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Flexibility and Agility

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Timo Leimbach - Participant

Rooting agility - The different origins of agile methods and their contributions to the conceptualisation

If people discuss agile methodologies two points are often obvious. The first one is that in many articles and discussions on agile methods it is stated that they emerged somehow during the 1990s as a reaction to other methodologies such as the so- called waterfall model. A major milestone or turning point in this development was the famous Agile Manifesto. A second one deals with the perception of agile as “one” specific methodology. Often it culminates in the point that the SCRUM methodology, which is according to different surveys nowadays by far the most widespread one, is taken as “the” agile methodology. Obviously, both points are interrelated and based on a set of misperceptions of this development. Foremost, the agile manifesto was only the minimum common denominator between very different approaches and methodologies addressing a set of common issues that emerged in very different environments within and without the field of software development.

Even the early works researching into the roots of agile methods, which are mostly based on anecdotal accounts about the use of iterative or similar approaches in software development practices before the 1990s, does not really challenge these simplifications. Moreover, by using only few examples of early applications they actually contribute to the narrative of agile methods as a reaction to other software development approaches. Only in recent years a few papers show that agile methodologies can be traced back to a variety of developments in different industries. This variety of different roots ranges from different types of software development processes and traditional production processes to innovation management approaches underlines the need to analyze their impact.
19 Nov 2022

ID: 300111064