in Development

Agile Software Development

We had someone come by our office last week and explain Agile Software Development to us. I have had it explained to me a few times in the past but it’s never struck home so much as it did the other day. There are a lot of great concepts and I’m trying to figure out how they apply to what we are doing, and want to do in the future.

Have any of you used Agile Software Development methodologies and what have been your results? If you don’t know what it is, go ahead and read about it on the Wikipedia.

Here’s the whiteboard explanation without the acompanying 2 hour talk.

At the top of the whiteboard you can see a typical process for building a web site: Analysis, Design, Development, Testing.

The process for ASD is to create a mini-release every week. This allows developers to focus on simple tasks that they have that very week, and not become burdened by the big picture. It also keeps the customer involved at every stage and since they have the information they need at every step of the way, puts them in charge of the process (at a small level, anyways).

Definately a great concept and it has a lot of future in it, the trick is knowing how to implement it into your company.

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  1. Agile is a great methodology, and a definitely step forward in many situations. It’s not however the panacea I often see it espoused as by PHBs in training who’ve just read a book about it. If you’re developing new software, and have access to stakeholders at short notice and often, it’s great. If your product replaces existing software with which it cannot co-exist, and you’re dealing with a large (read slow) customer, it’s not really the answer. It does have a lot to offer in regards to managing a small team, even when operating on a BDUF sort of project. And there’s something in there for every manager.