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The conceptual framework for undertaking software development
Agile software development is a conceptual framework for undertaking software engineering projects. There are a number of agile software development methods, such as those espoused by the Agile Alliance, a non-profit organization. Agile methods attempt to minimize risk and maximize productivity by developing software in short iterations and de-emphasizing work on secondary or interim work artifacts. Scrum and Extreme Programming (XP) are two of the most popular Agile methods, however, there are many more Agile methods and agility, as a conceptual framework, may also be applied to the execution of more traditional methods.

Agile Manifesto

In 2001, seventeen prominent figures in the field of software development came together at the Snowbird ski resort in Utah to discuss the unifying theme of their methodologies. They created the Agile Manifesto, widely regarded as the canonical definition of Agile development, and accompanying Agile principles.

Adaptive vs. Predictive Planning

Some mistakenly believe that Agile methods avoid planning. This is a misconception, as Agile methods pay considerable attention to planning. However, Agile methods apply a planning process that is adaptive so as to accommodate inevitable change. Traditional, non-Agile methods tend to apply predictive planning that resists change and suffers the consequence of conflict between static plans and dynamic reality.

Scaling Agile Methods

Agile development has been widely documented as applicable to small, co-located development teams. However, several companies, including Consultima, have successfully scaled Agile methods to large and even globally-distributed teams and projects.

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By Iren Carlstrom,
Director, Gemica AS

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