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Subject To Change: Creating Great Products & Services for an Uncertain World by Brandon Schauer, Todd Wilkens, Peter Merholz, David Verba

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Chapter 7. The Agile Approach

In an environment where exploration leading to a dead end is viewed as an expense to be reduced, true innovation is difficult.

As you have seen, developing products and services for markets in this context is challenging, to say the least. Fortunately there are approaches that make success more likely, even in this environment. Some of these approaches are “new” in the sense that they are gaining increased visibility and popularity, although their antecedents go back many years. The approaches are inspired in part by the collection of development methodologies that fit under the umbrella of “Agile Development,” as well as a return to some earlier development methods. One thing they have in common is that the methods all point to the importance of fast prototyping and rapid iteration cycles.

The Agile Manifesto

In early 2001, a group of practitioners of various software development approaches that were at the time referred to as “light” methodologies met informally in Utah. While they did not care for the label “light,” the term was used to distinguish their approaches from the heavyweight alternatives then popular for large development projects and in big corporations. Although they were grouped together under a common descriptive umbrella, there was great diversity among their practices. In spite of, or perhaps because of this diversity, the developers were interested in discovering common threads in their work. The search resulted in the creation of ...

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