DSDM is an adaptive approach specifically aimed at projects, programs, and portfolio management. Here we take a look at the roles and responsibilities included in a DSDM project team. You can read more about DSDM Project Management here: A Full Lifecycle Agile Approach: Dynamic Systems Development Methodology (DSDM) or at the Agile Business Consortium
There are three levels or role categories for classifying the roles within DSDM. Those are the Project Level, the Solution Development Team, and the Support related roles. your primary Project Team is contained within the Project Level and the Solution Development Team.
The Project Level roles are concerned with directing and/or managing aspects of the project within their specialty or area. Roles in the Project Level would be responsible for interacting with stakeholders and providing project governance. They provide the needed vision of the project and work to ensure that the vision is followed.
Solution Development Team
The Solution Development Team (SDT) is responsible for bringing life to the vision. They work together collaboratively to build the planned product for the project. As much as it can be controlled, people assigned to these roles should not be changed out or replaced. The goal is to create a stable SDT that takes ownership over their work and area of responsibility.
Supporting Roles provide project guidance as needed. They may support multiple projects or have other roles in the organization. Their work in a project is focused on advising or supporting the Solution Development Team in their specialization area.
THE ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES
The DSDM roles are color-coded by primary purpose or type.
Orange represents those roles involved in maintaining or envisioning the interests of the business.
Green roles are those involved in the technology or contributing to the technical solution of the project.
Blue roles are for the leadership of the project and those are just the Project Manager and the Team Leader.
Gray roles are those roles that pertain to ensuring that DSDM practices are known and maintained.
- Project Level
- Business Sponsor
- Business Visionary
- Technical Coordinator
- Project Manager
- Solution Development Team
- Business Analyst
- Business Ambassador
- Solution Developer
- Solution Tester
- Team Leader
- Technical Advisor
- Business Advisor
- Workshop Facilitator
- DSDM Coach
The Business Sponsor Is the senior project-level business role. The Business Sponsor is a project champion and responsible for the project’s business case and the project’s budget. This position requires a higher level of authority within the organization due to the need to make business and financial decisions. If a project is within a DSDM program, this role may be filled by the Program Manager.
On larger and more complex projects, the Business Sponsor role could be filled by a committee. The organization should keep only one person or a unified committee/board working in this role. This helps provide a clearer path of escalation of issues and reduced conflict when compared to having several independent people trying to fulfill this role.
- Maintaining the project’s Business Case
- Oversight of the project’s finances
- Providing effective decision-making processes
- Resolving escalated conflicts
- Empowering the other business roles to fulfill their best work
- Remaining informed and engaged in the status of the project and ongoing work
The Business Visionary works to interpret the needs of the business and provide the business vision to the project team. They are needed to provide a single clear vision to the project throughout the duration of the project. If the project is operating in a program, the Business Visionary role may be filled by the Business Change Owner role within DSDM program management.
- Provide the business vision and explain that to the team and other stakeholders
- Resolve conflicts related to the business vision
- Ensure project progress matches the business vision
- Help interpret project change requests
- Contribute to design and review sessions where the business vision is concerned
- Provide business resources for the project
- Provide servant-leadership to the business roles within a project
The Technical Coordinator is the project’s technical authority that ensures the technical activities are coordinated and organized. They would provide the technical vision for the project and work to ensure it aligns with the business vision. In a DSDM program, the Technical Coordinator may be filled by the Program Technical Architect.
- Overseeing the technical architecture of the project
- Coordinating the technical activities
- Consulting on the feasibility of technical solutions
- Evaluating possible technical options to meet the business objectives
- Ensuring that technical best practices are followed
- Managing transitions of the developed solution into a released state
- Empowering the technical project roles through servant-leadership
- Resolve conflicts related to technical decisions
The Project Manager is tasked with providing an “Agile-style leadership” to the team. This makes the Project Manager in DSDM more of a servant or facilitative leader rather than providing an authoritarian style of leadership. The Project Manager coordinates and empowers the whole team and works to integrate the pieces together.
- Ensure timely and effective communication
- High-level planning
- Collaborating with stakeholders on the delivery plan
- Monitor project progress
- Manage and resolve risks
- Motivate and empower the team
- Handle escalated problems
The Business Analyst is part of the Solution Development Team but supports Project Level roles. They are an intermediary between the Project Level and the SDT. They support the development of the solution by guiding the SDT to make appropriate decisions within the solution development.
- Assist the Business Visionary in the advancement of the business vision
- Identify possible risks and impacts on the implementation of the solution
- Assist Project Level in business case creation
- facilitate communication as needed
- Ensure requirements are properly defined and achievable
The Team Leader is a servant-leader for the Solution Development Team. The work to make the team function as a cohesive and collaborative whole unit. This role will ideally be an elected role, chosen by members of the SDT, as such they may also be performing one of the other roles on the SDT.
- Facilitate the team focus on solution delivery
- Encourage and motivate team members within their defined roles
- Help to keep the development process focused and controlled
- Manage the planning details and risk management activities for the timebox level
- Facilitate communication, stand-ups, reviews, and retrospectives
The Business Ambassador represents the business needs within the Solution Development Team. They provide daily requirements to the team during Evolutionary Development, being the primary decision-maker for the business.
- Contribute to requirements, design, and review sessions
- Provide the business perspective for solution team development decisions
- Responsible for the documentation of the solution and support documentation
- Ensuring that users are trained on the solution
The Solution Developer translates the business requirements into a Solution Increment that meets the needs of the increment. This is comprised of the various roles needed to complete the solution or an increment of the solution. This should be a full-time role dedicated exclusively to the project to help reduce risk and waste.
- Working together to develop an increment of the solution each iteration
- Adhering to technical constraints, and the organization’s standards of development
- Participate in quality assurance
The Solution Tester is tasked with making sure the solution works, testing to the agreed-upon standards.
- Define the testing needs and scenarios for test cases
- Test the solution increment and the whole solution
- Track and report testing activities and quality issues
The Business Advisor’s role is to help ensure the testing of the solution meets the business needs. They may be a Subject Matter Expert and/or a future user of the solution, or they may provide regulation and legal advice. They advise on the solution from a more direct and detailed business perspective
- Provide specialist input into the solution
The Technical Advisor provides technical support for the solution. They may be responsible for operational changes, assisting with the release, or ongoing maintenance of the solution.
- Review the technical requirements and provide specialized input
- Provide operational acceptance testing
- Provide training on technical operations and support staff
The Workshop Facilitator will manage the workshop process. They are responsible for organizing meetings that achieve a workshop objective.
- Agreeing to the scope of the workshop with the workshop owner and facilitating the workshop
The DSDM Coach is responsible for helping the team understand the DSDM approach. They are there to ensure that DSDM is followed and to help those outside the team understand the process. They provide the details of DSDM.
- Providing detailed knowledge of proper DSDM practices
Read more about the DSDM roles: https://www.agilebusiness.org/page/ProjectFramework_07_RolesResponsibilities
This material (DSDM, Related Images, and Videos) was created by the Agile Business Consortium. https://agilebusiness.org
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