5.4 Crystal methodology – According to project size & criticality

An Agile methodology set scaled according to team size and mission criticality of a project

Emphasis on the human factor and testing.

  • Types of Crystal methodologies: Clear, Yellow, Orange, Orange Web, Red, Maroon, Diamond, Sapphire

    • Ranging from the most lightweight and the least mission critical, operating with the smallest team to the most described, most mission critical, huge team projects.

  • Common properties

    • Frequent delivery through iterations

    • Reflective improvements through dedicated brainstorming

    • Close communication: developer team is in the same room/building

    • Personal safety: speak freely in groups without managerial consequences

    • Focus: 2 hour periods without interruptions on a task basis; clear project goals and definition

    • Easy access to expert users: project domain experts answer questions and suggest solutions; minimally meet every week for 2 hours

Crystal methodologies have multiple flavours, which are only minimally differing from one an other on the different steps. Hereby due to space and time constraints we list the ones that could be used for highly different type of projects and are having multiple different approaches.


  • Some of the methodologies detailed:

    • Clear (lightweight, not mission critical)

      • Lightest, supporting fixed price contracts

      • Only 3 roles: Sponsor, Senior Designer, Programmer

      • Teams can use techniques mixed from other methodologies

      • Project requires documentation (type not defined)

      • Priorities

        • Project safety: deliver in time and budget

        • Effectiveness

      • Focus on people not on processes or deliverables

      • Suitable for teams of 2-6 in the same room

    • Orange (more complex, medium sized projects)

      • More roles: Architect, Business Analyst, Project manager, …

      • Expect a release in every ~100 days

      • Safer: emphasis on testing

      • Defines a set of deliverables

        • Requirement documentation

        • Release schedule

        • Project plan

        • Status reports

        • UI design mock-ups

        • Object Model

        • User Manual

        • Test plan

      • Suitable for teams of 21-40