Home > Goal-Driven, Lifecycle > Evolving the Goals Overview Diagram

Evolving the Goals Overview Diagram


A couple of months ago we decided to evolve the DAD goals overview diagram. The new version is shown in Figure 1 and the previous version in Figure 2.

Figure 1. The new goals overview diagram.
Lifecycle Goals

Figure 2. The previous diagram.
Lifecycle Goals

There are several interesting changes in the diagram:

  1. It’s a mind map. We’ve always been uncomfortable with the table format of Figure 2 but had never gotten around to updating the diagram.  Based on feedback from several people, including a few Black Belts, we moved towards using mind map notation.
  2. Color.  We’re using a color scheme that is consistent with the colors used in the DAD lifecycle diagrams.  Expect updates to the process goal diagrams in the near future for consistency.
  3. Team focus.  For the past year or so we’ve been moving away from the project-oriented terminology that we used in the DAD book.  For example, in Figure 2 we now say “Fulfill the Team Mission” instead of “Fulfill the Project Mission”.  We’re seeing DAD applied more in more by product teams, often following a lean or continuous delivery version of the lifecycle, that have evolved beyond the project mindset.  So we felt we should refactor away from the project-oriented terminology we used in the first edition of the DAD book and thereby remove some unfortunate bias we may have injected into the DAD framework.

As always, we’re open to any feedback that you may have to help us improve this material.  Thanks in advance.

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Categories: Goal-Driven, Lifecycle
  1. East, James F CIV FRC East, 7.2.1
    January 3, 2014 at 5:14 am

    Very nice visual diagram. I too prefer this type of visual over tables.

    One comment: Where is “Groom the Product Backlog” covered in the diagram? I would have expected to see it in the ON GOING section.

    JAMES EAST Office Phone: (252) 464-8770 Cell Phone: (252) 659-0501

  2. January 3, 2014 at 7:42 am

    Does this mean there’ll be an update in the book in the near future?

  3. January 3, 2014 at 7:55 am

    The mindmap version on above is clearly superior… However, my concern with MindMaps for documentation (they are great for so many other purposes) is that they tend to look great on large screens, but terrible on portable devices like iPads where we consumer ever more documentation. I am reading through the Kindle version of “Disciplined Agile Development” (great book Scott!) on the iPad currently. The mindmaps at the beginning of each chapter display terribly even when zoomed in. The tables are difficult to take in too, but at least are easier. …Maybe the lesson is, like UI design, solve for the problem of “adaptable formatting” based on consumption device. IMHO, for portable devices, sadly, good old paragraph and bullet formats still work best when the content is text only.

  4. January 3, 2014 at 1:12 pm

    John, “near future” wouldn’t be the right term. Sometime in the future, then yes. ;-)

    James, we don’t use terms such as “groom product backlog” due to it’s prescriptive nature (backlogs are one of many ways to organize the work) and due to its lack of focus (groom, really?). Also, backlog grooming is a low-level practice, not a higher-level process goal. So, backlog grooming (were we to use that term) would appear on a detailed goal diagram as a potential technique/practice. What does appear, however, are techniques such as look-ahead modelling and look-ahead planning, two aspects of “backlog grooming”.

    Jim, not sure that the issue is with mind-maps per se but with the software used to generate them to begin with. Better quality output from the mind-map software (which for those diagrams in the book was one-off software, most other diagrams were generated using Visio) might be the real issue.

  5. Anonymous
    January 3, 2014 at 6:14 pm

    The new version is definitely more pleasing to look at! Great work, Scott!!

  6. February 5, 2014 at 5:05 am

    I like this approach a lot. The goals driven part of DAD is what stood-out as a read through the book and has given me the most benefit. The team structure and life-cycle are also good, but for me more of a confirmation of what I have been doing for the past few years (I had also dropped elaboration after following some of the ARUP stuff!).

    What would be great is a clickable version of the goals overview, so if you clicked “Explore initial scope” you’d get the goals diagram (fig 2 at http://disciplinedagiledelivery.wordpress.com/2013/01/21/disciplined-agilists-take-a-goal-driven-approach/) and you could even click say “modelling type” and get more detail there.

    Taking it one step further, you could then login and have the ability to add notes to say what you team was doing and then generate a report that gives a comprehensive overview of how you are implementing DAD. This would be a great tool to compare projects across a large organization.

    One step further again is that if this info was abstracted away somewhere, it could be re-purposed for mobile devices!!

    Maybe an opensource project to create “DAD documentation” using the DAD approach is needed!!

  7. February 5, 2014 at 6:39 am

    We’re currently working on a downloadable, HTML-based overview of DAD that will be clickable in the manner that you describe. Opensourcing it is an option we should consider.

    • February 5, 2014 at 6:52 am

      Excellent, I look forward to it and it will replace my “Agile Unified Process (Agile UP)” HTML-based overview that I often refer back to.

  1. January 3, 2014 at 4:58 am
  2. February 10, 2014 at 8:14 am

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