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There are literally hundreds of books that have been written on agile and lean. So why one more? Most books focus on just a subset of what is required to delivery end-to-end solutions in an agile manner. Developing a coherent approach to the complete picture by piecing together these practices is difficult, especially when the advice in many of these books is conflicting and not well researched, often based on just a few successful applications in a specific context. Disciplined Agile Delivery is the only toolkit available that combines the most effective practices across lean and agile methods into one comprehensive, agnostic, and context-driven approach that you can use to optimize your way of working (WoW).
This handbook is an indispensable guide for agile coaches and practitioners for understanding what options are effective in certain situations and not as effective in others. This advice is based on proven experience from hundreds of organizations facing similar situations to yours. There are many ways that a team can adopt to help them improve their WoW, strategies that are captured by this book.
Many people recommend an experimental approach to improvement, and we’ve found guided experiments to be even more effective. The basic idea with the PDSA/PDCA/OODA continuous improvement loop strategy is that you improve your WoW as a series of small changes, a strategy the lean community calls kaizen, which is Japanese for improvement. The first step is to identify a potential improvement, such as a new practice or strategy, that you want to experiment with to see how well it works for you in the context of your situation. The value of DA is that it can guide you through this identification step by helping you to identify a new practice/strategy that is likely to address the challenge you’re hoping to address. By doing so you increase your chance of identifying a potential improvement that works for you, thereby speeding up your efforts to improve your WoW – we call this guided continuous improvement.
There are several ways that this book provides the guidance your team requires to choose and evolve your WoW. First, it describes size lifecycles to choose from, providing lightweight guidance for when and when not to choose each one. These lifecycles are: A Scrum-based Agile project lifecycle, a Kanban-based Lean project lifecycle, an Agile Continuous Delivery lifecycle, a Lean Continuous Delivery lifecycle, a Program (team of teams) lifecycle, and a Lean Startup-based Exploratory lifecycle. Second, it provides outcome-based process goals from which guide you through choosing from the hundreds (yes, hundreds!) of techniques available to your team. Third, it provides guidance to improve how you reflect and improve upon your WoW, increasing the chance that you’ll choose techniques to experiment that are likely to work in the context that you face, thereby increasing the rate at which your team improves. Most importantly, we show how teams can have unique WoWs yet still be governed in a consistent and effective manner by your organization’s leadership. In short, guided continuous improvement enables your team to make better process decisions which then lead to better outcomes.
Choose Your WoW! is organized into six sections:
- Disciplined Agile Delivery (DAD) in a Nutshell
- Successfully Initiating Your Team
- Producing Business Value
- Releasing Into Production
- Sustaining and Enhancing Your Team
- Parting Thoughts and Back Matter
Finally, this book is the study guide for Disciplined Agile CDA and CDAP certifications. Certs based on earned knowledge and experience: skilled people produce better results.