DA 302: The Disciplined Agile IT Department

Agile software development teams do not work in a vacuum, but instead within an organization's IT ecosystem which includes operations, support (help desk), data management, enterprise architecture, portfolio management, and many other functions.  When you focus on streamlining your approach to software development yet do not make corresponding improvements across your IT department this is akin to tuning a racing car engine only to put it into a tractor.  Just like you won't win a Formula 1 race with a tractor running a fast engine, you won't serve the rest of your organization well with a traditional IT organization that has a few agile software teams.  It is time to step up our game.

Disciplined Agile (DA) is a process decision framework for lean enterprises. The main characteristics of this framework are that it: is a people-first, learning-oriented hybrid agile/lean approach; has a risk-value delivery lifecycle; is goal-driven; is enterprise aware; is tactically scalable at the team level; and strategically scalable across all of the enterprise. It explicitly describes strategies for addressing enterprise IT concerns in a context-sensitive manner - one process does not fit all. 

This workshop focuses on the Enterprise IT aspects of the Disciplined Agile (DA) framework.  This includes activities which support a full DevOps strategy, what we refer to as Disciplined DevOps, and other critical IT capabilities such as Portfolio Management, People Management, and IT Governance to name a few.  All of these activities can and should be performed in an agile/lean manner.  This isn't your grandfather's approach to I.T.


  • Senior IT Management who want to learn what it means to take a Disciplined Agile (DA) approach to IT and how to go about evolving their IT department 
  • IT practitioners who understand Disciplined Agile Delivery (DAD) that want to learn how they fit into the larger IT organization
  • Enterprise IT professionals, such as Enterprise Architects, Portfolio Managers, or Data Managers, who want to learn how their activities can become more agile and lean
  • Certified Disciplined Agile Practitioners (CDAPs) or Certified Disciplined Agile Coaches (CDACs) hoping to gain an initial understanding as to what it takes to become an enterprise agile coach


  1. An understanding of the fundamentals of the Disciplined Agile (DA) approach.  Students are expected to have: 
  2. An appreciation of the Disciplined Agile mindset. People who are new to agile, or who need a refresher, should view the following videos prior to the workshop:
  3.  as well as review our Introduction to Disciplined Agile.
What You'll Learn
  • The principles of Disciplined Agile IT
  • Discover how to tailor your agile process to reflect the actual situation you find yourself in
  • How people in traditional Enterprise IT roles can work in an agile manner



  1. Introduction to Disciplined Agile IT.  An overview of the Disciplined Agile (DA) framework and the principles that enable Disciplined Agile IT.
  2. Disciplined DevOps.  An overview of what it means to take a disciplined approach to DevOps.  What does it mean to take a disciplined agile approach to Operations, Support, Release Management, and Data Management?  How do you streamline these IT activities with Disciplined Agile Delivery (DAD) teams? 
  3. Disciplined Agile IT. How do you extend Disciplined DevOps to support Enterprise Architecture, Reuse Engineering, Portfolio Management, Product Management, People Management, Continuous Improvement, and I.T. Governance?
  4. Organization structures.  What are your options for structuring these enterprise IT teams?  We will explore collaborative, cross-functional, traditional command-and-control, and adhocracy-based approaches and their trade-offs.  Particular attention will be paid to scaling Architecture Owner (AO) and Product Owner (AO) roles. 
  5. Transformation strategies.  We will explore proven strategies for how your organization can make the transition to a Disciplined Agile IT strategy.

Workshop Logistics

  • Level: Intermediate
  • Length: One day – 7 hours of classroom time plus breaks
  • Approach: For each major topic in the agenda there will be instruction and group work

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