Agile methods are a family of development processes, not a single approach to software development. In 2001, 17 prominent figures in the field of agile development (then called “light-weight methodologies”) came together at the Snowbird ski resort in Utah to discuss ways of creating software in a lighter, faster, more people-centric way. They created the Agile Manifesto, widely regarded as the canonical definition of agile development, and accompanying agile principles.
Some of the principles behind the Agile Manifesto are:
- Customer satisfaction by rapid, continuous delivery of useful software
- Working software is delivered frequently (weeks rather than months)
- Working software is the principal measure of progress
- Even late changes in requirements are welcomed
- Close, daily cooperation between business people 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
- Self-organizing teams
- Regular adaptation to changing circumstances
The publishing of the manifesto spawned a movement in the software industry known as agile software development.