Advantages and Disadvantages of DSDM

What is DSDM?

DSDM, also known as Dynamic System Development Method, is an Agile method for developing software- intensive systems. Its whole philosophy of development is based on the fact that the requirements are fuzzy at best and change during any type of project lifecycle. What makes this method different from others is that it.

DSDM is a software development method. DSDM was derived from the initial ideas of the U.S. company IDS Scheer’s flagship product, TeamModel- a project management tool supporting agile methods. The success of this approach using Scrum and XP techniques in large system development projects led to its wider recognition.

It is a highly structured approach to creating software, focusing on a systematic process of software development. This method has been widely adopted by the UK government for use in its infrastructure projects. The UK government recommended DSDM to the private sector in its “Best Practice Guidance for Best Practice Guidance for Major Projects”. In 1999, DSDM was identified as a leading method in terms of best practice by the British Computer Society.

It is a phased approach that considers each stage to be equally important and which requires project management discipline at all stages. ) DSDM is a graphical approach to model the process with swim lanes that illustrate how it flows from high level planning down to detailed design with an emphasis on regular delivery of tangible results which contributes to greater team morale and effective resource management.

There are several advantages of using dsdm. The primary advantages of using DSDM are that better software can be created more efficiently and with greater value to the client. A well-defined process for project management is provided by this method, it provides a defined approach to creating new builds of software, for example on a fixed time period. Let’s discuss the advantages and disadvantages of DSDM in detail.

Advantages of DSDM 

1. DSDM provides High level of customer satisfaction from fast time to market and a high quality solution.

2. DSDM provides Low cost of ownership as the process is efficient and effective.

3. DSDM provides Development teams with a better work/life balance, with shorter hours and more time off which results in enhanced productivity and creativity. DSDD provides Fast delivery of value to.

5. DSDM ensures a more predictable schedule and cost .

6. DSDM facilitates better control with increased use of formal inspections.

7. DSDM provides more thorough testing.

8. DSDM provides Better team satisfaction, enhanced morale and decreased turnover through the use of teams that are co-located for all or most of their time together.

9. DSDM facilitates early definition of quality goals and processes.

10. DSDM facilitates more accurate project estimation.

11. DSDM requires shorter development time.

12. A major advantage of DSDM is that it has been developed from a process which is widely used in industry, with many companies across the world successfully using the method.

13. It may be easier to use than other methods as it builds on or shares aspects of other proven techniques such as PRINCE and RAD. Although the disadvantages are not as many, we will throw light on some of the major pitfalls below.

Disadvantages of DSDM 

1 . Need a disciplined approach to project management, or it will fail. 

2. DSDM is not as well known as many other methods and may require training for those implementing it. 

3 . Documentation required is extensive. 

4. Time must be allocated early in the project to determine how much time each part of the project will take, or initial estimates will be inaccurate. DSDM Requires a relatively large number of experienced staff. Which can be taxing and cause a lot of hassle sometimes.

6. Time scales are very tight – five months from brief to first working model.

7. High level of customer and stakeholder involvement and commitment.

8. Need for clear structures to enable management reporting. 

How does DSDM work? 

DSDM is a very well structured group of processes. The document that defines the method includes a number of checklists and guidelines to ensure that each stage runs smoothly. 

The DSDM method has a strong emphasis on interaction with customers and end users in order to gain an understanding of the real business problem. 

During each stage of the project there are checkpoints, which need sign-off from all interested parties before continuing. A key feature of DSDM is that it revolves around time-boxes. That is, there are fixed times for each stage of the process which allow the project to be monitored closely and ensure that events happen when they should (and not at some time in between). The standard DSDM time-box is one month, although it can be changed according to project requirements. 

The method has nine time-boxes in total, where each time-box has a specific goal. At the end of each time-box it needs to be reviewed and sign-off given before moving on. Another key feature is that roles are clearly defined in DSDM, with roles associated according to which party (business or IT) is more suited for the task at hand. For example, the project manager will be more suited to monitor progress rather than make technical business decisions.

Another factor is that DSDM does not need complex systems and processes in place before it can start to work effectively.

This differs from other approaches such as RUP which requires a significant amount of process and modelling work. It also requires a relatively low level of documentation at project end because the customer has been involved from early stages.

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