FDD v. MSF Agile

What are some of the key difference between FDD and MSF Agile?

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What is MSF ?

Hi nj,

Can you explain for what MSF stands?


More information on Microsoft

More information on Microsoft Solutions Framework (MSF) for Agile Software Development can be found at http://lab.msdn.microsoft.com/teamsystem/workshop/msfagile/

Not much in common

MSF for Agile Software Development doesn't share very much in common with Feature Driven Development. There may be a market assumption that simply because I'm on the MSF team at Microsoft that there might be a lot of similarity.

MSF for Agile Software Development is in some ways a unique and new offering in the agile space. It adopts the use of Personas (from Alan Cooper and Kim Goodwin) with usage scenarios (from John Carroll, Viriginia Tech) for its requirements. In this way, it is more rigorous than Extreme Programming (user strories) and more concrete and less abstract then Ration Unified Process (use cases). It is designed for usability from the ground up.

This requirements gathering mechanism is clearly very different from FDD.

There is no modeling or design prescribed in MSF for Agile Software Development - nor is it proscribed - rather it is agnostic to it. This is clearly very different from FDD.

MSF for Agile Software Development does incorporate many of the new modeling diagrams designed for systems deployment (i.e. later in the lifecycle) which are supplied with the Team Architect piece of Visual Studio Team System.

MSF for Agile Software Development encourages test first development and full coverage unit testing. It can fully embrace extreme test-driven design and refactoring. In this respect it is very different from FDD.

In summary MSF for Agile Software Development bears little resemblence to FDD, but much more to Scrum and Extreme Programming but it is full lifecycle and includes system and deployment architecture. The only thing MSF and FDD have in common is ETVX templates.


David J. Anderson
author of "Agile Management for Software Engineering"