What is DSDM - Atern?

Dynamic Systems Development Method (DSDM) is a framework originally based upon Rapid Application Development (RAD). DSDM utilises continuous user involvement in an iterative development and incremental approach, which is responsive to changing requirements, to deliver software or other deliverables that satisfies the business requirements on time and on budget.

DSDM was developed in the United Kingdom in the 1990s by the DSDM Consortium of vendors and experts in the field of Information System (IS) development by combining their best-practice experiences. The DSDM Consortium is a non-profit, vendor independent organisation which owns and administers the framework.


In 2007 DSDM was updated as an agile project delivery framework available to all.  The latest release is branded Atern.  There is associated training and certification regulated by APMG.


Atern’s eight Principles are:

  •  Focus on the business need    
  •  Deliver on time     
  •  Collaborate 
  •  Never compromise quality 
  •  Develop iteratively 
  •  Build incrementally from firm foundations 
  •  Communicate continuously and clearly 
  •  Demonstrate control

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