2 Agile History and the Agile Manifesto


THE EARLY HISTORY OF AGILE was influenced by a number of different trends, including:

  • The evolution of new concepts in manufacturing, such as just-in-time and lean manufacturing processes
  • New approaches to quality management, including the total quality management movement developed by Dr. W. Edwards Deming

Those fundamental trends will be discussed in Chapter 11, “Understanding Agile on a Deeper Level”; however, the strongest factor that has driven the agile movement is the unique risks and challenges associated with large, complex software development projects. I can remember a time when a computer that had 16KB (kilobytes) of memory and a 5-MB (megabyte) disk was a lot. Even before that, I can remember the old days of developing programs on punched cards and paper tape, or even toggling in some binary, assembly language code into the switch register of an early Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC) mini-computer.

In those early days, software development was very limited and primitive; however, computer technology has changed rapidly and significantly since that time. Today, my iPhone 5 Smartphone has thousands of times more power than some of those early computers I worked with in the 1980s, and that has enabled the development of much more powerful and complex software to utilize that additional processing power. As software development has become much more widespread and has grown into much larger and more complex ...

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