Making your chosen agile methodology work – Part 2: a deeper dive

Previously, we covered some of the most popular agile methodologies out there. That was just the tip of the iceberg, though. In this post, we’re taking a closer look at some agile models that may receive less attention but can provide effective, alternative solutions for enterprise software development or project management.

Extreme Programming (XP)

For me, this is the agile methodology that I wish had a little more notoriety. XP was born out of the need for software to be better. It introduced many of the concepts that we still use today (e.g. User Stories), but Scrum’s marketing prowess took over. There were many great software engineers who were proponents and champions of the XP movement, including Kent Beck (XP Explained), Ron Jefferies, Martin Fowler and many more.


If you needed any further evidence that no agile methodology fits completely, just take a look at Scrumban. It’s a blend of Scrum and Kanban. A Kanban expert might argue it is still just Kanban (as it follows all of its principles), but someone thought it was a good idea to make something more “official.”


LeSS is an alternative scaling mechanism to SAFe by Craig Larman and Bas Vodde. Where SAFe tries to fit the current enterprise structure, LeSS provides guidance for how you might decompose problems into smaller parts. The decomposition allows for agility rather than admiring all of the dependencies as SAFe does. Its more-with-less principle helps keep in mind a way of reducing the agile approach to its simplest form. This agile methodology brings together a lot of methods, thinking tools and principles under one banner.


The latest work from one of the original inventors of Scrum, Jeff Sutherland. Scrum@Scale is an agile methodology that provides more guidance on the different roles and ceremonies to ensure the agile model fits across many Scrum teams. The guide says that, “Scrum@Scale is designed to scale across the organization as a whole: all departments, products and services. It can be applied across multiple domains in all types of organizations in industry, government, or academia.” Scrum@Scale has introduced more roles, groups and ceremony names that have the potential to sprinkle a little more confusion to an already confused landscape. For example, they introduce an Executive MetaScrum (EMS) and Executive Action Team (EAT). It’s too early to say if it brings much more than LeSS has brought to the industry.

DSDM Atern

DSDM Atern is the latest incarnation of DSDM. This agile methodology has significantly fallen out of favour since XP, Scrum and Kanban hit the scene. In fact, it has become more of a place of conference than the framework, and the scaling frameworks are now likely more relevant. Their site attests that, “Atern can be used either stand-alone or combined with other recognized methods such as PRINCE2™, MSP and PMI. It is also ideal as a wrapper for more limited agile approaches to ensure that the whole project lifecycle is addressed.”

Prince2 Agile

Born more out of a Project and Programme Management discipline, Prince2 Agile builds on the idea of solving the problem of agile adoption in large companies via agile certification. It has similar roots as DSDM. It’s less about changing toward high-quality software and products, and more about project managers having clear guidance.

PMI Agile

Whereas Prince2 Agile was born out of the UK, PMI Agile started in the US. Again, it’s similarly rooted in Project Management disciplines rather than challenging the idea that projects are the best way to deliver value.

Disciplined Agile Delivery (DAD)

DAD was created by Scott Ambler when he was at IBM. It was designed to bring more discipline to enterprise software development, and states that it goes beyond Scrum and other agile methodologies to appeal to an enterprise audience. It is rooted in IT thinking.

Read the final part of our series on the different agile methodology options available.