A Brief History of Agile

Monday, June 8, 2015
posted by daveb

Dozens of great books have been written around product and software development with lean/agile and related concepts over the last 50 years or so. While Agile is still young and evolving rapidly (bear in mind the term Agile was only coined in 2001) Lean and related concepts like the Theory of Constraints pre-date that term by decades. The Agile Manifesto was not the invention of iterative, business-focused development processes, it was just a milestone in its evolution towards mainstream adoption in software development. Very seldom have I seen an online resource even mention this fact – I guess the Internet believes history started in around 2000!

A small, random scattering of books to get some history on Agile and some insight into the origins of Lean and Theory of Constraints:

The Toyota Way
The Goal (Goldratt) 
The Mythical Man Month (Brooks) 
Extreme Programming Explained (Beck)
Lean Software Development (Poppendieck)
The Phoenix Project
Toyota Kata (Rother)
Peopleware (deMarco)
The Lean Startup

Hopefully some of these will lead you to deeper insight than online resources and get you past the hyperbole of Agile, towards seeing the 50+ years of solid evidence that supports its underlying hypothesis.

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