goal-driven, scalable, and enterprise aware approach. Each process blade addresses a specific capability and like a blade server can be applied and removed as and when required.

The second challenge that Disciplined Agile solves is that when teams are adopting a particular framework, sometimes they feel constrained by the boundaries of that framework. It is termed as “method prison” and signifies there is no flexibility to pick up the best practices from other methodologies. But the moment you start looking at all these frameworks as a toolkit that can help you uncover what suits you best and find your “Way of working”, DA takes a one-up advantage in the Agile landscape.

Last but not the least, Disciplined Agile adopts the practice “Kaizen” of making small, incremental changes to bring productive efficiency into the system. This is called Guided Continuous Improvement in DA that is derived from lean manufacturing and Six sigma.

Courtesy: Image Credit – Project Management Institute

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