The Disciplined Agile (DA) Toolkit – A Foundation for Business Agility
Author: Adi Muslic, PMP
Disciplined Agile (DA) has been fairly unknown so far in Switzerland. Just the fact that this is now PMI’s Disciplined Agile made it much better known. Sometime in April, I decided to look into it a bit deeper.
There have been many online events introducing DA to the wider public. I attended several of them and started digging into available online resources. Day by day, I have been more and more convinced that DA aligns well with my experience, especially with complex, cross-functional projects and projects delivering solutions to customers.
I see business agility as the flexibility to react quickly to changes affecting the business results. So the level of business agility may determine whether a company survives or not a sudden unpredictable change.
PMI recognizes that traditional structures and working practices may not always offer the level of flexibility now needed. PMI believes The Disciplined Agile Toolkit should enable businesses to find their way to overcome the new challenges.
To start with, The Disciplined Agile Toolkit is not a framework. It combines the world’s leading agile and lean practices and strategies (e.g. DevOps, Scrum, XP, SAFe, Kanban) and provides advice for when and how to apply them together. It gives you an opportunity to select the most appropriate way of working for you, your team and your organisation.
Another difference between the Disciplined Agile toolkit, and other frameworks, is that DA has always recognized fully distributed teams as one of the options that may be chosen from, or a reality of, how organizations are arranged.
It’s also about continuous improvement, and in DA there is a technique called guided continuous improvement (GCI). Running small, “safe to fail” experiments technique will work well in many situations and business effectiveness will rise faster due to more successful experiments.
Clearly, there are many similarities with existing agile frameworks. However, DA is not competing with them. It is a complimentary toolkit. It presents a bigger picture of all agile practices and strategies because it combines all the good practices and puts it into the toolkit for our benefit. So from a content perspective, DA certainly has a positive future.
WIth PMI, and everybody knows PMI, there is going to be a significant investment in promoting and improving further DA. So there will definitely be a much bigger presence in the project management industry in coming years. It is time to get on board and make the future agile.