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Adaptive Software Development (ASD)

What is Adaptive Software Development (ASD)?

Adaptive Software Development (ASD) is a variation of the agile framework, Rapid Application Development (RAD). It helps teams to quickly and effectively adapt to changing requirements or market needs by evolving their products with lightweight planning and continuous learning. The ASD approach encourages teams to develop according to a three-phase process: speculate, collaborate, and learn.

What’s the history of Adaptive Software Development (ASD)

John Highsmith and Sam Bayer, project managers who are credited with inventing the Adaptive Software Development methodology, developed ASD as a more iterative and shorter-interval version of the Rapid Application Development (RAD) agile framework back in the early 1990s.

Highsmith and Bayer’s new project management approach, which they designed with one-month projects and one-week iteration periods in mind, has enabled them to successfully complete over 100 commercial software projects across a variety of industries. They detailed their approach in Highsmith’s 2000 book, Adaptive Software Development.

What are the Strengths and Weaknesses of ASD?

ASD’s strengths include:

  • Focused on the end users, which can lead to better and more intuitive products
  • Allows for on-time and even early delivery
  • Encourages more transparency between developers and clients

ASD’s weaknesses include:

  • Demands extensive user involvement, which can be difficult to facilitate
  • Integrates testing into every stage, which can add to a project’s costs
  • Emphasis on rapid iterating and continuous feedback can lead to scope creep

Should you use Adaptive Software Development?

Adaptive Software Development (ASD) can be a great option for companies that prioritize speedy delivery and are okay with regularly changing their product offerings. However, if your organization doesn’t believe it would be possible to get users heavily involved or if you don’t want to spend extra money on continuous testing, ASD might not be the best agile framework for you.