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Choose Your Way of Working (WoW)!


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How does an agile software development team choose its way of working, and do so in a context sensitive manner?

This was presented at the Toronto Agile Conference on October 30, 2018.

Published in: Software

Choose Your Way of Working (WoW)!

  1. 1. © Disciplined Agile Consortium 1 Choose Your WoW! Disciplined Agile Strategies for Optimizing Your Way of Working (WoW)
  2. 2. Scott Ambler •  Helps enterprise-class organizations around the world to improve their processes and organization structures •  Thought leader of: –  Agile Modeling (AM) method –  Agile Data (AD) method •  Co-creator of the Disciplined Agile (DA) framework •  Author of 20+ books •  scott [at] •  Advisory Board Member –  SEMAT –  ScaleFree –  Architectural Thinking Framework © Disciplined Agile Consortium - @scottwambler 2 @scottwambler
  3. 3. Agenda •  Step 1: Understand the Situation •  Step 2: Adopt a New Mindset •  Step 3: Adopt a Continuous Improvement Strategy •  Step 4: Choose Your WoW! •  Q&A © Disciplined Agile Consortium 3
  4. 4. © Disciplined Agile Consortium 4 Step 1: Understand the Situation
  5. 5. Context Counts © Disciplined Agile Consortium 5 Start by identifying the situation that your team faces so that you can tailor your WoW to address that context
  6. 6. Disciplined Agile Enterprise Disciplined Agile IT Disciplined DevOps DAD The Disciplined Agile Framework © Disciplined Agile Consortium 6
  7. 7. © Disciplined Agile Consortium 7 Step 2: Adopt a New Mindset
  8. 8. The Seven Principles of Disciplined Agile © Disciplined Agile Consortium Delight Customers Pragmatism Be Awesome Context Counts Choice is Good Optimize Flow Enterprise Awareness 8
  9. 9. © Disciplined Agile Consortium 9 Step 3: Adopt a Continuous Improvement Strategy
  10. 10. Adopting a Prescriptive Method Helps a Bit © Disciplined Agile Consortium 10
  11. 11. Continuous Improvement © Disciplined Agile Consortium 11 Identify a Potential Improvement Experiment with the new WoW Assess Effectiveness Adopt the new WoW Abandon the new WoW Share Learnings with Others
  12. 12. Continuous Improvement is Longer Lasting © Disciplined Agile Consortium 12
  13. 13. Guided Continuous Improvement © Disciplined Agile Consortium 13 Identify a Potential Improvement Experiment with the new WoW Assess Effectiveness Adopt the new WoW Abandon the new WoW Share Learnings with Others Apply the Disciplined Agile (DA) toolkit to identify better options
  14. 14. It Works Even Better With Light-Weight Guidance © Disciplined Agile Consortium 14
  15. 15. You Can Combine Strategies © Disciplined Agile Consortium 15
  16. 16. © Disciplined Agile Consortium 16 Step 4: Choose Your Own Way of Working (WoW)!
  17. 17. Tailoring Your WoW •  Initially: –  Understand the situation that you face –  Choose the most appropriate lifecycle –  Choose the best strategies/practices that your team can perform •  Over time: –  Regularly reflect –  Experiment with new strategies –  Evolve your WoW © Disciplined Agile Consortium 17
  18. 18. © Disciplined Agile Consortium 18 Choosing a Lifecycle Agile Lean Continuous Delivery: Agile Continuous Delivery: Lean Exploratory Program
  19. 19. Disciplined Agile Delivery: Basic Lifecycle © Disciplined Agile Consortium 19 An enterprise-ready, Scrum-based project lifecycle.
  20. 20. Disciplined Agile Delivery: Lean Lifecycle © Disciplined Agile Consortium 20 An enterprise-ready, Kanban-based project lifecycle
  21. 21. Disciplined Agile Delivery: Lean Continuous Delivery Lifecycle © Disciplined Agile Consortium 21 Lean on a stable team.
  22. 22. Disciplined Agile Delivery: Agile Continuous Delivery Lifecycle © Disciplined Agile Consortium 22 Agile on a stable team.
  23. 23. DAD Exploratory “Lean Startup” Lifecycle © Disciplined Agile Consortium 23 A low-risk strategy to initiate development of a new product.
  24. 24. The Program Lifecycle © Disciplined Agile Consortium 24 A lifecycle for a team of teams.
  25. 25. 25 Governance is Built Into DAD •  Governance strategies built into DAD: –  Risk-value lifecycle –  Light-weight milestone reviews –  “Standard” opportunities for increased visibility and to steer the team provided by agile –  Enterprise awareness –  Robust stakeholder definition © Disciplined Agile Consortium
  26. 26. LeSS XP …and moreAgile Data DA is a Hybrid Framework 26 Unified Process Agile Modeling Kanban“Traditional”Spotify DevOps Scrum DA leverages proven strategies from several sources, providing a decision framework to guide your adoption and tailoring of them in a context-driven manner. SAFe © Disciplined Agile Consortium
  27. 27. The Process Goals of Disciplined Agile Delivery © Disciplined Agile Consortium 27
  28. 28. Disciplined Agilists Choose Their Practices © Disciplined Agile Consortium 28 Goal Decision Point Advantages Disadvantages Considerations * Option Default Option * Explore the Initial Scope Form the Initial Team Address Changing Stakeholder Needs Source Evolution strategy Size Structure Member skills Completeness Longevity Geographic distribution Organization distribution Time zone distribution Support the team Availability Indicates a preference for the options towards the top Co-located Partially dispersed Distributed subteams Fully dispersed
  29. 29. Goal: Form Initial Team © Disciplined Agile Consortium 29
  30. 30. Goal: Secure Funding © Disciplined Agile Consortium 30
  31. 31. © Disciplined Agile Consortium 31 Goal: Address Changing Stakeholder needs
  32. 32. © Disciplined Agile Consortium 32 Goal: Produce a Potentially Consumable Solution
  33. 33. © Disciplined Agile Consortium 33 Continuous Improvement
  34. 34. © Disciplined Agile Consortium 34
  35. 35. Evolving Your WoW: Practices © Disciplined Agile Consortium 35 •  Tailoring sessions –  Early in Inception for Inception –  Late in Inception for Construction –  Late in Construction for Transition •  Retrospectives –  Identify a problem area –  Look in the DA knowledgebase for suggestions –  Choose a likely candidate to experiment with •  Experiment –  Try out a practice/strategy in your environment –  Measure the results –  Aim is to determine whether the new strategy works well for you
  36. 36. Evolving Your WoW: Lifecycles © Disciplined Agile Consortium 36
  37. 37. © Disciplined Agile Consortium Parting Thoughts •  Context counts - Every team is unique, facing a unique situation •  Choice is good - Agile teams own their own process, they get to choose their Way of Working (WoW) •  Pragmatism – There are hundreds of practices and strategies to choose from, we need to choose the ones that are right for us 37
  38. 38. © Disciplined Agile Consortium 38
  39. 39. Join Today Sign up at and become a member Have access to new and upcoming information about Disciplined Agile strategies © Disciplined Agile Consortium 39
  40. 40. The Disciplined Agile Consortium (DAC) supports and evolves the Disciplined Agile process decision framework. The DAC site,, provides information on curriculum and learning resources for Disciplined Agile practitioners. It is also the home of the Disciplined Agile certification program. The Disciplined Agile blog,, provides a wealth of articles and blog postings about Disciplined Agile topics. The Disciplined Agile discussion forum,, is a meeting place for Disciplined Agile practitioners to share their experiences and to get questions answered. © Disciplined Agile Consortium 40
  41. 41. The Disciplined Agile Framework © Disciplined Agile Consortium 41