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Agile software development is a group of software development methods based on iterative and incremental development, where requirements and

solutions evolve through collaboration between selforganizing, cross-functional teams. It promotes adaptive planning, evolutionary development and delivery, a time-boxed iterative approach, and encourages rapid and flexible response to change. It is a conceptual framework that promotes foreseen interactions throughout the development cycle. The Agile [1] Manifesto introduced the term in 2001.

Software development process

A software developer at work

Activities and steps



Architecture Construction



Debugging Deployment

Maintenance Methodologies


Prototype model

Incremental Iterative



Scrum Cleanroom





Agile Lean

Dual Vee Model



Supporting disciplines

Configuration management


Quality assurance (SQA) Project management

User experience design Tools




GUI designer


Build automation


1 History

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1.1 Predecessors 1.2 Agile Manifesto

2 Characteristics 3 Comparison with other methods 4 Agile methods

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4.1 Method tailoring 4.2 Software development life cycle

5 Measuring agility

6 Experience and reception

6.1 Suitability

7 Criticism 8 See also 9 References 10 Further reading 11 External links


Martin Fowler, widely recognized as one of the key founders of agile methods

Incremental software development methods have been traced back to 1957. In 1974, a paper by E. A. [3] Edmonds introduced an adaptive software development process. Concurrently and independently the same methods were developed and deployed by the New York Telephone Company's Systems Development Center under the direction of Dan Gielan. In the early 1970s, Tom Gilb started publishing the concepts of Evolutionary Project Management (EVO), which has evolved into Competitive [4] Engineering. During the mid to late 1970s Gielan lectured extensively throughout the U.S. on this methodology, its practices, and its benefits. So-called lightweight agile software development methods evolved in the mid-1990s as a reaction against the heavyweight waterfall-oriented methods, which were characterized by their critics as being heavily regulated, regimented, micromanaged and overly incremental approaches to development. Proponents of lightweight agile methods contend that they are a return to development practices that [2] were present early in the history of software development. Early implementations of agile methods include Rational Unified Process (1994), Scrum (1995), Crystal Clear, Extreme Programming (1996), Adaptive Software Development, Feature Driven Development, and Dynamic Systems Development Method (DSDM) (1995). These are now collectively referred to as [5] agile methodologies, after the Agile Manifesto was published in 2001.


Agile Manifesto[edit]

In February 2001, 17 software developers met at the Snowbird, Utah, resort, to discuss lightweight [1] development methods. They published theManifesto for Agile Software Development to define the approach now known as agile software development. Some of the manifesto's authors formed the Agile Alliance, a nonprofit organization that promotes software development according to the manifesto's principles. The Agile Manifesto reads, in its entirety, as follows: We are uncovering better ways of developing software by doing it and helping others do it. Through this work we have come to value: Individuals and interactions over processes and tools Working software over comprehensive documentation Customer collaboration over contract negotiation Responding to change over following a plan That is, while there is value in the items on the right, we value the items on the [1] left more. The meanings of the manifesto items on the left within the agile software development context are described below: Individuals and interactions in agile development, self-organization and motivation are important, as are interactions like co-location and pair programming. Working software working software will be more useful and welcome than just presenting documents to clients in meetings. Customer collaboration requirements cannot be fully collected at the beginning of the software development cycle, therefore continuous customer or stakeholder involvement is very important. Responding to change agile development is focused on quick responses to [7] change and continuous development.


The Agile Manifesto is based on twelve principles : Customer satisfaction by rapid delivery of useful software Welcome changing requirements, even late in development Working software is delivered frequently (weeks rather than months) Working software is the principal measure of progress Sustainable development, able to maintain a constant pace Close, daily cooperation between business people and developers Face-to-face conversation is the best form of communication (co-location) Projects are built around motivated individuals, who should be trusted Continuous attention to technical excellence and good design Simplicitythe art of maximizing the amount of work not doneis essential Self-organizing teams Regular adaptation to changing circumstances

In 2005, a group headed by Alistair Cockburn and Jim Highsmith wrote an addendum [9] of project management principles, the Declaration of Interdependence, to guide software project management according to agile development methods.