Agile development is a software development approach that has become hugely popular around the world.

The approach is based on the fundamental goal of any software development project: deliver software on time, on budget, and according to customer specifications. Many software developers have begun to embrace this approach to build better software.

Agile development provides a very flexible, team-based framework that makes information transparency a primary consideration. Information transparency is important because of one major reason: software projects fail when information never makes it to the right stakeholders. This leads to a situation where team members may not be working with proper estimates for timing, cost or resources. Agile development solves that problem by making information transparency a core part of any development project. Daily stand-up meetings are a great example of how team members communicate major changes or updates on a project at the beginning of each day.

Proponents of agile development have created a very specific form of project management known as Scrum, based on the original Agile Manifesto. Think of the Agile Manifesto as a strategy laying out basic guidelines, principles, and goals of any software development project while Scrum is a framework for using this strategy on a day-to-day basis.

One principle that makes agile development unique is that there is no team leader. Instead, team members have unique roles and responsibilities. It’s a common misconception that product owners are team leaders. They are tasked with looking after the vision of the project and making sure it doesn’t veer off target which is no less important than other people helping push the project forward.

Another unique principle of agile development is the concept of continuous delivery. Unlike other software development methodologies which deliver a finished product after months (or years) of testing and development, the goal of agile development is to produce new features and functionality on a continuous basis. One event that takes place using Scrum is known as a sprint – it’s typically a weeklong process where an idea goes from initial concept to final prototype very quickly. Any learnings or insights from the sprint are then integrated into the project and disseminated to all team members.

Agile development is an approach that is based on how the world really works, and not on a theoretical notion of how software should be built. Agile development recognizes that there will always be resource constraints, initial plans can change or evolve over time, and has set up rules and guidelines in response. The final result is better software, delivered on time, on budget, and according to the expectations of the customer.