In ancient language, Agilis means “nimble” or “mobile”. Agile methods should therefore help to work quickly and efficiently in fluid processes.
The term “agile” first appeared in software development. In fact, in February 2001, seventeen software developers wrote the “Agile Manifesto” at a meeting in Utah, stating four values:
- Individuals and interactions are above processes and tools
- Working software is above a comprehensive documentation
- Cooperation with the customer is above the contract negotiation
- Responding to change is about following a plan
They condensed the values furthermore to twelve principles of agile software development, which are not yet a methodology, but anticipate many elements of Scrum. This manifesto may consequently be freely reproduced in any form, but only in its entirety, hence the link here.
Chiefly, the concept differs from classic development methodologies (keyword “waterfall”), a dramatic change! In the meantime, however, it has gained widespread acceptance, fertilizing development and project management in general. It even attracted attention, later, in the area of production, where it revived “lean” and CIP concepts.