What is Agile Methodology?

This lesson is part of the course Understanding The Agile Methodology . Use navigation on the left.

Agile Methodology refers to the software development methodology that is centered around the idea of iterative development, where requirements and solutions evolve through collaboration between self-organizing cross-functional teams. 

The various Agile Methodologies share much of the same philosophy, many of the same characteristics and practices. But from an implementation standpoint, each of these methodologies has its own recipe of practices, terminology, and tactics. Agile methods or Agile processes generally promote a disciplined project management process that encourages frequent inspection and adaptation.

Agile development refers to any development process that is aligned with the concepts of the Agile Manifesto. Agile Manifesto follows Four core values and Twelve principles. 

The Four Core Values of Agile Manifesto

Individuals and interactions over processes and tools
Working software over comprehensive documentation
Customer collaboration over contract negotiation
Responding to change over following a plan

And, according to the Agile Manifesto, while there is value in the items on
the right, the value of the items on the left is more.

The Twelve Principles Behind Agile Manifesto

  1. Highest priority is to satisfy the customer through early and continuous delivery of valuable software.
  2. Welcome changing requirements, even late in development. Agile processes harness change for the customer’s competitive advantage.
  3. Deliver working software frequently, from a couple of weeks to a couple of months, with a preference to the shorter timescale.
  4. Business people and developers must work together daily throughout the project.
  5. Build projects around motivated individuals. Give them the environment and support they need, and trust them to get the job done.
  6. The most efficient and effective method of conveying information to and within a development team is face-to-face conversation.
  7. Working software is the primary measure of progress.
  8. Agile processes promote sustainable development. The sponsors, developers, and users should be able to maintain a constant pace indefinitely.
  9. Continuous attention to technical excellence and good design enhances agility.
  10. Simplicity – the art of maximizing the amount of work not done–is essential.
  11. The best architectures, requirements, and designs emerge from self-organizing teams.
  12. At regular intervals, the team reflects on how to become more effective, then tunes and adjusts its behavior accordingly.

Flavors of Agile Software Development Methodology

Following are some of the main agile software development methodology contenders:

  • Agile Scrum Methodology
  • Lean and Kanban Software Development
  • Extreme Programming (XP)
  • Crystal
  • Dynamic Systems Development Method (DSDM)
  • Feature-Driven Development (FDD)

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