Oct 01, 2012
Twelve principles underlie the Agile Manifesto, including:
Customer satisfaction by rapid delivery of useful software
Welcome changing requirements, even late in development
Working software is delivered frequently
Working software is the principal measure of progress
Sustainable development, able to maintain a constant pace
Close co-operation between business and developers
Face-to-face conversation is the best form of communication
Projects are built around motivated individuals, who should be trusted
Continuous attention to technical excellence and good design
Simplicity- The art of maximizing the amount of work not done ? is essential
Regular adaptation to changing circumstances
There are many specific agile development methods. Most promote development, teamwork, collaboration, and process adaptability throughout the life-cycle of the project.
Agile methods break tasks into small increments with minimal planning and do not directly involve long-term planning.
Iterations are short time frames (timeboxes) that typically last from one to four weeks.
Each iteration involves a cross functional team working in all functions: planning, requirements analysis, design, coding, unit testing, and acceptance testing. At the end of the iteration a working product is demonstrated to stakeholders. This minimizes overall risk and allows the project to adapt to changes quickly. An iteration might not add enough functionality to warrant a market release, but the goal is to have an available release (with minimal bugs) at the end of each iteration. Multiple iterations might be required to release a product or new features.
Team composition is cross-functional and self-organizing, without consideration for any existing corporate hierarchy or the corporate roles of team members. Team members take responsibility for tasks that deliver the functionality an iteration requires. They decide individually how to meet an iteration?s requirements.
Our Agile method emphasizes face-to-face communication over written documents. Our bullpen facilitates such communication. Team size is typically small to simplify team communication and team collaboration. We maintain regular contact through videoconferencing, voice, e-mail, etc.
No matter what development disciplines are required, each agile team will contain a customer representative. This person is appointed by stakeholders to act on their behalf and makes a personal commitment to being available for developers to answer mid-iteration questions. At the end of each iteration, stakeholders and the customer representative review progress and re-evaluate priorities with a view to optimizing the return on investment (ROI) and ensuring alignment with customer needs and company goals.
Our agile implementations use a routine and formal face-to-face communication among team members. This specifically includes the customer representative and any interested stakeholders as observers. In a brief session, team members report to each other what they did since the previous meeting, what they intend to do before the next, and what their roadblocks are. This face-to-face communication exposes problems as they arise. ?These meetings, sometimes referred as stand-ups or scrum meetings, are held at predetermined intervals and should last no more than 15 minutes.
Agile development emphasizes working software as the primary measure of progress. This, combined with the preference for face-to-face communication, produces less written documentation than other methods.
The agile method encourages stakeholders to prioritize ?wants? with other iteration outcomes, based exclusively on business value perceived at the beginning of the iteration (also known as value-driven).
Specific tools and techniques, such as continuous integration, automated or xUnit test, pair programming, test-driven development, design patterns, domain-driven design, code refactoring and other techniques are often used to improve quality and enhance project agility.