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In February 2001 seventeen people met in Utah and signed what is presently known as the Manifesto for Agile Software Development. Among the participants was Alistair Cockburn who when expressing his post- meeting feelings appeared content that something substantive had been reached, “Speaking for myself, I am delighted by the final phrasing [of the Manifesto]. I was surprised that the others appeared equally delighted by the final phrasing. So we did agree on something substantive.”
Agile software development has been discussed as early as the 1990s when it was first put forth as a new paradigm for production in a report entitled “21st Century Manufacturing Enterprise Strategy: An Industry Led View” published by the Iacocca Institute.
Yet, why should a development company use agile and not waterfall? Agile approaches seek alternatives to traditional management of software development such as waterfall and help teams respond to unpredictability through incremental, iterative work, cadences and empirical feedback.
Indeed, one of the main disadvantages of the waterfall methodology is that it assumes that every requirement of the project can be identified before any design or coding occurs. The result is that by the time the software is built business realities might have changed so dramatically that the final product might be irrelevant.
On the contrary, in agile development every aspect of development is continually revisited throughout the production’s lifecycle and is improved accordingly. As Jim Walsh from Global Logic points out changes no longer disrupt a project’s progress but instead are turned into valuable feedback for the project’s final outcome. Where waterfall development teams have only one chance to get each aspect of the project right, agile development teams capture requirements at a high-level and on a piece-by-piece basis just in time for each feature to be developed and adjusted to real market needs.
Moreover, agile software development is based on the principle of an active user involvement throughout the process during which the development team must be empowered to take the necessary decisions to constantly optimize the product. The final product is in fact the outcome of the collaborative and cooperative approach of all stakeholders.
This constant readjustment and reevaluation that is adopted in the agile approach in the long-run reduces costs and time to market; helps companies build the right product; makes teams using it the most competitive ones since they’re always on top of the market; and, ensures the product’s market relevance. In a survey recently carried out by VersionOne 98% of the respondents said that their organization has realized success from agile projects.
In an environment that is constantly uncertain and turbulent a software development program that has the ability constantly respond and adapt to changes such as agile constitutes the ideal solution. Our team has mastered agile and uses it for developing the optimal software that meets your needs!