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How has the world changed since Agile Manifesto happened?

Agile Manifesto was (formulated? signed? declared?) in 2001 February. The manifesto was born out the software development challenges faced in the 90′s.

More than a decade has passed and we live in a different world.

6 ways the world has changed

The World Today

1) Pace of change has become faster and faster

Technology is changing faster. User preference is changing faster.

Agility is much more relevant today than it was in the nineties.

Responding to change is the dividing line between success and failure.

2) Our world has become globalized

Thanks to communication and collaboration technologies we can work from anywhere and collaborate with people anywhere across the world.

Distance is no longer a show stopper.

Co-location is a thing of past.

3) Software is now an integral part of most product and service offering

In the nineties, software was used to gain internal cost efficiency. Today, the primary focus has shifted to revenue maximization – to innovative product and service design. Software has moved from back-office to mainstream. Consequence of failure is much more severe.

Management visibility into the development process has become critical.

The need to understand and manage risk has become critical.

4) Software tools and languages have become much more complex

Tools and languages have become richer, libraries have proliferated and available open source options have multiplied. By the time you master on version the next version is released with more options. In addition, application development has become multi-tiered with different technology for each tier.

No developer can master all the languages, tools and libraries required for executing a real life project.

There is a need for specialist knowledge.

5) The world has become multi-channel two way communication

Internet opened up channel of direct two way communication with the end customer. Mobile computing and social media opened up more channels of interaction. Ensuring seamless user experience across channels is one of the keys to success.

Usability and user experience requires specialized knowledge and techniques.

It is no longer possible for business users alone to guide the developers.

6) We live in an API Economy where everything is interlinked

We have managed to interlink not only applications within our organizations, we have also linked applications cutting across organization boundary. The SOA style of application design and the API economy has ensured that hardly anything today is standalone. many of the inter-linkages and hidden behind layers of abstraction and are far from obvious. That poses special challenge for testing.

It may no longer be feasible to write a test case and make changes to the program to pass the test.

Testing and test planning requires serious attention.

In Summary…

Agility and need to respond to change is ever more critical today.

What is out:

  • Co-located teams
  • Cross-functional teams with full-time involvement of all members

What is in:

  • Globally distributed team supported by communication and collaboration technology
  • Specialists with specific expertise time-sharing between multiple projects

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More Stories By Udayan Banerjee

Udayan Banerjee is CTO at NIIT Technologies Ltd, an IT industry veteran with more than 30 years' experience. He blogs at
The blog focuses on emerging technologies like cloud computing, mobile computing, social media aka web 2.0 etc. It also contains stuff about agile methodology and trends in architecture. It is a world view seen through the lens of a software service provider based out of Bangalore and serving clients across the world. The focus is mostly on...

  • Keep the hype out and project a realistic picture
  • Uncover trends not very apparent
  • Draw conclusion from real life experience
  • Point out fallacy & discrepancy when I see them
  • Talk about trends which I find interesting

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