The Complete History of Agile Software Development

The Complete History of Agile Software Development


Agile software development -- also referred to simply as Agile is a type of development methodology that anticipates the need for flexibility and applies a level of pragmatism to the delivery of the finished product.

In the early 1990s, PC computing began to rise in organizations, but software development faced a hurdle. At that time, people used to call this crisis the “application delivery lag” or “the application development crisis.” At that time, organizations used to estimate three years between a validated business need and an actual application in production. But, business doesn’t work like that. Even those days, businesses moved faster than three years’ time span.

If you had to wait for three years to solve the problems your business faces, your business requirements, systems, and even the entire business can change in three years. Because of this time crisis, businesses used to cancel many projects halfway. And many projects failed to match the requirements and needs.

In several industries like aerospace and defense industries, the application delivery lag was more than three years. It would take around 20 years or more than that before a system went into use.

Before agile came, several industries like software, aerospace, manufacturing used to follow the waterfall approach. They would identify problems and work to create a plan that solves the problem. For example, the development team used to-

  • Set requirements and work scope for a project
  • Design the product based on predefined requirements
  • Build the product
  • Test the product
  • Identify problems during the testing
  • Fix the problem
  • Launch the finished product

This waterfall approach needs you to stick to the plan set at the very beginning of your project. That means you can’t make any necessary changes along the way, even if it’s needed. Now, this created a lot of havoc since a fixed plan could be inconvenient. Moreover, the waterfall approach was all about bringing a finished product to the market, even if it takes years to complete.

The waterfall approach was creating a lot of problems for both the developer and the customer. As it would take years to come up with a solution, the problem’s nature would change. Eventually, when they used to launch the planned solution in the market, it would become outdated. These delays in product delivery led to the delivery of an unfinished product that no longer had any market fit.

To view the full blog and this blog "The Complete History of Agile Software Development" is originally published on Agilemania website.