Scaled Agile - Waterfall, Iterative, Hybrid. Why not go full agile?
Reedy Feggins 120000A43D Visits (13421)
More and more businesses are attempting to adopt agile across their whole IT portfolio. From maintenance to small projects to large enterprise programs, these organizations want to take advantages of the speed and quality improvements seen by many agile teams. However as an Agile Coach, I often hear questions such as:
While waterfall and agile have a lot of differences, some organizations have IT projects (or programs) that don’t lend themselves to moving to an agile for one reach or another.
In these cases, we have been asked to help these large complex programs, adopt a “hybrid” approach that blends the best practices from each. While not always easy, given the differences, see summary of the key differences, see link, many organizations many not be able to immediately have all their projects adopt “full agile”.
For example, there may be organizational change (e.g., changing how projects are funded, resources allocated) and cultural issues my block some organization from quickly moving to agile. In other cases, there may be governance, technical or project limitations may prevent the entire program from adopting agile practices (such as the requirement that specific requirements or other documents be created before project funding is released or the need to have the architecture “approved” by regulatory agency before coding can begin)
Disciplined Agile is Required!
Through adequate communication and effective cooperation between team members and diverse teams, however, the hybrid approach can often be a very effective approach to executing complex projects with shifting requirements. In most cases, rather than starting with Scrum, its often better to start with a scaled agile approach based supports a hybrid model. While there are several, two such practices that I have used successfully are Scaled Agile Framework and Disciplined Agile Delivery (or DAD).
In this particular case, we started with DAD, an agile process containing a three-phase lifecycle, where team’s incrementally build a consumable solution over time. Created by Scott Ambler, Disciplined Agile Delivery (DAD), provides teams with great framework for adopting a hybrid approach, “One of the key aspects of the DAD process decision framework is that it promotes a full, end-to-end, solution delivery lifecycle.” Here is a link to a recent post providing a high
The DAD framework also doesn’t’ prescribe a single lifecycle and have been included as part of an expanded lifecycle covering the pre-project and maintenance phases of a product lifecycle. In this example there are pre-project aspects to portfolio management where potential projects are identified, prioritized, and funding is approved to start the Inception phase effort. After DAD Transition phase, the solution is operated and maintained in production.
DAD image lreference to link.
For more references, see