Agility means the ability to move quickly and easily. Agility in today’s competitive and dynamic environment is the most important aspect for any organization. Agile software development refers to a group of software development methodologies based on iterative development, where requirements and solutions evolve through collaboration between self-organizing cross-functional teams.
Agile methods or agile processes generally promote a disciplined project management process that encourages frequent inspection and adaptation, a leadership philosophy that encourages teamwork, self-organization, and accountability, a set of engineering best practices intended to allow for rapid delivery of high-quality software, and a business approach that aligns development with customer needs and company goals. The ultimate value in agile development is that it enables teams to deliver value faster, with greater quality and predictability, and greater aptitude to respond to change. Scrum and Kanban are two of the most widely used agile methodologies. While each of the agile methodologies is unique in its specific approach, they all share a common vision and core values (as per Agile Manifesto). They all fundamentally incorporate iteration and the continuous feedback that it provides to successfully refine and deliver a software system. They all involve continuous planning, continuous testing, continuous integration, and other forms of the continuous evolution of both the project and the software. They are all lightweight, especially compared to traditional waterfall-style processes, and inherently adaptable.
Agile development refers to any development process that is aligned with the concepts of the Agile Manifesto. The Manifesto was developed by a group of fourteen leading figures in the software industry and reflects their experience of what approaches do and do not work for software development. In the beginning, agile teams were primarily made up of developers. As these agile teams became more effective and efficient at producing software, it became clear that having Quality Assurance (QA) and Dev as separate teams were inefficient. Agile grew to encompass QA to increase the velocity of delivering software and now agile is once again growing to encompass the delivery and support members to extend agility from ideation to delivery.
Agile methods focus on empowering people to collaborate and make decisions together quickly and effectively.