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Feature-Driven Development and Extreme Programming

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Superficial similarities between Feature-Driven Development (FDD) and Extreme Programming (XP) hide a number of very important differences between the two processes. This article provides a short comparison of FDD and XP.
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Introduction

Software development process is news again. Extreme programming (XP) is the cause of much debate on a number of popular discussion forums. Feature-Driven Development (FDD), pioneered by Jeff de Luca and Peter Coad, is another process with rapidly growing interest. Superficial similarities between FDD and XP hide a number of very important differences between the two processes. This article provides a short comparison of FDD and XP.

Feature-Driven Development is introduced in Chapter 6 of Java Modeling in Color with UML: Enterprise Components and Process [Coad]. The chapter is also available in electronic form at www.togethersoft.com/jmcu and in Together's online help (Users Guide—Part 1: Modeling with Together and 2. Introductions to Modeling).

Software development process is an emotional issue, so here's a few key quotes from the chapter to keep in mind when reading this article:

For enterprise-component modeling to be successful, it must live and breathe within a larger context, a software development process.

We think most process initiatives are silly. Well-intentioned managers and teams get so wrapped up in executing process that they forget that they are being paid for results, not process execution.

No amount of process over-specification will make up for bad people. Far better: Staff your project with good people, do whatever it takes to keep them happy, and use simple, well-bounded processes to guide them along the way.

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