Project Management Institute Swallows Disciplined Agile

The Project Management Institute (PMI), announced last week the acquisition of Disciplined Agile (DA), the company created by Mark Lines and Scott Amble that is backing the Disciplined Agile Delivery (DAD) framework. DAD defines itself as “a people-first, learning-oriented hybrid agile approach to IT solution delivery”.

Disciplined Agile claims that over 12,000 practitioners in 30 countries have been trained in Disciplined Agile and over 50,000 Disciplined Agile books have been sold. As other major scaling Agile frameworks like SAFe or Nexus were already strong on their own (SAFe claims that 70 percent of the US Fortune 100 companies using its approach) or partnering with different organizations, Disciplined Agile was an evident target for Project Management Institute (PMI) as an independent Agile training and consulting that shares the same values of earning money through training and certification. Indeed, the first reason mentioned in the PMI press release for this acquisition is that “PMI members will add strong, credible new capabilities and certifications that will differentiate them and open doors.” I don’t expect this move to change the “scaling Agile framework” market where SAFe seems to have a clear lead. Even if in theory the large base of PMI members could open some market for Disciplined Agile, this community is much more conservative in its project management approach. The PMI already offers the PMI Agile Certified Practitioner (PMI-ACP) certification that hasn’t gained much traction in the Agile community.