Agile Development Frameworks – Which One is Best for You?

If you are contemplating the move to Agile development or already have an agile framework, but it is not delivering the results you expected, here are some of the options available and some key considerations you must take into account when selecting a framework. Agile is an evolution of Rapid Application Development and Extreme Programming (RAD and XP are still regarded as agile methodologies), and while it can deliver extraordinary results it can also deliver spectacular failures. However, the failures happen fast; you do not have to sit with a five-year IT project that seems to be going nowhere. Where Agile is not living up to expectations, it is generally due to your company culture and environment and not the framework itself. Let’s start by looking at some of the frameworks out there.
59 Seconds Agile - Agile Project Management with Scrum

59 Seconds Agile – Agile Project Management with Scrum 

Agile Frameworks and Disciplines

When the Agile Manifesto was drawn up in 2001, the protagonists surely did not envisage all the different flavors of agile that would develop. There are many frameworks and methods that fall under the general description of Agile not to mention all the hybrids created by IT shops globally, who have tweaked and tailored the basics to fit their environment. Here are a few of the more prominent philosophies.

  • Crystal Clear is an agile methodology for small teams who are developing non-critical software. The focus is on the people, not the processes or products. This methodology has been comprehensively described by author Alastair Cockburn.
  • Kanban is an aspect of Toyota’s Lean Manufacturing philosophy. A Kanban is a card with a single work item on it. The kanbans are displayed on a Kanban board, giving an overall view of the agile project.
  • Lean agile development is derived from Toyota’s Lean Manufacturing again. The Poppendiecks took the Lean philosophy and applied it to software development, in their book written in 2003. Lean principles, such as waste elimination and just-in-time, are applied to the software development process.

Scrum originated as a product delivery methodology in the 1980s, based on the game of Rugby. During the 1990s, through to 2001, there were various initiatives to apply Scrum in software development, culminating in a book by Schwaber and Beedle in 2002. Scrum is based on teamwork and the expectation that requirements will change during development.


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