Evolving a Software Development Methodology for Commercial ICTD Projects

Joerg Doerflinger, Andy Dearden


This article discusses the evolution of a “DistRibuted Agile Methodology Addressing Technical Ictd in Commercial Settings” (DRAMATICS) that was developed in a global software corporation to support ICTD projects from initial team setup through ICT system design, development, and prototyping, to scaling up and transitioning, to sustainable commercial models. We developed the methodology using an iterative Action Research approach in a series of commercial ICTD projects over a period of more than six years. Our learning is reflected in distinctive methodology features that support the development of contextually adapted ICT systems, collaboration with local partners, involvement of end users in design, and the transition from research prototypes to scalable, long-term solutions. We offer DRAMATICS as an approach that others can appropriate and adapt to their particular project contexts. We report on the methodology evolution and provide evidence of its effectiveness in the projects where it has been used.

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