Introduction to Agile Software Development

Agile software development is an approach to software development under which requirements and solutions evolve through the collaborative effort of self-organizing and cross-functional teams and their customer(s)/end user(s). It advocates adaptive planning, evolutionary development, empirical knowledge, and continual improvement, and it encourages rapid and flexible response to change.

The term agile was popularized, in this context, by the Manifesto for Agile Software Development. The values and principles espoused in this manifesto were derived from and underpin a broad range of software development frameworks, including Scrum and Kanban.

There is significant anecdotal evidence that adopting agile practices and values improves the agility of software professionals, teams and organizations; however, some empirical studies have found no scientific evidence.

Agile software development values:

Based on their combined experience of developing software and helping others do that, the seventeen signatories to the manifesto proclaimed that they 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 to say, the items on the left are valued more than the items on the right.

As Scott Ambler elucidated:

  • Tools and processes are important, but it is more important to have competent people working together effectively.
  • Good documentation is useful in helping people to understand how the software is built and how to use it, but the main point of development is to create software, not documentation.
  • A contract is important but is no substitute for working closely with customers to discover what they need.
  • A project plan is important, but it must not be too rigid to accommodate changes in technology or the environment, stakeholders’ priorities, and people’s understanding of the problem and its solution.

Agile software development principles:

The Manifesto for Agile Software Development is based on twelve principles:

  • Customer satisfaction by early and continuous delivery of valuable software.
  • Welcome changing requirements, even in late development.
  • Deliver working software frequently (weeks rather than months)
  • Close, daily cooperation between business people and developers
  • Projects are built around motivated individuals, who should be trusted
  • Face-to-face conversation is the best form of communication (co-location)
  • Working software is the primary measure of progress
  • Sustainable development, able to maintain a constant pace
  • Continuous attention to technical excellence and good design
  • Simplicity—the art of maximizing the amount of work not done—is essential
  • Best architectures, requirements, and designs emerge from self-organizing teams
  • Regularly, the team reflects on how to become more effective, and adjusts accordingly

These days most of the companies follow the Agile method in order to have a systematic and disciplined way of running the daily work in order to have a productive result.

The above is a brief about Agile Software Development. Watch this space for more information on the latest trends in Technology.

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