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Agile is a response to the waterfall development software approach failures. Software development, in the early years, was fraught with failed projects. In 2001, The Agile Manifesto was published. Agile's principle ideas are:

  • Individuals and interactions over processes and tools
  • Working software over comprehensive documentation
  • Customer collaboration over contract negotiation
  • Responding to change over following a strict plan

In Agile, development is done in short intervals - miniature software projects and releasing them in mini-increments. The approach minimizes feature creep as there is an active involvment of a project owner and frequent review of progress. Real time communication is emphasized which may be problematic in large teams. IN this way, requirement change is welcome and quickly responded to. Documentation is usually done post-project which requires a significant effort and may lose the reason certain directions may have been taken.

The Agile approach has propogated many agile types, such as Monster and Extreme. Each emphasizes particular aspects of the manifesto.