Mature robust and Agile DSDM celebrates being twenty
By Mary Henson | 1 September 2014
We met during May on the terrace of the Grange St Pauls Hotel with great views across London and I began by asking Ed what the drivers for DSDM had been. He told me there had been two: the first on the customer side – the large corporations using traditional approaches for their projects with all the usual experiences of projects being late, or not turning out to be what was actually needed and ignoring changing business requirements. There had been a real need within organisations for an approach to managing projects that was neither Waterfall nor sequential.
The second driver had come from the supplier community where they had their own proprietary methods and tools e.g. Oracle Case. Nobody at that time had a publically available method that wasn’t tied to a vendor and Ed had seen a way to help address these problems. Through bringing together people from many diverse organisations to share their project experiences in an open environment, guidance could be produced and shared within a community eager to find better ways of managing and delivering IT projects.
The idea found favour with around 40 attendees at the first meeting in January 1994. To fund the various activities it was decided to introduce a subscription model enabling both organisations and individuals to participate in and benefit from the development of the new guidance which became known as DSDM. At that time it was very much about systems development and early adopters included such well-known names as British Airways and BT along with many others from both the customer and supplier communities. Ed had not imagined back in 1994 that DSDM would grow to become what it is today although he still feels there is plenty of scope for adoption, especially within government.
Over the intervening years since 1994 DSDM has evolved and is no longer used exclusively in systems development but in a wide range of projects. The DSDM Agile Project Framework is freely available to use from the DSDM website and the not-for-profit Consortium has broadened its portfolio to include guidance in Agile Project Management, Agile Programme Management and Agile Business Analysis. It is encouraging that more and more organisations are adopting DSDM either for its robust and fully Agile practices for establishing and demonstrating control in a project or because it can be easily tailored to complement other project management disciplines such as PRINCE2® or PMI or Agile product delivery approaches such as SCRUM.
Here’s to the next twenty years!
Published by PM Today, September 2014