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PMI Disciplined Agile – What’s New In The Agility Space?


PMI Disciplined AgileDisciplined Agile created a lot of talks when it first emerged, especially among PMI companions. Gradually, we began to see some excellent organizations adopt it. The use of disciplined agile practices has been steadily rising. It might be the participants signing up for Disciplined Agile certifications or the increased experimentation by some corporations. For all those new to the subject, here is everything there is to know about PMI Disciplined Agile in this article!

Disciplined Agile: What Is It?

Disciplined agile is a hybrid of the world’s leading practices and methods that provides straightforward guidance to enable you to choose your way of working. It’s a hybrid agile toolkit that is people-centric and learning-oriented. It allows you to effectively combine strategies from Scrum, agile modeling, extreme programming, Kanban, agile data security, and many other sources to adapt and scale depending on the situation. It leverages all these different practices, even your traditional serial waterfall method and gives you guidance on which practice suits best in which situation. Therefore, it allows you to look beyond prescriptive agile frameworks and get better results, reaching true business agility faster.

Disciplined Agile Who is it Meant For?

One frequently asked inquiry is “What community does PMI Disciplined Agile cater to? Is it aimed at project managers? Or is it for software teams? Does it have product management in mind?” The answer is – Disciplined Agile is aimed at all. It consists of several layers: IT, daily operations, project managers, and value streams, among others, that fit the needs of every branch in your organization. Therefore, Disciplined Agile ensures you achieve complete organizational agility – and not just your software team.

Roadmap for PMI Disciplined Agile

You have seen that disciplined agile comprises of a lot of information. Hence, the disciplined agile journey has as a roadmap of four different milestones or three levels to achieve. It starts with the basic one called DASM (Disciplined Agile Scrum Master), and once you attain that foundation level, you go to the next level, which is DASSM (Disciplined Agile Senior Scrum Master), where you start implementing and leading the team. Then the third level has two milestones: one is DAC (Disciplined Agile Coach), and another is DAVSC (Disciplined Agile Value Stream Consultant), both of which are parallel to each other. 

Let us go into details about each Disciplined Agile Certification:


The Disciplined Agile Scrum Master (DASM) certification is the first step, the starting point of the DA roadmap. It’s an incredible combination of scrum, lean and disciplined agile. You learn about disciplined agile in this fundamental building block. What scrum is, what it truly is, and how it can help you achieve organizational agility—that is what makes it so wonderful. ProThoughts was among the first to introduce DASM and the subsequent DASSM to the world and within India, being the premier authorized training partner (ATP) of PMI.


The focus of Senior Scrum Master is to use disciplined agile to improve your way of working and lead your teams. The idea is to be a team leader, lead the team, and connect with different functions so that you can implement and bring agility to your team. It is divided into two parts. The first part is soft skills which caters to team development, emotional intelligence, and conflict management, covered in the nine lessons of the DASSM Certification. In the further part, there is a focus on disciplined agile skills which concentrates on DevOps and value stream – which are two very important aspects of Disciplined Agile.


The goal of a Disciplined Agile Value Stream Constultant (DAVSC) certification is to enable professionals to deliver or accelerate value to the organization. The DAVSC certification helps you do a transformation exercise for the organization while ensuring that the organization’s culture remains intact. How can you do that while adding value to the organization?: Many organizations may be doing work for hire but might be lacking agile maturity. DAVSC can help them improve that maturity by addressing different concepts, with a core focus on the lean aspect. Thus, the master level certification of PMI Disciplined Agile uses these different practices to bring about a transformational exercise in an organization.


Another master level certification within the PMI Disciplined Agile roadmap is the Disciplined Agile Coach (DAC) certification. The Disciplined Agile Coach is a master of the disciplined agile toolkit, to apply it successfully to the whole enterprise. Their second focus is on strengthening the agile transformation process and the cultural change that will enable agility for the entire organization.

So, these are the four different certifications at different level layers in your PMI Disciplined Agile roadmap.

Why Disciplined Agile?

PMI’s Disciplined Agile, most fundamentally works on helping you design a solution that works best for you. It stresses adaptability while not compromising on efficiency. It helps you optimize the Way Of Working and enables you to effectively attain better results. Here, we will delve deep into Why Disciplined Agile is the ideal choice for each of the following: 

  1. Practitioners
  2. Agile Teams
  3. Agile Coaches
  4. Organizations

PMI Disciplined Agile For Agile Practitioners:

The Disciplined Agile toolkit offers agile practitioners a versatile and comprehensive approach, emphasizing adaptability, context sensitivity, and continuous professional development.

  1. Agnostic and Practical Approach:

PMI Disciplined Agile is characterized by its agnostic and pragmatic nature. It integrates practices from diverse sources, such as Scrum, Spotify, XP, Kanban, Agile Modeling, SAFe®, PMI PMBOK Guide, DevOps, etc. What is unique about Disciplined Agile is that it puts these techniques into context and provides advice on choosing the best Way of Working (WoW) based on unique situations that you face.

  1. Contextual Relevance:

Unlike other agile frameworks, Disciplined Agile recognizes individual uniqueness with distinct backgrounds, skills, priorities, preferences, and experiences. Moreover, it acknowledges the need for varied choices in response to unique contexts. Therefore, you can say that DA captures a broad spectrum of choices within the DA toolkit to align with diverse working contexts. Consequently, this positions DA as the top choice, because it signals adaptability of the practitioner. 

  1. Enhancing Professional Effectiveness:

Disciplined Agile encourages practitioners to strive for effectiveness and excellence. It offers ideas and options within the DA toolkit for experimentation. Moreover, it provides information to identify strategies that are more likely to work for you. Therefore, it emphasizes the importance of choice, as DA is not confined to a single method or framework.

  1. Distinctive Professional Development:

Disciplined Agile advises practitioners to move beyond single-method agile certification. By learning a wide range of techniques from various sources, PMI Disciplined Agile encourages continuous improvement for the practitioner. The DA toolkit is an excellent starting point for understanding the bigger picture, by considering an exhaustive list of methodologies and frameworks in Agile.

PMI Disciplined Agile For Agile Teams:

The Disciplined Agile toolkit offers agile teams a holistic approach to agile processes, providing a diverse set of options for evolving the Way of Working.

  1. Holistic Agile Process with Disciplined Agile Delivery (DAD):

Disciplined Agile Delivery (DAD), a crucial component of the Disciplined Agile toolkit, addresses the entire agile process. It specifically focuses on the software development, or more precisely, the solution delivery process. In contrast to methodologies like Scrum, DAD takes on the heavy lifting of the process, allowing teams to spend less time defining their Way of Working (WoW). Consequently, it enables teams to concentrate on delivering real value to stakeholders.

  1. Evolving Your Way of Working (WoW):

PMI Disciplined Agile recognizes the uniqueness of agile teams and the need to go beyond generic advice. It challenges the notion that agile methods provide easy modification options without concrete guidance. Moreover, it advocates starting from your current approach, be it Scrum, Kanban, SAFe®, or traditional, and then improving incrementally. There is a diverse collection of options present within the DA toolkit, with trade-offs to facilitate effective evolution of the Disciplined Agile Way Of Working.

  1. Workflow Optimization at an Organizational Level:

The DA toolkit considers the entire organizational context for optimizing overall workflow. Moreover, it stresses the importance of teams to be enterprise-aware, to work better in their role and align it perfectly with the bigger picture. It contrasts with methodologies like Scrum, which may focus on collaboration and management, instead of a comprehensive view of all aspects of solution/product development, like DA does. It encompasses all facets of solution/product development from start to end like collaboration, management, architecture, design, testing, coding, governance, and more in a cohesive manner. This holistic approach increases the likelihood of optimizing workflow, consequently enhancing team effectiveness.

PMI Disciplined Agile For Agile Coaches:

The Disciplined Agile toolkit offers every agile coach an opportunity for knowledge expansion, an open approach to methodologies, and a competitive edge in a field crowded with agile coaches focusing on specific methodologies.

  1. Knowledge Expansion:

Disciplined Agile encourages Agile coaches to extend their knowledge base continuously. It emphasizes the idea that agile coaches can never have too much information about potential practices or techniques. In addition, it asserts that a broad knowledge base enables coaches to provide more effective advice to the teams they support.

  1. Embracing Agnosticism:

PMI Disciplined Agile follows an agnostic approach with respect to methodologies and frameworks. This means that it advises agile coaches to transcend limitations to a single method or framework and apply methods as and when they suit the context. One should note that Disciplined Agile expands beyond agile, incorporating ideas from lean project management and traditional sources as well. Therefore, PMI Disciplined Agile promotes the notion that good ideas hold value regardless of their source – and hence are worthy of consideration!

  1. Enterprise-wide Application:

DA addresses all aspects of an organization, beyond software development. It provides guidance on diverse organizational areas such as finance, enterprise architecture, value streams, security, governance, and more. Therefore, your role transcends a certain field to span the whole enterprise.

  1. Competitive Edge for Coaches:

There is an abundance of individuals claiming to be Agile coaches. Therefore, a solid understanding of the DA toolkit, applied in practice, provides a competitive edge over coaches limited to methodologies like Scrum or SAFe®.

PMI Disciplined Agile For Organizations:

Here’s how PMI Disciplined Agile can be beneficial for your organization:

  1. Incremental Improvement:

DA encourages organizations to start their agile journey from their current state and progressively improve. It emphasizes a philosophy of continuous improvement by building on existing practices.

  1. Comprehensive Support for Complexities:

PMI Disciplined Agile provides extensive support for the diverse complexities faced by individuals, teams, and organizations. It recognizes the uniqueness of each entity and offers practical choices that cater to each of these entities and their context.

  1. Adaptive Approach to Agility:

Disciplined Agile presents a more adaptable and effective approach to organizational agility. In contrast to the rigid, one-size-fits-all frameworks like SAFe® or LeSS, it proposes using the DA toolkit to extend and tailor thse frameworks to better suit your organizational needs.

  1. Integration of Practical Techniques:

Disciplined Agile embraces practical techniques from a wide range of agile, lean, and traditional sources. It provides organizations with viable choices and advice, eliminating the need to force-fit to a single method or paradigm.

  1. Support for All Teams:

DA goes beyond software development teams, supporting all types of teams with its four foundational layers:

  1. Foundation
  2. Disciplined DevOps
  3. Value Stream
  4. Disciplined Agile Enterprise (DAE)

Only the second layer, Disciplined DevOps, focuses on software teams. Hence, all teams within the disciplined agile value stream layer and enterprise layer, such as marketing, sales, procurement, etc can benefit from becoming more agile.

  1. Foundation for Enterprise Agility:

Achieving enterprise agility goes beyond improving teams. It involves enhancing the entire organization, ensuring competitiveness, customer satisfaction, and evolution and improvement over time. The DA toolkit equips organizations with the knowledge and vision to create an effective agile organizational structure that generates additional value for customers. Therefore, Disciplined Agile is the foundation for achieving enterprise agility.


For companies looking to implement agile methods across some, or all, of their departments, disciplined agile is a great framework. It is adaptable and flexible and takes into account issues like risk and compliance. In addition to bringing together different agile approaches under one roof, the DA process framework combines the best aspects of many methodologies to enable the application of agile methods in challenging circumstances while seamlessly integrating legacy systems. The company’s teams will all become more conscious of the enterprise as a result of the cultural change. They will comprehend how to deliver solutions successfully and their impact on the company. Doesn’t it seem like an awesome take on agility? What are your thoughts on this new development from PMI? Let us know in our top hub for all Disciplined Agile talks on LinkedIn – Join our LinkedIn Group: Disciplined Agile Certification Prep.

While watching the video by our DA pioneer himself, you can gain more insights to this topic:

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