DSDM Atern Handbook (2008)


Welcome to the DSDM Atern Handbook produced by the not-for-profit DSDM Consortium. Atern is the leading, proven, agile approach providing the governance and rigour along with the agility and flexibility organisations demand today.

Atern can be used either stand-alone or  combined with other recognised methods such as PRINCE2™, MSP and PMI. It is also ideal as a wrapper for more limited agile approaches to ensure that the whole project lifecycle is addressed.

Atern is a proven ‘battle hardened approach’ and has been responsible for the successful delivery of innumerable projects around the world. Its provenance across both IT and non-IT contexts goes back to 1994 with substantial productivity gains independently verified by the UK Software Metrics Association.

The DSDM Consortium operates on a collegiate model and this handbook represents the culmination of contributions from many experts over many years. Indeed, so many it is impossible to name them all individually here. However, in the spirit of agile projects – you know who you are and on behalf of the Consortium, I’d like to send my heartfelt thanks to all of you.

This handbook is intended to support study and continued professional development in the field of agile project management. It shows how the Atern lifecycle can be applied to address the business need, mitigate risk and maximise the return on investment. As such, it represents essential reading for anyone wishing to become a certified professional as demanded by so many employers in today’s market.

The content is based on what we describe as the Atern core. That is – it dispenses with generic practice that can be readily found elsewhere and is not side-tracked by niche specialist usages. In this way, the handbook remains cogent and concise throughout.

However, information on specialist usages – along with contextual illustrations and a wide range of support material – is provided on the www.dsdm.org website. The majority of the DSDM website, including the Atern framework, is free-to-view and free-to-use for end-users.

You may also wish to become a DSDM Consortium member. Quite apart from full access to all materials (including Atern download for own intranet usage) there are significant discounts on products, training and events. Furthermore, membership provides you with an opportunity to engage and contribute to the framework – ensuring the quality and vibrancy of these past 14 years are carried into the future.

The Atern Handbook represents the very latest in knowledge and learning around delivering project success and I am as proud of this product as I have been of the many others we have created.

I hope you find it both a helpful and rewarding contribution to your personal success.

Barry Fazackerley