Underlying DSDM are the following key principles. These principles form the cornerstones of development using DSDM.
The main focus of DSDM is on delivering a system that addresses the current business needs. It is not so much directed at delivering a perfect system addressing all possible business needs, but focuses its efforts on those functionalities critical in achieving the stated project/business goals.
No system is built perfectly in the first try. In the process of developing an IS, 80 percent of the solution can be developed in 20 percent of the time needed to develop the complete and perfect solution. Perfecting the IS' last 20 percent often causes the project to go over deadlines and budgets. Because DSDM focuses on delivering exactly that what the business needs, it is most times unnecessary to construct the perfect solution.
Project delivery should be on time, on budget and with good quality. How this is achieved will be addressed in a later section.
The requirements for the IS need to be flexible. As will be addressed later, flexible requirements are important enablers of DSDM.
DSDM only requires each step of the development to be completed far enough for the next step to begin. This way a new iteration of the project can commence without having to wait for the previous to be completed entirely. And with every iteration the system is improved incrementally.
Communication between project stakeholders is an important prerequisite for running an efficient and effective project.
User involvement is key in running an efficient and effective project.
The project teams need to be empowered to make decisions that are important to the progress of the project. Both Project Management and Development techniques are incorporated in DSDM. Next to developing new IS, DSDM can also be used in projects expanding current system or even non IT-related business change projects.