Video: Does a DDD need an agile business? - virtualDDDmeetup

December 3rd, 2019

Time: Tuesday, December 3th. 2019:

19:30 Amsterdam time.


On twitter, a discussion started between Trond, Anton and Krisztina about working in agile product development without a clear business goal. Since twitter is a restricted medium to discuss these issues, we are taking it upon our VirtualDDD Meetup.



Join us with Trond, Anton and Krisztina and let's have an honest discussion about what it means to work agile. What are the pros and cons? We dig into the underlying principles and philosophy of agile, diving into the practical instead of the theoretics of business agility. Do we need the business to be agile to do proper Domain-driven design, and what are the overlaps between agile and Domain-driven design?





no need for standup

no need for sprints

Sprint Goals make it all work

suddenly all makes sense



works in Medium dark scrum

Artificial Sprint Goals

-> PO selects the highest prio story, and then writes a sprint goal around it

"I don't need sprints or scrum"

"kanban works perfectly fine"



we agree on goals, focus, timebox

if all stakeholders are in line, we don't need borders/timebox, they don't interrupt, we work together

scrum makes transparent what does not work

(or atleast that something does not work)



from Complex to Complicated



variable sprint length

release always, not only at end of sprint



timebox is an enabling constraint



What would non-agile DDD look like?



IT as a feature factory

"here are some feature requirements, go build them"



that works in obvious problems

but that's not where DDD shines


ppl learn through iteration, communication

you need to model and model deeper when you get new insights

agile & DDD are driven by same principles

iterations ~ whirlpool ~ inspect&adapt



socio-technical systems

new concept: deliberation

now: control from the top

worked tailorist

knowledge work

needs: product teams



"We don't need middle-mgmt"



I have a problem with that

who decides on strategy?

how are they working together



Middle mgmt is the wrong metaphor

socio-technical systems

  • context maps

some ppl work in

  • 1 bounded context

  • between contexts

  • overview


the problem is taking agile as a tool to manage, instead of as a mindset



"tweet about culture in leadership I have pinned forever"



developers should just stop



my mgr is in command&control, what should you do?



it depends on which communication problem you're having

spiral dynamics

"I'm focussed on me unless it becomes too complex"

if you try to impose this way of thinking on someone who tries to become a better leader in the hierarchy, it's hard



you need to find some agents in the system to talk to

(agents up in the hierarchy)

pilots for cross functional teams

buy-in from leadership



devs need to stop talking so technical

we need a DDD book without technical words

(DDD for PO's)



aggregates for non-technical ppl


getting PO's on board is not enough

budgets & leadership needs to be on board



just world bias/hypothesis

-eg karma

-eg "mgmt will get what they deserve"



Abiba gave some great talks about certainty

inspect&adapt -> lots of uncertainty



most agile business do not sell a product

they sell a promise that the product will grow in to the needs all the time



What could you do tomorrow?

-> guerilla event storming

model and ask "do you mean this"

make a mistake

-> example mapping



get better at knowing what communication ppl need

learning to communicate what communication ppl need, not what you want to tell

go for eventstorming, ...



ask better questions

challenge the obvious

don't assume that everyone things this is ok

you're not the only one in the company

find your agents



ask for an iteration or 2 to experiment



our squad is way too big

3 goals within the goal

lets try to split up





Do we need to let it crash&burn


// trying to solve a problem, but they don't have a problem



I try to understand the motivation behind it

usually someone experienced something so painful in the past



think about the system

it's a systemic problem



if someone is not in your team

if they are not a stakeholder (=no interest)

figure out how this would interest them



every human should do regular retrospectives

"I don't want to improve on that right now"

"you make me feel like everything I've learned is not worth anything, I don't want that"

->spiral dynamics



-> happy self-reflective time


// but what if you dont want to