disciplined agile

What exactly is Disciplined Agile?

Disciplined Agile is a toolkit designed to make it simple for teams to streamline internal team processes. It promotes business agility and, as a result, increases commercial success. It is a process-decision toolkit that prioritizes individuals. The kit only provides light guidance, allowing teams to optimize the various processes based on the needs of each individual project.

It is not the same as a framework. Remember that Disciplined Agile is a toolkit that focuses on the various decisions that you must consider, the options that are available to you, and the trade-offs associated with these options.

The toolkit demonstrates how to combine strategies from Scrum, Kanban, SAFe®, XP, and other development methodologies. Disciplined Agile seeks the best way to combine these various agile approaches, believing that true business agility can be achieved through freedom rather than frameworks. This is accomplished in such a way that these methodologies can be combined in a way that is both tailorable and scalable. This toolkit is similar to the Crystal agile development method in a few ways.

How did Disciplined Agile come to be?

Disciplined Agile was first introduced in the book Disciplined Agile Delivery in 2012. Scott Ambler and Mark Lines co-created the approach with the goal of providing an approach that recognises that every organisation functions differently. As previously stated, the approach enables individuals, teams, and organisations to tailor solutions to their specific requirements.

Scott Ambler and Mark Lines have published five books on the toolkit since its introduction. They also established the DA consortium, provided strategic consulting, and trained people in the DA approach. The Project Management Institute Educational Foundation (PMIEF) purchased DA from the co-creators in 2019. Prior to this, DA had more than 12,000 practitioners trained in 30 countries with Agile Certification, and more than 50,000 books on DA had been sold.

The first edition of the book concentrated on broad-level organisational process decisions. Following this, newer iterations saw the methodology applied to specific areas of the process. ‘Disciplined Agile IT,’ for example, or ‘Disciplined DevOps.’

Nowadays, the term “Disciplined Agile” refers to the creation of effective processes that apply to all of these areas. It addresses all aspects of the solution delivery process, such as finance, procurement, architecture, and so on.

The Agile Disciplined Manifesto

The Agile Manifesto and the DA Manifesto are very similar. In a nutshell, the manifesto is as follows:

  • Individuals and their interactions are prioritized over processes and tools.
  • Usable solutions are more important than extensive documentation.
  • Contract negotiation is prioritized over collaboration with stakeholders.
  • Responses to feedback and changes based on it are implemented according to a predetermined plan.
  • The manifesto prioritizes process transparency over false predictability.

As you can see, these are similar to the points made in the agile manifesto. A similar set of principles can be found in other agile frameworks.

Principles, Promises, and Guidelines for the DA Mindset

The Disciplined Agile toolkit aims to increase commercial success, create more efficient working methods, and optimize workflows. To accomplish this, the toolkit adheres to a set of principles, promises, and guidelines. Here’s a quick rundown of the fundamentals. More information on each can be found on the PMIEF website. The promises and guidelines are also detailed on the website.


Customers must be delighted if they are to be satisfied. If your team does not do it, another team will, and you will lose customers as a result.

Be awesome – strive to be the best and always improve at the tasks at hand.

Context is important – Because each challenge is unique, the method of operation must be carefully chosen.

Be pragmatic – the goal is to be as effective as possible, and any necessary strategy must be implemented.

Choice is good – having options and understanding the tradeoffs is necessary to arrive at the best solution for a given situation.

Optimize flow – not just the local way of working, but all the value streams that the development process is a part of, as well as others throughout the organisation.

Organize the team around products/services – the team should be organised around producing the offerings, products, and services that the customers require.

Enterprise awareness – Disciplined Agile practitioners must look beyond the needs of the team and consider the long-term needs of the organisation.

DAD Team Roles

People on DAD teams have two types of roles: primary roles and secondary roles.

  1. Primary responsibilities

Most of the time, you’ll find these roles on Discipled Agile teams. They are not affected by the project’s size.

The following roles are classified as primary roles:

  • Team members, team leaders, product owners, and architecture owners are examples of team roles.
  • Stakeholder.
  1. Helping roles

Supporting roles are frequently temporarily filled to address scaling issues. Specialist, Independent Tester, Domain Expert, Technical Expert, and Integrator are all supporting roles.

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