What Is Disciplined Agile Delivery? A Complete Overview

Disciplined Agile Delivery

Disciplined agile delivery is a next-generation framework that provides developers with a transparent, end-to-end process for developing agile solutions. 

Disciplined agile delivery is a user-centered agile strategy. It encourages learning throughout the development lifecycle and adopts a goal-driven, highly scalable risk-value cycle. 

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What Is Disciplined Agile Delivery?

DAD is comparable to SAFe (Scaled Agile Framework) in that it employs lean and agile methodologies. Scott Ambler and Mark Lines created it. 

Invention, development, and transition are the three phases of the DAD framework (delivery). 

Each of the four lifestyles has its own set of process instructions provided by DAD. The following are examples of these:

  • Agile basic
  • Lean/advanced
  • Delivery continuously
  • Exploration

Disciplined agile delivery is a hybrid approach. It combines tried-and-true techniques. They include extreme programming, scrum, agile modeling (AM), and agile data (AD) in a single practice. 

It is a beneficial tool for a team rather than starting with a kernel like extreme or scrub and then incorporating techniques and procedures. DAD intends to make merging agile methodologies much easier and faster.

The agile/fundamental way of living is similar to scrum and belongs to the construction phase. Kanban techniques optimize flow and reduce work-in-process in disciplined agile delivery’s Lean/advanced lifestyle.

Users pressured by the constant delivery lifestyle get commonly supplied continuous integration, DevOps, and a deployment procedure. 

The exploratory lifestyle requires little planning ahead of time, but it delivers quickly and frequently. The idea is to get input from users by releasing tiny, viable products and then incorporating that feedback into the following delivery. 

The exploratory lifestyle’s overall purpose is to “fail fast.” It reduces a significant amount of time and money if the project turns out to be unworkable.

What Are the Disciplined Agile Delivery Phases?

Disciplined agile delivery further gets divided into four phases:


During the first phase of disciplined agile delivery, the team begins the various tasks. There has been some minimal progress made on the project’s future to the project’s property framework.

This phase includes responsibilities such as:

  • Group structure.
  • Establishing a common direction that aligns with the product and company goals.
  • Establishing a shared vision for development and organization strategies.


The team will develop a sustainable and progressive solution throughout this phase. You could use iterations or a lean, continuous method to accomplish this. 

Additionally, the team may implement scrum, XP, agile modeling, agile data, and other hybrid approaches.

At this phase, engineering approval and advancement are done in stages, considering partner demands and client requirements. At this point, the focus is also on the product’s nature and quality.


Disciplined agile delivery acknowledges that offering a solution for complex agile projects is no easy task. As a result, the delivery teams and the entire company will be able to streamline the delivery process. 

Hence, the phases shrink over time, and in ideal circumstances, they vanish with the help of continuous deployment methodologies.

Testing is done in this phase to see if the item is ready to be deployed. After it is confirmed, the deployment is endorsed and completed.

What Are Some of the Disciplined Agile Delivery Roles?

Regardless of the scale level, primary functions are standard. There are five leading roles in the organization:


Stakeholders are people who directly or indirectly impact the solution’s result. 

Stakeholders are certainly more than end-users in this case. A stakeholder could be:

  • Direct user
  • Indirect user
  • Manager of users
  • Senior manager
  • Operations staff member
  • Project’s “gold owner.” 
  • Support (help desk) staff member
  • Auditors 
  • Your program or portfolio manager 
  • Developers operating on other systems or
  • Maintenance professionals may be affected by the development and deployment of a software project. 

Disciplined agile delivery teams should work closely with their stakeholders daily throughout the project.

Team Member

The team member’s responsibility is to create the actual solution for the stakeholders. 

Team members will conduct testing, analytics, architecture, design, programming, scheduling, estimation, and other tasks throughout the project. 

It’s vital to remember that not every team member will have all of these skills, certainly not yet. But they will have a subset of them and will strive to acquire more over time. 

Core agile methodologies refer to team members as “developers” or “programmers” in some cases. On the other hand, disciplined agile delivery understands that not everyone on the team is a coder. 

Team members will define tasks, estimate them, and “register” for them. Additionally, complete them, and keep track of their progress.

Team Lead

The team leads assist or guide the team in completing technical management operations. Rather than taking on these responsibilities themself, which is a crucial feature of self-organizing teams. 

The team lead is a servant-leader who creates and maintains the circumstances for the team’s success. The team leader also serves as an agile coach, assisting the team in executing work items and meeting iteration goals and obligations to the product owner

They work as real champions by fostering communication, enabling them to self-optimize their processes. Furthermore, they also assure that the team has the resources it requires and promptly removes any obstructions to the team (problem resolution). 

Excellent leadership is critical to your team’s success when they are self-organizing.

Product Owner

It can be challenging to acquire answers to questions about requirements in a system with hundreds or even thousands of them. 

The product owner is the mere team member who acts as the “single customer voice.” They promote the stakeholder community’s demands and wishes to the agile delivery team. 

As a result, they clarify any information about the solution. A product owner is also in charge of keeping a prioritized list of work items the team will undertake to deliver the solution. They curate such a prioritized list using Kanban Boards to make the workflow visible to every team member.

The product owner might not have been able to respond to every query. However, they are responsible for finding the answer as soon as possible. This way, the team may focus on their work.

The need for specifications, testing, and design documentation gets significantly reduced by having a product owner. 

The one who works directly with the team to address any questions about work items as they get completed. 

Deliverable paperwork like operations guides, support handbooks, and user guides, to mention a few, will still be required. 

Each disciplined agile delivery team or sub-team has a single product owner. It is in the event of extensive programs organized as a team of teams. 

The secondary purpose is to represent the agile team’s work to the community of stakeholders. It involves scheduling demonstrations of the solution and keeping key stakeholders informed about the project’s development.

Architecture Owner

Architecture is a significant source of project risk, and someone needs to make sure the team mitigates it. 

As an outcome, disciplined agile delivery expressly mentions the architecture owner’s position.

The architecture owner is the one who is responsible for the team’s architectural decisions—also the one who helps to create and evolve the overall solution design. 

On small teams, the person in charge of the team will frequently also be the architect. That is not always the scenario, especially at scale, but it’s a regular occurrence among smaller agile teams.

The architecture owner is usually the team’s senior developer. Hence, they are also known as technical, software, or solution architects. It’s essential to clarify that this will not be a hierarchical role that other team members report. 

They must sign up for tasks and accomplish work related to them in the same manner as any other team member. Owners of architecture firms should have a piece of technical knowledge and a thorough understanding of the company.

Disciplined Agile Delivery Benefits

While disciplined agile delivery isn’t for all, it does provide some benefits for those who choose to use it. Here are a few of the notable benefits that disciplined agile delivery can provide for your quality control and development teams:

Prioritizes People

Several traditional methodologies prioritize methods and technology above the people who use them. In contrast, disciplined agile delivery takes the opposite approach, emphasizing people as the most critical factor in IT project success. 

To understand and use the disciplined agile delivery method, employees must be self-aware and self-disciplined. Disciplined agile delivery encourages collaboration and cross-functional teams, and however, it does not impose mandatory protocols.

This adaptability will allow developers to tailor disciplined agile delivery to their specific requirements while still reaping the potential benefits. Employees will be able to increase software testing and project quality by using a people-centered approach.

Covers the Entire Delivery Lifecycle

Various agile ways emphasize the construction. However, this might lead to blunders later on during the project. Disciplined agile delivery examines how many parts of the system lifecycle interact with delivery, resulting in a practical method for developing a consumable product in stages. Disciplined agile delivery can help maintain project initiation and deployment efforts as efficiently as feasible, rather than a lengthy deployment phase that wastes time and money. This methodology differs from the scrum and other techniques. It also recognizes and accommodates the fact that teams are regulated.

Adopts a Hybrid Strategy

There are so many strategies for implementing agile that deciding which one to use can be challenging. Disciplined agile delivery combines ideas from various sources, including Scrum, Extreme Programming (XP), and others, which is helpful for individuals who want to mix and match approaches. 

The disciplined agile delivery methodology combines these ideas and demonstrates how they work together. Understanding when to employ these methods is critical to maximizing their effectiveness at the appropriate moment and in the correct situation.

Disciplined Agile Delivery vs. SAFe

  • SAFe is prescriptive. Therefore teams have less flexibility.
  • Some argue that it isn’t genuinely agile because of top-down procedures and advanced preparation.
  • Agile emphasizes flexibility, but too much process specification limits flexibility.
  • On the other hand, its structured design is arguably the ideal changeover from the conventional approach, especially for large projects.
  • SAFe establishes a framework for better transitions. Disciplined agile delivery comprises four lifecycle models, allowing for greater flexibility in various project types.
  • Rather than providing a generalized blueprint for the problem, disciplined agile delivery offers advice on the tools and techniques.

Although this technique may be ideal for individuals who know agile and are adaptable, it may be difficult for others transitioning from older models to understand. As a result, contrary to SAFe, disciplined agile delivery’s market adoption gets delayed.

Disciplined agile delivery adoption may necessitate coaches and consultants due to a lack of a specific structure. Disciplined agile delivery and SAFe are said to complement rather than compete.


Every business is unique, and they have its distinct working style. The functional style also continually changes, finding new methods to adapt and change as their needs change. You can change and tweak the framework to meet your needs with disciplined Agile Delivery.

 It does not take a one-size-fits-all strategy. However, it lets you make decisions based on your context, procedures, and objectives.

The teams will operate in a learning atmosphere backed by the foundation of a lean and agile mindset. These teams are adaptable, highly motivated, and goal-oriented in pursuing their objectives while aware of all the hazards. 

They are continuously researching and identifying what the stakeholders require. The teams take ownership of their procedures and work tirelessly to enhance them on a team and enterprise level.

The entire foundation gets instilled with precision. As a result, you’ll need to learn how to shorten the feedback loop, offer solutions in stages, be goal-oriented, be mindful of the business, and use agile governance practices.

Disciplined agile delivery is business savvy. It encourages teams to harness and expand their existing organizational ecosystem. Also, follow business development rules, and collaborate with management teams.

The disciplined agile delivery lifecycle includes specific milestones to reduce project risk. They also raise external awareness of significant concerns. This way, it allows senior management to engage in cooperative governance efforts.

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