After recent years working mostly with SLA, Incident Management and ITSM, I'm considering moving back to software development management and agile methodology. I'm returning to SCRUM lessons and would like to learn another framework alongside. Considering Dynamic Systems Development Method (DSDM), is it industry relevant today?

3 Answers 3


It depends on what you consider "relevant" to mean.

Arie van Bennekum is one of the authors of the Manifesto for Agile Software Development and was (maybe still is?) actively involved with DSDM. DSDM has at least some level of influence on the values and principles of Agile Software Development.

DSDM is maintained by the Agile Business Consortium. There are still people using it as a model out there somewhere and you can get trainers in it. However, I haven't seen it appear as a significant factor on any of the recent surveys regarding frameworks and methodologies used by people and organizations practicing Agile Software Development.

It's important to realize that when the Manifesto for Agile Software Development was written, many people were using many different methods and practices that were found to be successful. The Manifesto is an common abstraction above a whole bunch of stuff that was found to work well when building software.

Coming from a methodologies perspective, it can't hurt to understand the different methods and frameworks and practices that went into Agile Software Development. There may be good synergies or combinations of practices to draw from, including things that DSDM advocates for or considers that other methodologies and frameworks may not. If you're looking to make a career in it, I don't see a whole lot of job descriptions calling for DSDM knowledge (but there are some out there) compared to other methods and frameworks.

  • By relevant I mean that this approach is sought enough to seek certification nowadays. I'm not questioning or doubting its importance, just measuring how deep should I go about it.
    – Danmaxis
    Aug 23, 2019 at 22:01
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    @Danmaxis You'd have to look at job postings for that. Where I am, it's probably not worth getting formalized training or a certification - when it's mentioned, it's grouped in with "other lean and agile methods" or something similar to that. But looking through global job positions, it seems like it may have a stronger foothold in some other countries.
    – Thomas Owens
    Aug 23, 2019 at 22:18

I'm with the Agile Business Consortium, and can update you on DSDM. DSDM has now evolved to encompass our projects, programmes and portfolios methodologies, and the qualifications that cover those areas are listed here: https://www.agilebusiness.org/page/Certifications.

Our approach now fits with Business Agility as part of the Agile Business Framework: https://www.agilebusiness.org/page/WhatisBusinessAgility#framework.

If you're looking for more on the DSDM Agile Project Framework, the handbook is available online for free here: https://www.agilebusiness.org/page/TheDSDMAgileProjectFramework.

I hope that's helpful.


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    That’s nice ! But this being said, this answer cannot be considered as objective in view of your involvement in the DSDM movement. Can you provide any objective statistics to support your claim, such as the number of DSDM certification holder and their geographic distribution ?
    – Christophe
    Sep 22, 2019 at 10:35

I can verify that certain teams at Lockheed Martin and Vanguard use the MoSCoW (Must have, Should have, Could have, Will not have) method. As you may know, MoSCoW came from DSDM. I learned about MoSCoW from a lead at Lockheed Martin, where I used to work. Lockheed is definitely a software industry giant.

I also believe the small company I'm at now unknowingly uses DSDM (we don't quite use the same terms, but it's essentially what we do and how we develop software). I conjecture you'll find most shops that have an Agile mindset will follow all or some DSDM principles (as the DSDM principles align well with the Agile Manifesto). The DSDM acronym is not commonly used, but the ideas/principles/techniques outlined in DSDM are certainly industry relevant to modern software development.

  • I'd agree with companies aligning with the principles - but there's also a big overlap with the values and principles in the Manifesto for Agile Software Development and the values and principles of DSDM. The team structure, on the other hand, not so much.
    – Thomas Owens
    Aug 23, 2019 at 20:10
  • @ThomasOwens yes, I'd even argue we have roles that are similar to what DSDM prescribes, but there's a lot of overlap in what people do since we're small. Definitely more similarity between DSDM than Scrum, though. Aug 23, 2019 at 23:05
  • MoSCoW was taken over by PRINCE2 and from there leaked in multiple frameworks and methodologies. So I would seriously question the use of MoSCoW prioritization as a reliable indicator of DSDM usage !
    – Christophe
    Sep 22, 2019 at 10:18

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