About Agile

What is Agile?


Agile started as a collection of adaptive, iterative and incremental ways of building software or products back in 2001.  As software grew to become an integral part of everyday life Agile people in technology started merging their ideas and ways of working with the wider organisations they were part of.

Today Agile is a lot more than software.  Some people have planned parties and weddings using Agile techniques.  Even police officers have used Agile to improve their work.  Others are using Agile principles to help transform big complex organisations – like UK Government Digital Service.

Here are the original, and current, definitions of what it means to be Agile.

The Agile Manifesto

The principles behind the Agile manifesto


Agile methods and frameworks


The best known and currently the most widely used of all the Agile methods Scrum was a software development method created in the 1990s by Jeff Sutherland and Ken Schwaber.  It’s important to know that scrum doesn’t prescribe engineering practices.  For this reason it’s also widely used by non-technical teams.  The most popular Scrum training and certifications are from Scrum Alliance and Scrum.org.

Great News September 2014!  

There is now a single place to get information about Scrum. Scrum Alliance, Scrum.org and Scrum Inc have collaboratively agreed Scrum Guides is the singular definitive resource for all things Scrum.

Large Scale Scrum (LeSS)

LeSS is a framework for scaled agile and scaling Scrum. LeSSdecreases organizational complexity. LeSS.works provides courses and events to people looking to learn more.

Disciplined Agile Delivery

DAD is a process decision framework.  It takes a people-first, learning-oriented hybrid agile approach to IT solution delivery. DAD has a risk-value delivery lifecycle, is goal-driven, is enterprise aware, and is scalable.


Dynamic Systems Development Method (DSDM)

DSDM is a 1990s Agile project management framework and offers certification and community.  For more information on DSDM look at What is DSDM and for more information try the oddly named Journey so far.


A popular agile software development method that is often used in combination with Scrum and other Agile methods.  The community is self managing usually through meetup events like this. To know more try the gentle introduction to Extreme Programming.


Kanban is a method for managing knowledge work with an emphasis on just-in-time delivery while not overloading the team members. In this approach, the process, from definition of a task to its delivery to the customer, is displayed for participants to see. Team members pull work from a queue.  The defacto definitions, training and certification are provided by the rather grandly titled Lean Kanban University(LKU).  This is a good practical article on Kanban

Prince2 Agile

Axelos Prince2 Agile seeks to improve communication through the use of common terminology across PRINCE2 and agile disciplines.  It can also help organisations develop a clear definition of how agile can govern a project’s delivery, whilst PRINCE2 governs projects as a whole.

Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe)

SAFe is intended as a recipe for adopting Agile at enterprise scale in highly regulated environments.

Agile videos

Leandog have a great selection of short videos on various topics.

Scrum training series is another useful (although longer) set of videos.

And for the all-important product owners I recommend Henrik Knibergs Agile Product Ownership in a Nutshell.