Lets face it, Scrum methodology only forms part of the process ecosystem necessary to create complex software solutions for stakeholders. When looking in detail at any company stating that they use Scrum, its usual to find that in fact that implementation is a fusion of Scrum with other processes adapted to meet requirements. Consequently, tools designed just for Scrum (not for scaling up Scrum) are usually found to be completely inadequate. At the enterprise level Scrums shortcomings, including any technical practices (and deliberate process omissions) force teams to fill in the gaps with processes from other systems as well as other tools to manage those processes. This is why Hybrid Agile is by far the most common implementation type at enterprise level, largely due to the increase in complexity associated with larger projects. Various frameworks have arisen to scale-up Scrum, they offer an alternative to scrum, not by replacing it but rather by augmenting it to meet enterprise requirements. This article will focus upon Disciplined Agile Development (DAD) as an example.
Hybridization of Agile makes it usable for the large enterprise
Disciplined Agile Development claims to meet all of the requirements for scaling Agile, going beyond the Scrum goal of producing potentially shippable software at the end of each iteration to focusing on consumable products. It goes beyond the Scrum lifecycle to the entirety of the delivery lifecycle and it does so by adopting a descriptive governance strategy and a goal based approach to development.
DAD as with many of the 10 or so available frameworks for scaling Agile, is built upon Scrum. The goal of these frameworks is to reduce the risk of increased complexity associated with scaling up Agile and does so by introducing more structure, not less. In this respect all such frameworks go against the Agile Manifesto. Risk is mitigated by providing a more holistic approach to Agile development with the aid of agile tools to manage complexity at scale, principally Agile ALM Software, although there are other Agile tools that provide a less complete solution (some of the most widely used tools fit into this second category). What is key to understand here is without the tools, large scale Enterprise adoption of Agile is just not possible.
Another area of commonality is the inclusion of processes from other Agile methods (this is why all Frameworks are Hybrid Agile to some degree or another), borrowing practices and process from Kanban and Extreme Programming (XP) among others. These individually are totally inadequate for Enterprise use but together by combining the best features of available of various Agile methods available, makes Scaling up Agile for enterprise use possible, solving the many problems of enterprise use. The difference between these frameworks is how and what Agile processes are adopted.
Is Disciplined Agile Development (DAD) the Solution?
The Disciplined Agile Development (DAD) is a solution, not the solution. It addresses the problems associated with using a home brewed Agile approach, for example conflicting overlap of function and terminology which inevitably is confusing for stakeholders. It has also evolved to meet the needs of IT operations (DevOps). Without the structure of a Agile Framework it is easy to get lost, get trapped in such a way that to not be aware how and what is causing the problem – what the team is doing wrong. However DAD is not alone in this, the other available frameworks do exactly the same thing, or at least claim to do the same. It is important to consider that all these frameworks are constantly evolving to meet criticism and user requirements. So Agile frameworks are like trusted brands, each with its own unique solutions (but similar) to common problems that arise, so it can be difficult to choose one framework over the others purely by what is sold, after all, they all do the same thing.
Having trouble deciding which Agile Framework to adopt? Choose the most Trusted
The simplest option is to choose the most popular, as a consequent of being popular it is the most proven and therefore the safest option. The Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe) is the most popular of all Agile Frameworks for enterprise use. This is not to say its the best option for you. The best option for you is dependent upon your particular business use case and future requirements. SAFe is the safest option because it is tried and tested in more use cases and more frequently (purely on being the most popular). Ultimately it is more likely to fit your unique business needs. Whichever of the Agile Frameworks you chose to adopt, one crucial aspect of your implementation decision is your Agile Framework software partner. The software solution chosen (ALM Software) must be flexible enough to manage massive complexity and the hybridization of Agile while extending agile for use by IT operations (DevOps). More than this it should be flexible enough for use for other purposes for example documents management enterprise wide. Our codeBeamer ALM meets all of these requirements.