DSDM is a software development methodology which believes in abiding by the strategic goals of the project and delivering value to the customer early. Best practices proven successful over the years in the industry are recognised and recommended by DSDM in the agile software development world.
DSDM is a vendor free methodology where the best practices prescribed can be applied using any tools and software. It builds quality into Rapid Application Development (RAD) approach by providing tested methodologies over the years. DSDM believes in something called as ‘Enough Design Up Front’ (EDUF) where the initial design is minimalistic and it is explored and made more detailed in the course of agile software development.
Let’s first try to understand what prompted traditional software development method to take back seat in the current environment. The major reasons being the project being too big, very less client interaction, and more importance given to the percentage completion of the project more than the working deliverables. Client was not happy at the end of the project as the delivered product is not what was expected. The world has changed a lot with competitors coming up with more innovative features. By the time the product is developed it might look total obsolete. That is when in 2001, a group of people with similar thought process came forward and developed 12 principles for the agile way of developing software. The DSDM methodology is fully in compliance with the agile manifesto and principles. Collaboration is the key when the right solution has to be delivered.
Some of the key things of DSDM which makes it work across small, large, IT, non-IT, development, enhancement projects:
- More importance given to the actual work that has to be done. The extras can be gotten rid of.
- When there is a delay in delivery, scope should be relooked into more than delaying the project. In reality there are lot of requirements which may not be required or may not be used by client. DSDM tries to get rid of wish list from the requirements list.
- Picture speaks thousand words. So prototyping or having some working models would give more understanding of the existing design and help in betterment of the same.
- Agile does not mean adhoc. In our way to go agile way, we should not make it so adhoc that tracking and maintenance become a nightmare. DSDM advocates for little documentation and specification which add value to the product.
- Communication is the key. A collaborative approach among the developers and the client dismisses lot of misunderstanding with respect to requirements and removes ambiguity. Accept that the change is inevitable and work on accommodating the change.
The DSDM philosophy is that a project should be aligned to specific business goals and focus on early delivery which reaps real benefits to the customer.
Empowering the team is crucial while working in DSDM environment so that correct decisions are taken and implemented without any delay. This would enhance the trust among the team members and would benefit the team more from the individual’s creativity and contributions.
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