A customer's guide to agile software development: part one — what is agile?

Agile software development is fast becoming a mainstream development methodology and has seen a steep increase in use over the last decade. For example, SAP, Microsoft and IBM have implemented agile development components and/or practises and, more recently, in 2012 Hotels.com moved to agile development principles. In part one of this guide, Shoosmiths provides an overview of the agile development process.

There is no definitive definition of agile software development, but it uses methods based on iterative and incremental development. This type of development does not define the solution (i.e. via a specification). Instead, the supplier and customer work together to write business or technical scenarios; for example, problems a customer has that require a solution (the ‘scenarios’), and the supplier will assess how to solve or fix them…

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