In my last two posts I discussed some of the faults associated with both the spiral and waterfall models. These are traditional forms of systems development. It was these flaws which brought about the need for change, and so Agile Software Development was born!
To summarize, some of the major complaints of traditional methods are generally to do with discrepancies between what the user actually wanted and what was produced as well as issues with lengthy documentation. The Agile method overcomes these obstacles. It is a more flexible process so if a desired product was not correctly described initially, it can be changed at any time. There is also far less emphasis on documentation and documentation certainly doesn’t hold up progress like in traditional models.
Some further differences are shown below:
The Agile model was also developed to cut down on production times which for traditional models were often quite long and very often yielded poor results. This could lead to major financial losses for some companies not to mention wasted resources. The Agile model’s adaptability is another way in which it saves frustration. A new value was placed on people rather than processes, flexibility over prior agreement and functional results over planned courses of action. These were detailed in the Manifesto written up and signed by Kent Beck, Mike Beedle, Arie van Bennekum, Alistair Cockburn, Ward Cunningham, Martin Fowler, James Grenning, Jim Highsmith, Andrew Hunt, Ron Jeffries, Jon Kern, Brian Marick, Robert C. Martin, Steve Mellor, Ken Schwaber, Jeff Sutherland and Dave Thomas.
“Manifesto for Agile Software Development
We are uncovering better ways of developing
software by doing it and helping others do it.
Through this work we have come to value:
Individuals and interactions over processes and tools
Working software over comprehensive documentation
Customer collaboration over contract negotiation
Responding to change over following a plan
That is, while there is value in the items on
the right, we value the items on the left more.”
All in all the Agile system is a far more accommodating and effective method of developing an information system.