We received a new book review from one of our younger readers. His comments:
- too much text, not enough pictures
- lots of content on DAD, but not enough on MOM
Thanks for the feedback Brayden, keep it coming!
The recording of my 1-hour InformationWeek webcast on DAD is available here:
This short video of an interview with Scott on the Disciplined Agile Delivery (DAD) book is worth the look:
There are some differences as well as some similarities when comparing agile adoption to agile transformation. Which does the DAD book address? One or the other, or both? I know that I have my opinion, but I am interested in yours. Add your comments and let us know what you think. Then we can discuss.
We are thrilled to confirm that our new book “Disciplined Agile Delivery: A Practitioner’s Guide to Agile Software Delivery in the Enterprise” will be launched at the IBM Innovate conference in Orlando June 3-7. It will be a busy week with the following events planned:
Scott will be co-delivering the Agile Transformation track keynote on Tuesday morning with Scott Rich, the development leader of the Jazz team. That afternoon he will be a participant at the Agile and Systems goldfish bowl. Wednesday morning Scott will be delivering his Disciplined Agile Delivery and DevOps talk and then in the afternoon giving an overview of Agile Modeling and Documentation strategies. Throughout the conference Scott will be meeting with customers, contact your IBM sales rep if you want to organize such a meeting, and doing several press interviews.
On Wednesday Mark will be speaking on “Disciplined Agile Delivery: Adoption in the Trenches”. On Monday he will be on the “Agile Coaching 101 Panel” with agile/lean thought leaders such as Mary Poppendieck. Mark will also be at the Canadian reception Monday night at Blue Zoo.
Mark & Scott will also be doing a book signing on Wednesday at the bookstore.
If you miss the signing and want a book signed, try the Agile Transformation Zone in the Exhibit Hall. There is a good chance that you will find us there, comparing notes with other agilists and discussing the challenges of disciplined agile adoption in the enterprise.
It promises to be a fun week, with the party at Sea World and the band Foreigner playing. We hope to see you there!
The DAD process framework uses a goal-driven approach as we illustrate in Figure 1 below. Throughout our book we described each of the DAD phases in turn and suggested strategies for addressing the goals of that phase. For each goal we described the issues pertaining to that the goal. For example, in Chapter 10 when we discussed initial project planning we indicated that you need to consider issues such as the amount of initial detail you intend to capture, the amount of ongoing detail throughout the project, the length of iterations, how you will communicate the schedule (if at all), and how you will produce an initial cost estimate (if at all). Each issue can be addressed by several strategies, each of which has trade-offs. Our experience is that this goals-driven, suggestive approach provides just enough guidance for solution delivery teams while being sufficiently flexible so that teams can tailor the process to address the context of the situation in which they find themselves in. The challenge is that it requires significant discipline by agile teams to consider the issues around each goal and then choose the strategy which that is most appropriate for them.
Figure 1. Goals addressed throughout a DAD project (updated).
Since the book was published in June 2012 Mark and I have made a few minor refactorings to the DAD goals to increase their consumability. Figure 2 presents the goals as they were originally described in the book, whereas Figure 1 shows our refactoring. As you can see there has been a few minor rewordings but the actual content remains effectively the same. We apologize for any confusion, but process improvement happens.
Figue 2. Goals addressed throughout a DAD project (original as published in the DAD book).
DAD lays out a set of milestones across the lifecycle that are common across most projects regardless of what agile practices you use. It takes discipline to use a goal-driven approach to reach those milestones. This means that you do not use a cookbook approach to deliver your solutions but rather adapt your techniques to follow the path that is best suited to you. Prescriptive guidance and rules are common in many agile methods and people can easily fall into a trap of doing exactly what is dictated by a particular method without challenging how appropriate it is for their own situation.
Are you guys able to quote any studies in your book on the increase in effectiveness that can be achieved by establishing permanent dedicated cross-functional teams as opposed to teams that get torn down and re-assembled for each project? I am looking for a solid industry study that is widely excepted. Our company currently has a mix of both types of teams and I am looking for some industry data to compare against.
Being able to deliver potentially shippable software increments at the end of each iteration is a good start that clearly requires discipline. The Disciplined Agile Delivery (DAD) process framework goes one step further and advises you to explicitly produce a potentially consumable solution every iteration, something that requires even greater discipline. Every construction iteration which your team executes requires the discipline to address:
- Working software that is “done”. Your software should be tested to the best of your ability. Ideally this includes pre-production integration testing and acceptance testing of the functionality delivered to date. The software should not only fulfill the functional requirements but appropriate non-functional requirements (NFRs) as well. Some of this testing may require the help of an independent test team, particularly at scale.
- Continuous documentation. Deliverable documentation, such as operations and support, system overview, and end user documentation are part of your overall solution. Evolving this documentation in sync with the software requires greater discipline than simply leaving this documentation to the end of the lifecycle.
- Consumability. Your solution should be more than potentially shippable, it should also be consumable. This requires investing some effort in user experience (UX) design throughout the lifecycle, particularly early in the project.
- Organizational change. The business processes around using your system, and potentially even the organizational structure of the stakeholders involved with it, may need to evolve. The implication is that your team needs the discipline to recognize and explore these issues throughout the project so that your stakeholders are prepared to receive your solution.
- Operations and support issues. Your solution should be consumable by all stakeholders, not just end users. Your operations and support staff should be able to work with the solution efficiently. To understand these needs your team needs the discipline to work closely with operations and support staff throughout the lifecycle, an important aspect of your overall DevOps strategy.