RAD or Waterfall?

Dynamic Systems Development (or DSDM) is a method based on the assumption that nothing is perfect first time, but that 80% of the solution can be produced in 20% of the time it would take to produce the whole solution.

It is highly iterative, all steps can be re-visited, therefore the current step need be completed only enough to move to the next step. It builds on the best practices of traditional waterfall development approaches, and includes the controlled use of new techniques without allowing RAD to revert back to hacking out code and documenting it on the back of a cigarette packet!

The DSDM Consortium, launched in January 1994, is creating an industry-standard, public domain method for Rapid Application Development (RAD). It has over 50 members including corporate users such as: British Airways, Allied Domecq, American Express and J P Morgan Investment Management and software houses/tools vendors such as: Logica, Data Sciences, Cognos, Sapiens.
In the early 1990s a new term ‘Rapid Application Development’ (or RAD) was launched upon an unsuspecting IT industry. RAD was intended to be different from the classical, sequential (or ‘Waterfall’) methods for application development.
RAD grew as a movement in a very unstructured way; there was no commonly agreed definition of a RAD process, and many different vendors and consultants came up with their own interpretation and approach.
  • By 1993 there was momentum in the marketplace with a growing number of tools vendors developing or repositioning their products to meet a growing demand from their customers for RAD technology.
  • In 1994 the DSDM Consortium was born with over 50 organisations interested in improving the software development process.
  • In 1995 version 2 was published.
  • In 1997 version 3 was published.


This question was raised in 1990, but apparently just some years ago is when it has become popular. 🙂

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