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IJI Working with DSDM to 'Essentialize' DSDM Framework

Essentialization will Aid Learning, Allow Simpler & Consistent Development of Extensions and More

October 14, 2015

Ivar Jacobson International is working with the DSDM Consortium to ‘essentialize’ the DSDM framework in order to produce a platform than can be used:

  • in training to check and enhance understanding of the framework
  • to define ‘core DSDM’ and be Foundation examinable
  • to allow for the simpler and consistent development of extensions to DSDM
  • to show how DSDM compliments Scrum with respect to Project Management and Governance

The Dynamic Systems Development Method (DSDM) Framework has a long history in successfully delivering quality solutions on time and within budget. DSDM moves beyond team based practices to recognise the complexities involved in modern solution development. It takes a more holistic approach that acknowledges the variety and range of stakeholders necessary to develop and embed a solution within a business. In order to make such a project successful, a diverse collection of individuals need to be enabled, engaged and empowered.

Essence is a new OMG standard that provides a common ground or language for describing all software development methodologies. A methodology is ‘essentialized’ when the essence of it has been captured and described in a super-light way using the Essence standard without changing the idea of the original methodology . Ivar Jacobson International (IJI) has ‘essentialized’ a number of agile approaches including Scrum, Unified Process and User Stories.

The value of ‘essentialization’ is that people can learn a new practice much faster than with any other approach, compare it with other practices, compose it to a method (with many proven practices) and modify/change their method as time goes by. Applying Essence makes it fundamentally easier to govern the number of methods you have in your organization so you create an effective learning organization. Moreover, an essentialized method is not just a static description, but it helps the team while they actually use the method - allowing them to measure progress and health at any moment in time during their endeavor.

The challenges for many organizations when adopting DSDM are around mind set change, awareness and communication. The Essence standard helps teams navigate through many of the complex challenges common in software development delivery from helping teams identify and engage with the right stakeholders at the right time in the right way, to making health and progress visible to all in a language that everyone can understand. The Essence standard is presented in a number of tools such as a deck of Alpha State Cards, which are a simple, easy way to track status of a software project and help plan next steps. Applying Alpha State Cards with the DSDM Framework helps portray the aforementioned and enable communication between team members.