Dynamic Systems Development Method (DSDM)

The Dynamic Systems Development Method (DSDM) is an agile framework that addresses the entire project lifecycle and its impact on the business. Like the broader agile philosophy, DSDM is an iterative approach to software development, and this framework explicitly states “any project must be aligned to clearly defined strategic goals and focus upon early deliver of real benefits to the business.” The framework is built on four principles: feasibility and business study, functional model and prototype iteration, design and build iteration, and implementation.

What is the History of the Dynamic Systems Development Method (DSDM)?

DSDM was invented in 1994, when project managers using another agile framework, Rapid Application Development (RAD), determined that the new iterative approach to software development needed more governance and stricter guidelines.

What are the Strengths and Weakness of DSDM?

DSDM’s strengths include:

  • Basic product functionality can be delivered rapidly
  • Developers have easy access to end-users
  • Projects are reliably completed on time

DSDM’s weaknesses include:

  • Can represent a dramatic and disruptive change in company culture
  • Costly to implement
  • Not ideal for small organizations

Should You Use the Dynamic Systems Development Method?

If your organization prioritizes developing quickly, delivering on time and on budget, and breaking down bureaucracy and improving communication across your cross-functional teams, DSDM might be an agile framework worth exploring.

Read the product manager's guide to prioritization  ➜