What Is Agile?

Agile software development is based on an incremental, iterative approach. Instead of in-depth planning at the beginning of the project, Agile methodologies are open to changing requirements over time and encourages constant feedback from the end users. Cross-functional teams work on iterations of a product over a period of time, and this work is organized into a backlog that is prioritized based on business or customer value. The goal of each iteration is to produce a working product.

In Agile methodologies, leadership encourages teamwork, accountability, and face-to-face communication. Business stakeholders and developers must work together to align the product with customer needs and company goals.

Agile refers to any process that aligns with the concepts of the Agile Manifesto. In February 2001, 17 software developers met in Utah to discuss lightweight development methods. They published the Manifesto for Agile Software Development, which covered how they found “better ways of developing software by doing it and helping others do it” and included four values and 12 principles. The Agile Manifesto is a dramatic contrast to the traditional Project Manager’s Body of Knowledge (PMBOK) guide and standards.