Sharpen Yourself: The Agile Software Development Trend
Business 2.0, in its June 2007 article “The 50 Who Matter Now” about trends transforming business:
“It started as a rebellion against overwrought, Dilbert-style software development projects. Today the set of practices known as agile software development is reshaping the way coders and entrepreneurs create Web-based services. Agile teams work very quickly — sometimes in as little as a week — to create small chunks of code. Once a component is finished, additional features are added, with the process repeating indefinitely. Agile also has a reputation for enabling managers to deliver products on time and under budget, which helps explain why it has become a methodology of choice at companies like Google and Lockheed Martin.”
Well known business services firm Salesforce.com bet the entire company on this approach, and saw its number of major product releases per year shoot back up. Industry organizations like the Agile Alliance have sprung up to serve firms converting to this approach, other military contractors beyond Lockheed Martin are using this system, and Agile development has become a hot topic in places like the Silicon Valley Product Management Association. Some valley managers have even reported returning from vacation, to find that their teams had switched from traditional development approaches to this methodology.
“Scrum” is an organizational approach and set of processes that is frequently used as part of Agile software development. Hopefully, you haven’t had your team convert on you during a vacation – but if you did, this 1-page Scrum cheat sheet would help you get oriented quickly. See also this page from US Army/DHS contractor Envisage, which outlines a number of elements and practices associated with Agile Software Development.
- Envisage – Process. Contains the larger version of the graphic above, plus additional explanation.