Scrum

Scale Agile with DAD

DAD

Keeping up with our previous coverage of scaled Agile approaches, this time we want to bring Disciplined Agile Delivery otherwise known as DAD to your attention. Like other similar frameworks it focuses on bringing the small scale practices into the big leagues and on shaping them to fit the new rules. Compared to previously discussed SoS, LeSS and SAFe, DAD is less descriptive and requires more Agile knowledge, however it allows for far greater flexibility within the team. So will you be scaling with DAD?

The framework known as DAD was first mentioned by Scott Ambler and Mark Lines in their book by the same name – Disciplined Agile Delivery. It was designed as a way to move past Scrum while the wholesome view and approach allowed teams to grow from small independent groups into large organizations.

To do so DAD expands the view of Scrum from only looking at making and delivering a working product into controlling the full lifecycle. Such overlook allows not only to execute the planned sprints, but also to make sure the team stays on track of the overall vision and does not weir off the track. The results are achieved by running projects in iterations of three phases – Inception, Construction and Transition.

  • Inception Phase

DAD realizes that in order to execute work, certain amount of planning regarding the overall vision needs to happen first. For this purpose the Inception phase is added and designated to be the first one in a DAD iteration. During this phase the team completes all of the planning required for the following iteration, keeping it as light weighed as possible and thus staying within the Agile mindset . This allows for the team to take some time and think about what needs to be done instead of just completing the assigned work blindly.

Before starting to work, the team also has to get the stakeholder consensus. What this means is that the planned work is shown to the stakeholders which have to approve that the plan makes sense and adds value to the end product. This simple check before each iteration, allows the team to stay on top of the most important things and to manage stakeholders expectations more easily.

  • Construction Phase

After the planning is complete and the consensus received, the team moves onto the next phase called Construction. To put it simply, this is where the work actually gets done. The teams are free to choose from Scrum, Advanced Lean, Continuous Delivery or Exploratory lifecycles, based on their preferences and project specifics. While the phase itself can be consisted of as many iterations as needed to deliver the result that is ready to go live.

To make sure this phase runs smoothly, a couple of checks are required to be completed. First one is Proven Architecture and is performed by the Architecture Owner on the team. This new team role found in DAD is responsible for ensuring that the work getting completed in each iteration is not only the flashy stuff desired by the client, but also the tricky parts that are essential to final project success. Thus ensuring that the project will actually be completed successfully.

Another check performed several times during this phase is Project Viability. Since this phase is usually more than just one sprint and can last up to ten of them sometimes, there needs to be insurance that the project team is staying on track and completing the work that is the most important for the client. Therefore the Viability check is put in place and monitors whether the team is sticking to the plan and whether the client hasn’t changed their requirements.

Lastly, at the end of this phase a go/no go check is performed to see if the team has a minimum viable product and can move onto presenting it to the client.

  • Transition Phase

If the go decision is made, the team moves into the third and final phase of a DAD iteration – the Transition. Usually after presenting the finished product to the customer, minor alterations and modifications need to be done. This is what DAD refers to as the transition phase. Instead of adding the fixes into a completely new iteration, it sees them as an inevitable extension of the current iteration and simply extends it.

The transition phase can consist of one or several iterations and is completed only after the customer is completely satisfied with the final result.

Ability to choose

The best thing about DAD is the ability to choose the lifecycle type that works best for your team and your project. It gives you power to work in the most comfortable environment and enables the team to achieve the best results. However, it is important to keep the integration and communication strategies consistent amongst all of the teams to make sure they can stay on the same page.

While DAD can be tricky for those that just started doing Agile or are transitioning from the traditional project management approaches, it is a great option for those that are craving more freedom and lack it in the other scaled Agile frameworks.

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All About the Scrum of Scrums

SoS2

It is becoming more and more evident that the future of Agile lies in large companies and scaled approaches. It may be hard to believe at first, but the data of Agile usage in 2015 proves this is where the methodology is going next. One of the most popular ways to scale Agile today is Scrum of Scrums. And while many companies have adopted this practice already, we thought it might be interesting for others to know just how exactly it works.

Scrum of Scrums has been originally defined by Jeff Sutherland and is designed to deliver working software of all teams to the Definition of Done at the end of the Sprint. To make sure this happens, the Scrum of Scrums Master is held accountable and has to be able to ensure that all the processes works. But before getting into the details, let us step back to the beginning.

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The Future of Agile

Agile-2016-teaserThe recently released State of Agile Report has not only brought great statistics, but also raised a few questions about just where Agile might be heading next. How will it look like in a couple of years, which interest groups will shape it and how much of what we today call Agile will actually change?

 

To get a better grip on these and other questions, we took another hard look at the stats and came up with what we think the answers will be. Check out the info-graphic below to find our predictions for the future of Agile.

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Adopting Agile to Sports Training

Trainer

There is no doubt Agile is no longer just a practice for developers. It has moved past only serving the small teams, past the specific types of teams and past the specific industries. While that is all widely known, sometimes it is still tough to grasp just how far Agile methods have come. That is until you hear that the methodology is now being adopted to sports training. Yes, you have read it right, Agile methods are now being adopted to organizing sports.

The first time we have heard about this new exciting development was from a Serbian physical coach Mladen Jovanović. He has been involved in various sports activities his whole life and has recently heard about Agile practices and Eylean Board.

Being an innovator he naturally got interested in how this may be adopted to his field and how it can benefit the parties involved. By creating several boards and dividing the process into clear steps, he managed to translate the Agile practices into sports seamlessly. To know more about his process and findings, watch this short video.

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5 Agile Innovations To Look Out For

agile process

For teams that have successfully adopted Agile, the next logical question is – what will follow? While in some cases there is no next step and the adopted practice suits perfectly, for others further modification brings in better results and more value. So what should you do if you want to innovate further?

Take a look at these 5 options.

  • Scaled Agile – LeSS

One of the most popular Agile modifications at the moment is scaling up. It is only natural that companies want to extend successful methods from small teams onto the whole organization. However, since the method in itself is built for a small singular team, some adoption and changes are inevitable. For that scaled practices such as DAD, SAFe and LeSS have been developed. So if you want to convince your CEO, see how these approaches can fit your case.

LeSS-overview-diagram1

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3 Ways Agile Will Reward Your Team

Teamwork and team spirit

While switching to Agile practices is nothing uncommon these days, we are still often reluctant to accept it when it comes into our lives. This has little to do with the methodology itself and simply rests on the fact that most of us do not like change, any change. The question here is – should you focus on the fact of facing change or should you instead focus on what great rewards you will get after? We pick the latter and here are our top 3 things to look forward to after an Agile switch.

  • Meaningful documents and meetings

Having to deal with excessive documentation and unproductive meetings is so common in today’s business world that it has become something we actually expect. However, despite this acceptance, it does not bring any substantial value to the team nor to the product and often creates demotivation instead of what we all seek – productivity.

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Should You Complete the Agile Transition?

transitionWith Agile gaining bigger and bigger traction each day, there is no wonder why many companies are starting to adopt it and claim to be Agile. The change, however, is not overnight – it takes time and effort to implement. Due to this, many corporations choose to adopt Agile incrementally with a method that is now being called Water-scrum-fall. However, can it actually be better to use the transition method?

Water-scrum-fall

To answer this question, let us first explore what hides behind the term Water-scrum-fall. This definition appeared in Agile circles not too long ago striving to describe a process in which large companies choose to practice both Waterfall and Scrum methodologies at the same time. This is usually done to introduce a more efficient Agile process into some phases of the project, while leaving other phases untouched and managed in the traditional way.

Such a solution has become a great option for large companies in which some teams are pushing for change and a more flexible way to complete projects, while others are holding on to the established processes and refuse the necessity of change altogether. With Water-scrum-fall, the teams get to decide which of the two management methods is the most suitable for each situation and use it to gain the best results.

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Entering Life After Scrum

TeamAs recently discussed in the 2015 review, more and more Agile teams are starting to sway away from Scrum and lean towards a different methodology – Kanban. While this may be surprising at first, there actually is good reasoning behind this switch and possibility of this trend continuing into the 2016. Will you be switching as well? Let’s see.

The need for order

For most companies, Scrum has come at a time, when there was a need for a more flexible and at the same time a clearer approach to project management. This was especially true in the case of software development teams that lacked processes and often produced results, just not the ones management was looking for.

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2015 in Review – Project Management Software

2015-review2Another year nears its end and before the holidays take over our mind completely, we thought it would be interesting to take some time and look back. Every year we analyze data from Eylean to see how our clients have used it and how can we improve in the next year. Most of this data is quite technical, but just like last year, we want to share some of the more interesting findings with you.

 

markets 2015

Country of origin. Over the years, we have been enjoying a steady growth of interest into project management software. Last year we were happy with an 81% growth of Eylean users and this year we are even more excited with a doubled 156% growth. Most of the new users came from our biggest market – the United States (31%), however, this year we also have new markets in our portfolio, such as China, France and others, proving that agile project management practices are becoming more popular all over the world. While there is some movement in the new markets, the top 5 have retained their strong positions with only some slight changes in the numbers.

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Scrum – the silent facilitator of trust

Image Credit: © Depositphotos.com/bst2012

Trust is not only a great, but an essential asset to have within any team. It allows for ideas to flow freely, eliminates looking over each other’s shoulder and mergers different people into a unit. A team that trusts each other, brings forward better and faster results, makes the clients happier and in turn creates a prosperous environment for years to come. There is no doubt, trust is great, the question though is – how do we create it?

Building trust within a new team is often tedious and burdensome task that not all leaders are ready to cope with. There are essentially three points to ensure trust – we need to know that we are understood, that the deadlines will be followed and that promises are going to be kept. Besides all the small little details, following these three points will most likely guarantee that the team will be working within a trusting environment.

While it is easy to name these principles, following and putting them into practice is a whole another ball game that many struggle with. However, what if there actually was no need to cope with this task? What if appointing a specific project management method could do all of that for us? Well, then we would all be happy and we would all be using scrum to manage our projects.

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