Adaptive S/W Development - Lifecycle Characteristics

Adaptive Software Development Lifecycle has six basic characteristics −

  • Mission focused
  • Feature based
  • Iterative
  • Time-boxed
  • Risk driven
  • Change tolerant

In this chapter, you will comprehend these six characteristics of Adaptive Software Development.


For many projects, the overall mission that guides the team is all around enunciated, however the requirements may be uncertain at the beginning of the project. Mission statements act as guides that encourage exploration in the beginning but have a narrow focus over the course of a project. A mission provides boundaries rather than a fixed goal. Mission statements and the conversations that result in those statements give guidance and criteria for making critical project tradeoff decisions.

Without a clear mission and a constant mission refinement practice, iterative lifecycles become wavering lifecycles, swinging back and forth with no advancement in the development.


The Adaptive Software Development Lifecycle is depends on application features and not on tasks. Features are the functionality that are developed during an iteration based on the client’s priorities.

Features can evolve more than a few iterations when the clients give feedback.

The application features that provide direct outcomes to the client after implementation are primary. A client-oriented document such as a user manual is also considered as a feature. The other documents such as the data model, even if defined as deliverables are always optional.


The Adaptive Software Development Lifecycle is iterative and focuses on frequent releases in order to acquire feedback, assimilate the resulting learning and setting the correct direction for further development.


In Adaptive Software Development Lifecycle, the iterations are time-boxed. However, one should recall that time-boxing in Adaptive Software Development isn't about time deadlines. It should not be utilized to make the team work for long hours challenging a collaborative environment or for compromising on the quality of the deliverables.

In Adaptive Software Development Lifecycle, the emphasess are time-boxed. Nonetheless, one ought to recall that time-confining Adaptive Software Development isn't about time cutoff times. It ought not be utilized to make the cooperation for extended periods testing a communitarian situation or for settling on the nature of the expectations.

In Adaptive Software Development, time-boxing is considered as a direction for focusing and forcing hard tradeoff choices as and when required. In an uncertain environment, in which change rates are high, there needs to be a periodic forcing function such as a timebox to get the work wrapped up.


In Adaptive Software Development, the emphasess are driven by identifying and evaluating the critical risks.


Adaptive Software Development is change-tolerant, seeing change as the capacity to incorporate competitive advantage, but not as a problem for development.

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