Agile is a term many people have heard of but perhaps don’t fully know what it means. Agile refers to a group of software development methodologies and techniques based around iterative development where requirements and solutions evolve over time through collaboration of cross-functional teams.
The key premise behind the agile movement was that traditional software development approaches (typically termed waterfall approaches) took too long to deliver working software and typically solved the problem identified at the start of a project which was often not the same problem that needed resolving by the time the software was finally delivered.
Agile aimed to deliver software quickly through close collaboration, iterative development, continuous testing and frequent deployment. This meant the “business” could get its hands on working software much sooner, which reduced confusion around what was actually being delivered. The agile banner covers a number of methodologies, these include Scrum, XP, Crystal, DSDM, Evo and others.
All of these methodologies encompass similar principles and are based around the 4 key pillars of the agile manifesto namely:
- Individuals and interactions over processes and tools
- Working software over comprehensive documentation
- Customer collaboration over contract negotiation
- Responding to change over following a plan
Here at Agile bench we love agile because of it’s pragmatic approach to building software. It’s about business benefit, building for the now with an eye on the future, focusing on how our software can make a difference to the bottom line and collaborating with out colleagues instead of creating barriers between departments. It’s about the business benefit we deliver not the job titles we are given.
Here are some links to further reading about agile development:
Here are some books you may want to read to get started on your agile journey:
- Agile and Iterative Development: A Manager’s Guide – Great for an overview of agile
- Scrum and XP from the trenches – Once you’ve read the books this field guide helps make the theory work in a real environment
- User Stories Applied – How to create and manage requirements