The many benefits of the disciplined agile delivery (DAD) approach were outlined at the recent Agile Africa 2013 Conference by software development company DVT’s newly appointed principal agile consultant and coach, Riaan du Toit, whose talk was entitled “Enterprise Agile adoption with Parental Guidance”.

DVT has embraced agile for a number of years and has been providing agile development and skills to the market, having also recently set up a dedicated agile business unit.

Du Toit noted that organisational change is never easy, and that many companies have mixed results when implementing the agile approach to development. “The promise of agile includes the opportunity to create competitive advantage, a greater level of certainty when it comes to delivering results, the ability to respond to changes quickly, quicker solutions delivery, improved communication, a more skilled and flexible workforce, increased employee satisfaction, and motivated and committed staff. However, agile project success is hovering at around 60% according to the research. That’s not good enough.”

The problem, he said, is that one size simply does not fit all. A mix-and-match approach to agile practices is required, a recommendation that is also echoed by industry thought leaders like Ovum. This is where DAD comes in. It’s an agile approach that comes with ‘adult supervision’. “It’s a hybrid agile framework that does the hard work for an organisation. DAD uses a combination of proven techniques from Scrum, XP, Agile Modelling, Kanban and other sources to provide a goal-driven, non-prescriptive, end-to-end strategy for mature agile solution delivery.”

According to major industry analysts such as Gartner and Forrester, agile development has reached the mainstream. Gartner has declared that the long-term waterfall project model does not work and has entered into the “dusk of obsolescence”, advising that it’s time to move to iterative and agile development methodologies.

“DAD is the glue for all agile practices,” Du Toit, said. “It extends the existing agile processes and functions as a ‘how to’ manual for agile adoption.”

He added that because DAD enables enterprise awareness, it leads to a better solution fit. It reduces any unforeseen surprises late in the course of the project, and it optimises solution delivery as a whole, rather than merely focusing on just the agile programming element. The result is increased productivity across the organisation.

“Because agile adoption is so complex with a large organisation, DAD makes sense,” he said. “It fundamentally extends agile and gives you options when it comes to choosing agile practices for your particular context. Ultimately, DAD guides you all the way along your agile journey.”