What is Agile?
“A relentless, never-ending quest for improving software development” - Nick McKenna
Agile is the ability to change and innovate quickly. And to respond to unexpected changes in order to achieve success amidst the ebb and flow of a uncertain environment.
What is Agile Software Development?
Agile Software Development is a framework, a set of processes and practices based on the ideas laid out in the Agile Manifesto.
Smarter products come from collaboration between self-organizing, cross-functional teams utilizing the appropriate practices for their context.
A Short History of Agile
In the late 1990’s, several methodologies began to gain increasing public attention, each having a different combination of old and new ideas.
These methodologies emphasized close collaboration between the development team and business stakeholders; frequent delivery of business value, tight, self-organizing teams; and smart ways to craft, confirm, and deliver code.
The term "Agile" was applied to this collection of methodologies in early 2001 when 17 software development practitioners gathered in Snowbird, Utah to discuss their shared ideas and various approaches to software development.
This joint collection of values and principles was expressed in the Manifesto for Agile Software Development and the corresponding twelve principles.
The Agile Manifesto
We are uncovering better ways of developing software by doing it and helping others do it. Through this work we have come to value:
Individuals and interactions over processes and tools
Working software over comprehensive documentation
Customer collaboration over contract negotiation
Responding to change over following a plan
That is, while there is value in the items on the right, we value the items on the left more.
The 12 Principles
- Our highest priority is to satisfy the customer through early and continuous delivery of valuable software.
- Welcome changing requirements, even late in development. Agile processes harness change for the customer's competitive advantage.
- Deliver working software frequently, from a couple of weeks to a couple of months, with a preference to the shorter timescale.
- Business people and developers must work together daily throughout the project.
- Build projects around motivated individuals. Give them the environment and support they need, and trust them to get the job done.
- The most efficient and effective method of conveying information to and within a development team is face-to-face conversation.
- Working software is the primary measure of progress.
- Agile processes promote sustainable development. The sponsors, developers, and users should be able to maintain a constant pace indefinitely.
- Continuous attention to technical excellence and good design enhances agility.
- Simplicity--the art of maximizing the amount of work not done--is essential.
- The best architectures, requirements, and designs emerge from self-organizing teams.
- At regular intervals, the team reflects on how to become more effective, then tunes and adjusts its behavior accordingly.