“There are so many project management frameworks and good practices outthere. How do I choose the right one for my project?”

“Is Agile better than Waterfall?”

“I’m new to Agile. Should I learn Scrum, Kanban, Lean or something else?”

“The Project Management Institute (PMI) acquired Disciplined Agile a couple of years ago. What is it, after all?”

People ask me these questions quite often. They are all legitimate questions, because it is true that there is a large number of frameworks, concepts, best practices and project management methodologies out there.

It’s OK to feel overwhelmed

What’s the answer, then? Well, a good lawyer would say: “it depends”, and they would be right: the most adequate work method that you can adopt for your current project depends on a number of factors: the nature of theproject, the size and level of maturity of the team, the level of risk and uncertainty of your project, how “high-maintenance” your client is (sorry, clients, don’t take it personal), only to name a few.

First hint: agile methods are here to stay. Actually, it’s been a while that they’re around. So, first things first: if you work with project management and you are not yet comfortable talking the agile language, it’s time to catch up, sodo yourself a favor: add this to your to-do list and set a high priority to it.

Next, don’t learn only one agile method. Maybe you are a Certified ScrumMaster® already, so you master the scrum methodology. This is very good, and it may be enough if your career plan is exclusively focused on working as a Scrum Master in software development projects, which is totally fine. But if your plans include a broader fieldof action, this knowledge is not enough.

Maybe you know agile methods already. But are you disciplined?

Let’s get to the point now: you know Scrum, you know waterfall, you may very well be a PMP® but now, you are being asked to learn how to effectively choose the best work method for your project. Forget trial and error, you need to be disciplined to learn from other’s experience and make this process as much efficient as it can be.

Companies expect project management professionals to pave the path that the team will adopt to perform at work, therefore you are expected to know the factors that influence the choice (scale, complexity, nature, maturity,risk, uncertainty, …) and how to make your recommendation.

Choose your Way of Working

Disciplined Agile (DA) is a toolbox that provides not only hundreds of techniques that you can use in your projects but also tells you how to pick them. Isn’t it great?

The application of Disciplined Agile helps you understand the factors that influence the choice, pick the correct project life cycle as well as the most appropriate techniques to use in your project.

DA techniques expand from a multitude of methodologies and good practices from different industries, so you’d better be aware of those!

Disciplined Agile helps organizations better deliver business results through their projects but guess what? It doesn’t stop there: the entire organisation can benefit from it, not only the project- driven departments. Think about Sales, Marketing, Customer Service… They’re all part of the scope. The larger the group, the better the results.

Good news

The good news for all mortals reading this article (a.k.a. everyone who doesn’t work in IT): Disciplined Agile can be used in any industry! I invite you to learn about the Panera case, for instance, a bakery chain thatapplied DA to improve their processes and business results.

Think about Disciplined Agile as a toolbox that you have at your disposal that helps you navigate through the entire myriad of frameworks out there and deliver business results quicker.

Now back to your questions:

  1. – “There are so many frameworks and good practices out there. How do I choose the right one for my project?” – byapplying a Disciplined Agile approach.
  2. – “Is Agile better than Waterfall?” – that really depends. Start by reading this article.
  3. – “I’m new to Agile. Should I learn Scrum, Kanban or something else?” – all of them!
  4. – “The Project Management Institute (PMI) acquired Disciplined Agile a couple of years ago. What is it, after all?” – Well, I just gave you the first part of the answer. If you want more, this is your next landing page.

I hope this article makes you feel like learning more about Disciplined Agile! Good luck and success in your agile projects.