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Choose Your WoW! Disciplined Agile Strategies for Optimizing Your Way of Working (WoW)

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We like to say that agile teams own their own process by choosing their way of working, their “WoW.” This of course is easier said than done because there are several aspects to WoW. First, our team needs to know how to choose the appropriate lifecycle for the situation that we face. Should we take a Scrum-based approach, a lean/Kanban-based approach, a continuous delivery approach, or an exploratory/lean startup approach? Second, what practices should the team adopt? How do they fit together? When should we apply them? Third, what artifacts should the team create? When should they be created? To what level of detail? Finally, how do we evolve our WoW as we experiment and learn?

There are several strategies that we could choose to follow when we tailor and evolve our WoW. A common approach is to adopt a prescriptive method or framework such as Scrum or SAFe and follow it, but our team will soon find itself in “method prison” with no guidance for how to improve from there. A second approach is to bootstrap our WoW, to figure it out on our own. This works, but it is a very slow and expensive strategy in practice. A third strategy is to hire an agile coach, but sadly in practice the majority of coaches seem to be like professors who are only a chapter or two ahead of their students. Or we could take a more disciplined, streamlined approach and leverage the experiences of the thousands of teams who have already struggled through the very issues that our team currently faces. This is something we call Guided Continuous Improvement (GCI), which is effectively a Kaizen loop on steroids.

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Choose Your WoW! Disciplined Agile Strategies for Optimizing Your Way of Working (WoW)

  1. 1. Choose Your WoW! Disciplined Agile Strategies for Optimizing Your Way of Working (WoW) © Disciplined Agile 1
  2. 2. © Disciplined Agile 2 “I am not here to tell you how to do Agile!”
  3. 3. Our Industry is Fixated on Calling ourselves a Certain kind of “Shop” © Disciplined Agile 3
  4. 4. It is time to break out of “Methods Prison” – Ivar Jacobson © Disciplined Agile 4
  5. 5. Agenda • Step 1: Understand the Situation • Step 2: Adopt a Continuous Improvement Strategy • Step 3: Choose Your WoW! • Q&A 5
  6. 6. © Disciplined Agile 6 Step 1: Understand the Situation
  7. 7. Context Counts © Disciplined Agile 7 Start by identifying the situation that your team faces so that you can tailor your WoW to address that context Straightforward situations are rare
  8. 8. Unfortunately, there is no ”Easy Button” © Disciplined Agile 8
  9. 9. Your Organization is a Complex Adaptive System © Disciplined Agile 9 Disciplined Agile Delivery (DAD) and Disciplined DevOps Disciplined Agile for IT (DAIT) and the Enterprise (DAE)
  10. 10. The Disciplined Agile Toolkit © Disciplined Agile Consortium 10
  11. 11. 11 Step 2: Adopt a Continuous Improvement Strategy
  12. 12. Adopting a Prescriptive Method Helps a Bit © Disciplined Agile 12
  13. 13. Adopting a Prescriptive Method/Framework Helps a Bit © Disciplined Agile 13 You Actually Get Recent study of 3,000+ teams within 155 organizations found: • Teams adopting agile (mostly Scrum) saw productivity increases of 7 to 12% on average • Teams adopting prescriptive scaling frameworks, the most popular of which is SAFe, saw average productivity increases of 3 to 5% You Are Promised
  14. 14. © Disciplined Agile 14 Identify a Potential Improvement Experiment with the new WoW Assess Effectiveness Adopt the new WoW Abandon the new WoW Share Learnings with Others Continuous Improvement Apply the Disciplined Agile (DA) toolkit to identify better options Guided
  15. 15. It Works Even Better With Light-Weight Guidance © Disciplined Agile 15
  16. 16. You Can Combine Strategies © Disciplined Agile 16
  17. 17. Step 3: Choose your Own Way of Working (WoW) © Disciplined Agile
  18. 18. How to be a better Agile “Chef” © Disciplined Agile
  19. 19. What Recipes does your Organization Use? • Scrum? • SAFe? • Extreme Programming (XP)? • Lean/Kanban? • DevOps? • Traditional/Waterfall? • Hybrid? © Disciplined Agile
  20. 20. The Ingredients for the Scrum recipe are Few 2 0 • Sprint Planning • Daily Stand-up (Scrum) • Sprint Review • Retrospective
  21. 21. If you are just using Scrum your possibilities are limited © Disciplined Agile
  22. 22. What if your pantry contained more ingredients? • Retrospectives • Behaviour Driven Development (BDD) • Test-driven Development (TDD) • Big Room Planning • Value Stream Mapping • Mob Programming • Boundary Spanners • Feature Toggles • Etc…
  23. 23. The Seven Principles of Disciplined Agile © Disciplined Agile Delight Customers Pragmatism Be Awesome Context Counts Choice is Good Optimize Flow Enterprise Awareness 23
  24. 24. Disciplined Agile Delivery (DAD) A Toolkit of Practices Choice is Good
  25. 25. Tailoring Your WoW • Initially: – Understand the situation that you face – Choose the most appropriate lifecycle – Choose the best strategies/practices that your team can perform • Over time: – Regularly reflect – Experiment with new strategies – Evolve your WoW © Disciplined Agile 25
  26. 26. Lean Governance Enables Process Diversity • Governance tribes over silo governance groups • Collaboration over conformance • Enablement over inspection • Continuous monitoring over quality gates • Transparency over management reporting © Disciplined Agile 26
  27. 27. Choosing a Lifecycle © Disciplined Agile 27
  28. 28. Evolving Your WoW: Lifecycles © Disciplined Agile 28
  29. 29. The Process Goals of Disciplined Agile Delivery © Disciplined Agile 29
  30. 30. Goal: Form Initial Team © Disciplined Agile 30
  31. 31. Goal: Evolve Way of Working (WoW) © Disciplined Agile 31
  32. 32. Ok, but how to I actually use this toolkit? © Disciplined Agile 32
  33. 33. © Disciplined Agile 33
  34. 34. Evolving Your WoW: Referencing the Practices © Disciplined Agile • Tailoring sessions • Early in your projects • Retrospectives • Throughout your Projects • Identify a problem area • Look in the DA knowledgebase for suggestions • Choose a likely candidate to experiment with • Experiment • Try out a practice/strategy in your environment • Measure the results • Aim is to determine whether the new strategy works well for you 34
  35. 35. Expand your Pantry with new Ideas • Learn about new ingredients/practices • Disciplined Agile is a rich pantry of ingredients • Use different recipes for your different contexts • Putting them together is not hard © Disciplined Agile Context Counts
  36. 36. It is not DAD “OR…”, it is DAD “AND…”
  37. 37. Parting Thoughts • Context counts - Every team is unique, facing a unique situation • Choice is good - Agile teams own their own process, they get to choose their Way of Working (WoW) • Pragmatism – There are hundreds of practices/ingredients and strategies to choose from, we need to choose the ones that are right for us so that we can be a better Chef and get better results © Disciplined Agile 37
  38. 38. Thank you! @Disc_Agile © Disciplined 38