Dynamic Systems Development Method (DSDM) is one of the many methods that fall under the Agile-umbrella. While this type of methodology is more highly used in the European area of the world, it’s slowly being integrated into more Agile projects over here in the states.
During the recent Agile Business Conference, Keith Richards gave a talk on DSDM and what it means in the Agile community of practice. It is interesting to note that there was a lot of comments regarding Scrum and XP as more product-centric and DSDM as more project-centered.
“There is a need to differentiate between the general term ‘agile’, the phrase ‘agile methods’ and the concept of ‘agile project management.’ In the UK there are only really 3 well known ‘agile methods’ (XP, SCRUM, DSDM). Only DSDM can be used ‘as is’ for projects. Scrum and XP are product delivery techniques they have no concept of ‘a project’ as defined by approaches like PRINCE2.” – Keith Richards
Interesting points here. In summary from Keith’s talk by Elizabeth Harrin:
- DSDM is different from traditional project management – You agree the time and the cost and then vary the scope accordingly to make sure you hit those targets.
- DSDM approach to time and budgets makes Agile a very cost-effective – But you run the risk of not getting everything you want from the project first time round.
- DSDM uses a lot of facilitated workshops to improve communication flow – The people involved in the project and help move things forward quickly.
“Projects deliver on time. The approach creates ownership. It’s easier to implement and support solutions. But it does take some work to get right. While the method is holistic, you need to be able to apply it in an intelligent way.”
If you’re an Agilist and you haven’t used DSDM-specific methodologies, you may be surprised to know that you probably have. Taking a quick read-through of Wikipedia tells us that DSDM is certainly a robust Agile method.
I’m going to personally be spending some solid time researching this topic a bit more. Anybody have any good books on DSDM out there and care to share in the comments? Let us know!