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DSDM Agile Project Framework – The veteran agile framework

Netmind - DSDM Agile Project Framework – The veteran agile framework    Article | Agile ProjectsSubArea
Miquel Rodríguez | 09/01/18

In February 2001, the famous meeting called by Kent Beck was held, where 17 experts from the software development industry discussed development methods which were easier than the bothersome traditional methodologies used at that time. This meeting resulted in the Agile Manifesto. However, the real work leading to this manifesto did not happen that weekend, but years before, while each of the 17 attendees was using unusual methods in their software development activities.


For example, the prior work was by Ken Schwaber and Jeff Sutherland with the publication of Scrum in 1995, Alistair Cockburn with his explanation of Crystal Methodologies, and Kent Beck with eXtremme Programming in 1999. However, the first considered an agile framework was DSDM Atern, published in 1994 by the DSDM Consortium, a consortium with headquarters in London, formed by large companies such as British Airways, Oracle, and American Express.


The presence of the DSDM in the Manifesto was represented by Arie Van Bennekum, one of the main authors.


In 2014 the name DSDM Atern was changed to DSDM Agile Project Framework, to better reflect its focus. In 2016, the DSDM Consortium also changed its name to the Agile Business Consortium for the same reason (and also for marketing purposes).


DSDM Agile Project Framework – The veteran agile framework 0


The DSDM Agile Project Framework is designed for application in a wide range of projects, from small software developments to large projects. Created in a business environment, it allows the application of an agile approach in corporations used to working with more traditional projects.


The framework is mainly made up of:

  • Principles (behaviour)
  • People (roles and responsibilities)
  • Process (the lifecycle);
  • Products (what we produce and when)
  • Practices (timeboxing, modelling, iterative development, prioritisation and facilitated workshops).

In this way, it covers the different elements of an agile project in a single framework.


The philosophy of the DSDM Agile Project Framework is as follows: “best business value emerges when projects are aligned to clear business goals, deliver frequently and involve the collaboration of motivated and empowered people.” This is clearly aligned with the values and principles of the Agile Manifesto. The DSDM Agile Project Framework also has 8 principles to follow throughout the project. It is no coincidence that the Manifesto also has principles, which it certainly inherited from the DSDM.


The framework recommends a set of roles, differentiating responsibilities at the project, development team and support levels. Unlike many other frameworks, DSDM integrates project management with product development in a single process. This process will help us to decide the lifecycle recommended from different phases, as well as their relationship: Feasibility, Foundations, Evolutionary Development, Deployment and Post-Project.


During the lifecycle of the project we will create a series of products, classified as Business products, Technical products or Management products.


Over 15,000 professionals were certified in AgilePM Foundation or AgilePM Practitioner in 2016, making it one of the frameworks with the fastest growing number of individuals and organisations that apply it to improve the agile management of their projects. In following articles we will explain the different components of the framework in more detail, as well as some examples of application among some clients with whom we have worked.


Meanwhile, here is the official link so that  you can consult the DSDM Agile Project Framework Handbook published by the Agile Business Consortium for free.


Finally, don’t hesitate to learn more about our courses and certifications on AgilePM and AgileBA.

Miquel Rodríguez

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