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What Is Disciplined Agile Methodology? – Benefits & Application


Disciplined Agile Methodology

Every team operates in a unique manner. Yet, most businesses still adhere to a popular framework or one of the many agile ways available. Yes, a framework can be useful. However, the best course of action frequently incorporates ideas from diversified sources. Disciplined Agile® can be of assistance in this situation. The Disciplined Agile methodology places an emphasis on how you work and offers hundreds of Agile practices for you to select the best method for your team!

In this guide, we will look at what disciplined agile actually is, its benefits and applicability, and how you can get started on your DA journey!

What Is Disciplined Agile?

Disciplined Agile (DA) is a framework for making process decisions. It prioritizes people over processes, as in, it keeps your TEAMS and their working patterns into consideration before “best methods”. Disciplined Agile methodology helps teams tailor their operations to the requirements of each project.

In many ways, DA resembles the Crystal approach since it is also an agile framework that puts people first. Actually, DA was created as a hybrid methodology that incorporates components of XP, Scrum, Kanban, and more. Thus, several similarities exist between these approaches and the disciplined agile methodology. In fact, DA contains the greatest features of them all!

The Popularity Of Agile Practices

Agile methodologies have spread across a variety of business sectors, including marketing, human resources, law, and more. It not only transforms how a company approaches software development, but also how its enterprise departments operate, manage projects, and create new products.

Additionally, building more creative, cross-functional, and interdisciplinary teams has become crucial to survive. By removing organizational silos that obstruct communication and collaboration, an Agile strategy can increase self-organization and employee engagement among business teams. It also helps foster growth and expand the skill sets of the entire team.

Agile Adoption By Organizational Departments

Agile in Software Development:

Software development has been turned on its head in recent years by Agile, a cutting-edge project management technique. Agility involves breaking up enormous projects into manageable chunks and delivering significant value at the end of each iteration. Software developers use a variety of Agile strategies to schedule releases. Moreover, they work in time-limited “Sprints” to introduce new products. They also gain consumer feedback using the adaptive process of agile methodology.

Success Rate of Software Development Projects

This specific project management tendency has been accelerating since 2015. In reality, 73% of companies have adopted Agile methodologies, and 98% have profited.

But it’s easy to lose sight of what Agile development is and how it actually functions among all the commotion and clamor surrounding Kanban, Scrum, XP, or any other software development methodologies. Thus, you can implement Disciplined Agile Delivery (DAD) in your IT teams. DAD supports multiple ways of working and gives you an adaptable agile approach to IT solution delivery.

Also Read: Agile Vs Scrum

The Growing Importance of Using the Disciplined Agile Methodology

Businesses today place a lot of emphasis on disruption and innovation due to the rapidly changing business environment. Adaptability, responsiveness, and continuous learning are at the forefront of assessing the efficacy and the growth path of businesses. Here, agility can come through like a superhero! Business agility demands all sectors of a company to operate in an agile manner – not just Operations or Delivery divisions. Setting up agile environments for firms as a whole is termed Business Agility. Lately, business agility has become an essential transformative strategy amongst companies worldwide. It can be seen with the success of SAFe and Spotify scaling approaches.

Agile scaling approaches are well-liked because they help businesses stay ahead of the competition and overcome difficulties faced by the industry. Adapting to new technologies and working methods has become the new norm for organizations everywhere. Numerous frameworks that help implement agile at scale have been adopted by organizations everywhere. Thus, many are also keenly adopting the Disciplined Agile (DA) paradigm. DA enables businesses to tailor agile frameworks to meet specific business and project goals and tackle arising problems. Moreover, DA has SAFe and Spotify approaches as its subsets. So, you have the best of all under one Disciplined Agile umbrella!

Why Use The Disciplined Agile Methodology?

Enterprises can adapt their current agile techniques with the help of Disciplined Agile methodology. DA starts where you are. So businesses don’t have an overhead while transitioning to DA. Moreover, the goal-driven nature of DA makes sure that the work done by all project teams focuses on accomplishing business goals. Unlike Scrum, it is a hybrid framework that combines the best practices from every source, including Kanban, DevOps, Extreme Programming (XP), Waterfall, Lean project management, and many more. Teams are free to select and customize their method of operation based on the given context and scenario.

According to us, two of the most important aspects of the Disciplined Agile methodology are:

1. Freedom Of Choice: Disciplined Agile gives you the freedom to think about how to realize true Business Agility for your organization. It also gives you the freedom from getting stuck with a single methodology/framework.

2. Discover the best way of working (WoW): Disciplined Agile methodology gives you hundreds of frameworks as options to choose from. Moreover, you can tailor these practices, pick the best traits of each one, and create an optimal way of working for you and your agile team!

Where Can You Apply DA?

It’s not advisable for teams new to agile ways of working to go immediately into DA. This is because some teams find the hybrid nature of disciplined agile difficult to handle. DA, though, can be a phenomenal next step if you’ve been working with Agile for a while. Disciplined Agile emphasizes how you work and offers a comprehensive toolkit with hundreds of Agile practices. This strategy is based on the notion that true agility results from having the freedom to select the best method for any given situation. 

Here are several ways in which the DA toolkit can be practical and beneficial at every level:

Disciplined Agile Methodology At the Organizational Level

Organizations that use the DA toolkit develop a culture of continuous learning. Teams continue customizing and expanding their delivery framework. Moreover, the way of working is based on characteristics like team size, geographic closeness, technical & domain complexity, and compliance. Therefore, there is no one-size-fits-all method. To bring continuous improvement (Kaizen) in all the activities, you must keep the current requirements, circumstances, and organizational strategy in the loop. Disciplined Agile is a context-specific framework that encourages teams to fail quickly while also allowing them to succeed early. Additionally, the DA architecture handles every type of complexity that a team can encounter with the help of its DA Browser.

The adaptability of the Disciplined Agile toolkit extends beyond the delivery department. It includes the marketing and sales team, and the procurement department, among others. This guarantees uniformity among different teams which helps accomplish corporate objectives. Thus, With the help of the Disciplined Agile methodology, business agility can be easily attained. On the other hand, using such a flexible and adaptable structure makes management super-easy and lightweight. Thus, DA makes the roles of PMOs and other mid-level managers much easier!

Disciplined Agile Methodology At the Team Level

Teams frequently struggle with workflows and process changes due to a lack of end-to-end visibility. The Disciplined agile toolkit helps teams optimize workflow by taking the entire organization into account. It also takes into account technical elements like design, architecture, development, and testing along with collaborative tactics. It shifts the team’s focus from the conventional software development approach to providing clients with value through the delivery of solutions. DA covers the entire delivery lifecycle and thereby fosters effectiveness.

The disciplined agile methodology is not prescriptive. So, the team can choose from the tactics provided by the DA toolkit based on their goals. For example: accelerate value delivery or address changing stakeholder needs – and then take the steps suggested by the DA browser. At the same time, DA puts governance methods in place too. So, the teams are aware of enterprise-level issues as well and thus they can always focus on providing genuine end value.

Disciplined Agile Methodology At the Individual Level: 

Scrum significantly changes how you approach projects under the waterfall model. On the other hand, the DA toolkit allows you to think more fluidly while customizing your delivery lifecycle. With DA, the goal is to provide the client with the solution. The DA toolkit’s agnostic & pragmatic design enables you to experiment with and find different working methods according to the situation or difficulty you’re encountering. The ability to see the big picture and play around with different process variables allows you to advance professionally much more quickly than the average agile practitioner.

This serves as a springboard for you to begin connecting project delivery with corporate goals. To better comprehend and gain knowledge of several other areas besides the delivery model, you learn various methodologies in a hybrid way rather than studying and using a single scrum framework. Given your particular skill set and expertise, often known as your particular context, you will have a number of options that the DA toolkit offers that are suitable for you. 

Thus, being certified in PMI Disciplined Agile demonstrates that you have the necessary skills to successfully introduce an Agile way of working (Wow) inside your team. A Disciplined Agile Certification gives you the chance to set yourself apart from other practitioners in the industry, keeping you at the forefront!


Numerous organizations all across the world have quickly embraced DA after realizing its significance. Enterprises have realized the value of business agility and the DA toolkit serves as its cornerstone. Organizations must ensure that their workforce is knowledgeable about this new framework and how it helps deliver business value to clients in the most efficient manner.

Are you looking to build a career in Agile Project Management? Then DASSM is the best choice for you!

Also Read: Is DASSM Certification Worth It?

ProThoughts is a leading PMI accredited Project management training Institute. Our trainer – Mr. Ashish Sadekar carries vast industry experience. Take part in our DASSM training, for an informative yet stress-free experience.

Schedule a free call with our consultant now!

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