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Dojo Delivery Agility

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Dojo Delivery Agility is an agile process framework used in software product development. The framework encourages the concept of two sprints in a week and 4 to 6 weeks for building a minimum viable product. This framework is the derived work and adaptation of the Agile Dojo coaching framework which was crafted during 2015 by Verizon and later standardized by Target in 2016. Dojo Delivery Agility framework has extended this concept of Agile dojo to how the same framework can be adapted to software product development. The framework emphasizes the need for frequent demos in every 2.5 days and the need to continuously improve.


Until 2016, the word dojo in the Agile community was recognized more in the training and learning space[1]. The dojo was referred to as a technique to learn agile/coding skills like story slicing, TDD, BDD,[2] etc in a safe controlled but immerse environment. It was during 2016 Agile Conference, Target the retail major shared and published a case study[3] on how they created a new coaching strategy called as "Agile Dojo" to transform their employees to a more Agile way of working.

The Target Dojo model[4][3][edit]

The Target Dojo model which was inspired by the initial work by Verizon was  6 weeks in duration. During these 6 weeks, the team would work with Agile coaches to sharpen their agile process and technical skills. One of the key features of the Target dojo model was the concepts of hyper sprints. The Agile dojo showcased by Target was a coaching strategy and teams were free to go back to their 2 or 3-week sprint cadences[3]. The concept of Agile Dojo started to gain popularity by the end of 2017 and many product companies stated adopting this model as an Agile/ DevOps coaching strategy.[5][6]

The Experiments[edit]

As recorded in 2nd Workshop on Emerging Software Engineering Education notes during the end of 2016[7], Accenture inspired by the Target dojo model started a series of experiments.The goal of these experiments was to see if the Targets Agile dojo could be sustainable as a product development framework work or what they called it as "way of working ". During early 2019 the results of the study were discussed in the 12th, Innovations in Software Engineering Conference, and in XP2019 the framework was published as a product development framework[8]. The published work also included major modification from the original target model and also was profound to the Philosophy "less is more".[9]

The Model[edit]

The Dojo Delivery Agility as described in XP2019 publication[8] is a product development framework that enables teams to build ultra-focus, encapsulates learning, and produces demo-able software every other day, i.e. 2 sprints in a week. Dojo squads are small cross-functional feature teams who work towards producing an MVP in every 4 to 6 weeks. Every week there are typically 2 hyper sprints. Before one starts a Dojo the team along with business collaborates to define the vision and goals for every MVP cycle. This exercise is called the product envisioning. The dojo team makes sure to collaborate & strategize on a weekly cadence and thus emphasizing on "Plans Are Worthless, But Planning Is Everything". The model also describes itself as an abstract model which gives the teams to make tailed modifications that suits the purpose. In comparisons to other agile models like Scrum and Kanban, Dojo Delivery Agility emphasizes the need to be less preservative and more adaptive.

The two cycles[edit]

There are two major cycles described in the model .[10]

The Product cycle[edit]

The product cycle has a duration of 4 to 8 week and the primary goal is to come up with a Minimal viable feature / product.

The demo cycle[edit]

The demo cycle is around 2.5 days long and the primary intent is to derive feedback and measure progress and adapt.

The L.I.F.E. Philosophy[edit]

Along with 4 Agile Values and 12 Principles[11], the model talks about 4 core aspects called the LIFE philosophy

  • L - Less is more[12]

This concept reflects the research findings of how we humans can do better when we have a little less time or resources. The core essence of this value is from the research findings which is articulated in the book Stretch[13], in which the author talks about how we humans are better and more creative when we embrace constraints like little less time, little fewer resources, etc. The value also radiates on our human nature to be less of multitask-er and better when we limit our work in progress.

  • I - Leaders as Impediment busters

This value revolves over the need for leadership to be more humane and approachable. The model calms that its reach shows that most of the leaders fall into the category/style of "drivers" [14]and typically is intolerant to accepting an impediment or problem[15]. Hence problem and impediments become status quo, leading to productive loss or lean waste. This value advocates a culture in which everyone including the leader incentives discovery of implements at all stages of the software development and persuaders towards its closure actively.

  • F Fail safe, fail mindfully

One of the key rules of thumb for any wicked design problems[16] is the concept of Failing fast . Software design and development being a wicked problem[17] fail fast as a value has been widely been used in agile software development as core Fail practice. This i.e " Fail-safe, fail mindfully " value expresses the need not just to fail fast but also make sure that team fail-safe and always reflect on their failures. The model also advocates the need to engineering calculated risk even if we know that there is a probability to fail. These failures needs to be mindfully reflected, action-ed and added as leanings for the team to improve .

  • E- E-shaped skills[18]

This value details about the human skills dimension and advocates the need to have E shaped skill (experience and expertise, exploration and execution) in the team, The model also mandates team to groom learning goals along with delivery goals hence making learning as par to of living. Here learning is articulated not in its literal senses but points back to the agile manifesto and defines learning to be "uncovering better ways of developing software.." [11]


Out of the various case studies presented during TAC2019 conferences it was noted that large teams that are not collated dint benefit much from Dojo as a way of working .


  1. Sato, D. T.; Corbucci, H.; Bravo, M. V. (August 2008). "Coding Dojo: An Environment for Learning and Sharing Agile Practices". Agile 2008 Conference: 459–464. doi:10.1109/Agile.2008.11. ISBN 978-0-7695-3321-6.
  2. Heinonen, Kenny; Hirvikoski, Kasper; Luukkainen, Matti; Vihavainen, Arto (2013). "Learning Agile Software Engineering Practices Using Coding Dojo". Proceedings of the 14th Annual ACM SIGITE Conference on Information Technology Education. SIGITE '13. New York, NY, USA: ACM: 97–102. doi:10.1145/2512276.2512306. ISBN 9781450322393.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 "The Dojo – Implementing an Immersive Learning Environment for Teams". Agile Alliance. 2016-07-20. Retrieved 2019-06-06.
  4. "Our Journey". The Target Dojo. Retrieved 2019-06-06.
  5. Melanie, Haiken (2018). "Enter the Dojo". scrumalliance. Retrieved 6/6/2019. Check date values in: |access-date= (help)
  6. "Agile in approach: Using Dojo principles to find a better path | Thomson Reuters". Answers On. 2018-01-04. Retrieved 2019-06-06.
  7. Tiwari, Saurabh. "WESEE 2019 Workshop on Emerging Software Engineering Education". Retrieved 2019-06-06.
  8. 8.0 8.1 Ranjith, Jeffson. "XP2019: Agile Alliances: The Art of Crafting High Performing Team..." Retrieved 2019-06-06.
  9. ""Less is more" philosophy applied in digital product development". Our ideas and stories. 2017-08-08. Retrieved 2019-06-06.
  10. "Dojo as a way of working". Regional Scrum Gathering. India 2019. 2019-01-07.
  11. 11.0 11.1 "Manifesto for Agile Software Development". Retrieved 2019-06-07.
  12. ""Minimalism in Computing".
  13. Sonenshein, Scott (2017-02-07). Stretch: Unlock the Power of Less -and Achieve More Than You Ever Imagined. HarperCollins. ISBN 9780062457233. Search this book on
  14. Darling, John R.; McKenna, Mindi K.; Shelton, Charlotte D. (2002-09-01). "The impact of behavioral style assessment on organizational effectiveness: a call for action". Leadership & Organization Development Journal. 23 (6): 314–322. doi:10.1108/01437730210441274. ISSN 0143-7739.
  15. Snavely, William B. (1981-03-01). "The impact of social style upon person perception in primary relationships". Communication Quarterly. 29 (2): 132–143. doi:10.1080/01463378109369398. ISSN 0146-3373.
  16. "Wholesome Design for Wicked Problems | Public Sphere Project — Liberating Voices Pattern Language". Retrieved 2019-06-07.
  17. Murphy, Paul. "Wicked problems in software design". ZDNet. Retrieved 2019-06-07.
  18. "Break Organizational Dependencies with an E-Shaped Staff". Missing or empty |url= (help)

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