Choosing a DAD Delivery Lifecycle for Your Enterprise Agility Strategy
DAD has a number of delivery lifecycles for enterprise agilty, and the list continues to grow. At last count, the number was up to six. All of these alternative lifecycles have three phases, and they have similar goals and milestones. The big difference is how much time they spend in each one of these phases. Here are the six current delivery lifecycles:
- Agile/Basic: The Agile/Basic lifecycle is an extension of Scrum’s construction lifecycle, and it’s a good one to start with because it’s the most prescriptive of the bunch and facilitates the transition from Scrum or RUP to DAD. It may also be the best lifecycle to start with if your teams are new to agile. Agile/Basic
- Is more detailed than Scrum, XP, and Kanban.
- Is iteration based.
- Uses non-Scrum terminology (Scrum rebranded).
- Includes inputs from outside the delivery lifecycle.
- Uses a work item list as opposed to a product backlog.
- Includes more specific milestones than Scrum, XP, and Kanban.
- Lean/Advanced: This lifecycle embraces Lean principles, including maximizing workflow, reducing bottlenecks, and minimizing waste. Work is pulled through the process when teams have the capacity to do it. It’s a good choice if you need to get your product to market fast and your teams are highly skilled and disciplined. It’s also a good choice when you’re working on projects that have quickly evolving requirements. The Lean/Advanced lifecycle
- Supports continuous flow.
- Enables teams to work at their own pace.
- Uses a work item pool instead of a backlog.
- Continuous Delivery Agile: Agile/Basic is intended to evolve toward this Continuous Delivery Agile lifecycle, which results in a consumable product at the end of each iteration rather than after a set of iterations. The inception phase is nonexistent, the construction phase is long, and the transition phase is significantly compressed. In other words, it’s more like the agile we know and love. This lifecycle is a good choice if you need to get your product to market fast and you have highly skilled teams that have been working together for some time. It requires automated testing, integration, and deployment.
- Continuous Delivery Lean: Like Continuous Delivery Agile, Continuous Delivery Lean is meant for teams that have developed a mature set of practices around continuous integration and deployment. Its focus is on maximizing workflow, reducing bottlenecks, and minimizing waste. It has no inception phase, an expanded construction phase, and a compressed transition phase. This lifecycle is a good choice if you need to get your product to market quickly and you have highly skilled teams that have been working together for some time. It requires automated testing, integration, and deployment.
- Exploratory (Lean Startup): The Exploratory (Lean Startup) lifecycle is ideal for nailing down what a customer needs by conducting quick learning experiments. You can use this lifecycle to enhance or replace the inception phase or within the construction phase to clarify a feature or capability. With this lifecycle, a team engages in a continuous cycle of envision, build a little, deploy, and test until the team is satisfied with the result.
- Waterfall: This lifecycle is suitable for experienced IT professionals who aren’t yet comfortable with the agile approach. It’s slow and tends to carry a high risk due to long feedback cycles and delivery at the end of the lifecycle. Use it only in low-risk situations in which the vision is clear, the requirements are stable, and you don’t need to deliver a solution quickly. The Waterfall lifecycle is a linear eight-step process divided into two stages:
Decomposition and Definition
Integration and Validation
- Unit test
- Function test
- Integration test
- Acceptance test