Adaptive S/W Development - Evolution

The earlier SDLC models are more oriented to the practices of stability, consistency and decreasing returns. The business, such as the Internet Platforms has been moving to increase return environments, unpredictable, nonlinear, and quick methodologies.

Adaptive Software Development (ASD) has advanced to address these issues. It focuses on emergence as the most significant factor from the management’s perspective, to enhance the capacity to manage product development.

In Jim Highsmith’s words, “Adaptive Software Development framework is based on years of experience with traditional Software Development methodologies, consulting on, practicing, and writing about Rapid Application Development (RAD) strategies and working with high-innovation software organizations on managing their product development practices”.

Waterfall model is found to be described by linearity and consistency, with meagre feedback. It can be viewed as a sequence of Plan → Build → Implement.


The Evolutionary Lifecycle models such as the Spiral model moved the Deterministic way to the Adaptive one, with Plan → Build → Revise Cycles.


However, the practitioners’ mindset remained Deterministic with long-term consistency turning to short-term consistency. The practices of Evolutionary Lifecycle models such as RAD are found to be less Deterministic.

The Adaptive Life Cycle

The Adaptive model is built from a alternate point of view. Despite the fact that cyclical like the Evolutionary model, the names of the stage reflect the unpredictable idea of progressively complex systems.

Adaptive Development goes further than its evolutionary heritage in two key manners −

  • It explicitly replaces Determinism with Emergence.

  • It goes past a change in life cycle to a deeper change in management style.


The three stages in Adaptive Software Development Lifecycle are −

Collective Activities build products, keeping up the pace of changes in the environment.

Collective Activities assemble items, keeping up the pace of changes in the earth.
  • Speculate − Speculate replaces the deterministic word planning, planning of product specifications or planning of project management assignments.

  • Collaborate − Collaborate speaks to drawing a balance between

    • Managing in the traditional project management sense, and

    • Creating and maintaining the collaborative environment needed for development.

  • Learn − Learn aims both, the developers and the clients, to utilize the results of each development cycle to learn the direction of the next.

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