Agile is a lot of things. In a nutshell, it is an alternative paradigm to software development. It supports and encourages the philosophy of valuing individuals and interactions, working software, customer collaboration, and response to change. It opposes strict processes, tools, comprehensive documentation, contract negotiation, and detailed planning.
Being Agile about changing our thought process. We must rethink our priorities, how we handle change, stakeholder and developer interactions, teamwork, pride in our work, trust, how we measure success, and refinement. It’s also about placing our main focus on the product itself and stakeholder happiness and staying out of the ruts through continuous improvement and innovation. Finally, it is about executing iterative development cycles to produce incremental pieces of functionality until the stakeholder’s vision has been brought to life.
Agile is a Product development way of thinking that encompasses ‘The Twelve Principles of Agile Software’ in the Agile Manifesto:
“We follow these 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.
– The Agile Manifesto