Understanding Agile Development

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If you’re hearing the phrase “Agile Development” around the office, it’s no surprise. More and more companies are turning to this system that uses constant feedback and is adaptive to the changing tides of a given project.

At its core, Agile Development includes software development methodologies that use this flexible concept. These include:

  • Scrum
  • Feature-Driven Development (FDD)
  • Crystal
  • Extreme Programming (XP)
  • Dynamic Systems Development Method (DSDM)
  • Lean Development

What these practices all have in common is that they focus on short feedback cycles, small batches, continuous value delivery, error proofing, continuous learning, and system-wide optimization.

Constant revision is key to the Agile process

Rather than the traditional (or “old school”) methods of managing a project, where what was done could not be undone, as it was discovered too late in the project, Agile takes a constant look at the scope and obstacles a software implementation has and bends to accommodate it in a reasonable manner. Planning, testing and integration throughout the project are key.

The Team’s Role

Rather than the old school method where the project manager took the helm, ran the meetings and barked out orders, Agile allows teams to collaborate. Decisions are made as a group to ensure transparency and open communication.

Past, Present and Future

Agile has been slow to be implemented in software system development worldwide, although certain components have been utilized for some time. As more businesses see the dollars and time wasted in using a more rigid project management approach, more are turning to Agile methodologies and practices as a way to stay current, circumvent pitfalls and keep projects on time and under budget.

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