Agile is more than a project management framework,
it is also a mindset, a different way of thinking altogether.

In 2001, a group of software developers and project thought leaders brought together by their shared frustration of how software projects were being managed, came up with the Agile Manifesto. The manifesto consists of four values upheld by Agilists:

Individuals and Interactions
over Processes and Tools

Working software
over Comprehensive Documentation

Customer collaboration
over Contract Negotiation

Responding to change
over Following a Plan

From the Agile Manifesto came 12 Agile principles describing how Agile projects run. Agile software development has become a dominant force in software development and is spreading to other areas of business like marketing, operations, and sales.

Traditional vs. Agile

The traditional Waterfall process plans the entire project before development begins. Project phases are stacked one after the other like dominoes, and each phase must be completed before teams can progress to the next. Details are locked in up front to create a neat and tidy plan.

Waterfall was described for the first time in a paper by Winston Royce in 1970. At that time,  software development was done with punchcards using a computer as big as a room.  Even Royce saw the challenges inherent in the Waterfall model, stating that the framework is “risky and invites failure”, as moving “upstream” creates massive amounts of disruption and redesign.

Today, things are a little different. Developers can write a line of code, compile, and see what happens. Trial and error is possible! In software, things are always changing. Now, software development should be supported by a lightweight framework that embraces change and drives teams to collaborate and learn. Complex projects require an adaptive and empirical model like Agile.

Why Agile Is Better


Value Driven

In Agile, we order the needs of the customer by what is most valuable to them and work from the top of that list, knocking out small increments of potentially-shippable software that deliver the highest value to customers. In Waterfall, that value is randomized, as the project is broken down into components to increase efficiency.

Predictable Progress

We work in consistent cycles to create a product increment. The end goal of each cycle is to have developed a product increment that is “potentially shippable.”   

Less Risk

We use an empirical-process model, which means decisions are based on observations and data rather than opinions. Agile has check-ins along the way to limit surprises and provide teams the opportunity to adapt and innovate.

Built-in Flexibility

Unlike Waterfall, Agile has built-in flexibility in its practices, processes, and culture, and it can handle changes as they come.


With Agile, work is intentionally limited. This allows teams to focus, swarm, and go fast.  

Pragmatic Agile Transformation

Agile Velocity can explain the various approaches and help you decide which might be best for your team. Our Agile practitioners stay current with the latest changes in Agile frameworks and practices and can share their knowledge with you.

Path to Agility®

The Path to Agility® is a proven framework used by organizations to complete their Agile Transformation. 

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Thinking of adopting Agile? We can determine Agile readiness or where your organization is in the transformation. 

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Learn why Agile is going mainstream

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