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What Is Disciplined Agile Delivery (DAD)?

Disciplined Agile Delivery (DAD or DA for Disciplined Agile) is a people-first, learning-oriented, hybrid Agile approach to IT project management and solutions delivery

DAD Agile process framework demonstrates how to tailor mainstream Agile techniques to suit extensive, complex enterprise IT projects. It is goal-driven, scalable, sustainable, and enterprise-aware.

History of DAD Agile framework

The world's introduction to Disciplined Agile Delivery framework was in 2012 through the book: Disciplined Agile Delivery: A Practitioner's Guide to Agile Software Delivery in the Enterprise by IBM software engineers Scott Ambler and Mark Lines. 

In 2019, Project Management Institute (PMI) acquired DAD Agile framework to "address new ways of working in an increasingly agile world, and expand the capabilities of project managers and Agile practitioners." As of 2021, DAD Agile ranks higher than the older Lean Management approach in Scaling Agile methods.

Why enterprises use DAD Agile framework

Disciplined Agile framework surmises that every enterprise has its way of working, and Agile methods should be adjusted through the organization's needs to get the best possible outcomes. Thus, DAD Agile streamlines enterprise IT work and enables scaling with minimal risks or failure.

Note that DAD Agile is not an Agile framework in the way that Scrum, Kanban, or Extreme Programming (XP) are. Instead, it is a toolkit that pulls from traditional Agile methods and resources to provide context-specific business agility possibilities for enterprise teams. 

Why teams use Disciplined Agile Delivery framework

DAD Agile framework provides process-oriented options and trade-offs, guiding teams to tailor Agile best practices to specific use cases. DAD teams are self-organizing, stimulating an environment of efficient cross-functional collaboration.

DAD Agile addresses matters like leadership, responsibilities, requirements, and change management. It also considers critical development aspects such as tools, architecture, design, testing, programming, documentation, and deployment. 

Implementing DAD Agile processes improves collaboration but does not force mandatory procedures. DAD Agile supports the scaling of Lean and Agile methods in several ways:

  1. Its full delivery life cycles offer advice and teach how to apply Agile methods in large enterprises successfully 
  2. Its goal-driven approach provides flexibility to tailor Agile processes to meet challenges faced by Agile teams working at scale
  3. It builds in many foundational Agile concepts required at scale, including DevOps, explicit agile governance, and enterprise awareness

Getting results with Disciplined Agile Delivery

DAD Agile pulls from several Agile methods, including Scrum, XP, Agile Modeling (AM), Kanban, Lean Startup, and many more. The premise is that each of these Agile frameworks implements only a part of the overall requirements for complete IT solution delivery. Therefore, DAD comes in as a hybrid framework that combines Agile best practices, procedures, and strategies from other methods to address enterprise organizations' full IT delivery life cycle. DAD Agile toolkit provides practical guidance to help individuals, teams, and managers in enterprises enhance their Agile ways of working.