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Subject: Agile

Enabling Shift-Left Testing from Small Teams to Large Systems

Enabling Shift-Left Testing from Small Teams to Large Systems

• SEI Blog
Nanette Brown

Shift left is a familiar exhortation to teams and organizations engaged in Agile and Lean software development. It most commonly refers to incorporating test practices and an overall test sensibility early in the software development process (although it may also be applied in a DevOps context to the need to pull forward operations practices). Shift left sounds reasonably straightforward: just take the tasks that are on the right-hand side of your timeline and pull them...

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Agile Strategy: Short-Cycle Strategy Development and Execution

Agile Strategy: Short-Cycle Strategy Development and Execution

• SEI Blog
Linda Parker Gates

When the rate of change inside an institution becomes slower than the rate of change outside, the end is in sight. - Jack Welch In a world of agile everything, agile concepts are being applied in areas well beyond software development. At the NDIA Agile in Government Summit held in Washington, D.C. in June, Dr. George Duchak, the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Cyber, Command & Control, Communications & Networks, and Business Systems, spoke...

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Infrastructure as Code: Moving Beyond DevOps and Agile

Infrastructure as Code: Moving Beyond DevOps and Agile

• SEI Blog
John Klein

Citing the need to provide a technical advantage to the warfighter, the Department of Defense (DoD) has recently made the adoption of cloud computing technologies a priority. Infrastructure as code (IaC), the process and technology of managing and provisioning computers and networks (physical and/or virtual) through scripts, is a key enabler for efficient migration of legacy systems to the cloud. This blog post details research aimed at developing technology to help software sustainment organizations automatically...

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Why You Should Apply Agile-DevOps Earlier in the Lifecycle

Why You Should Apply Agile-DevOps Earlier in the Lifecycle

• SEI Blog
Hasan Yasar

DevOps is a set of development practices that emphasizes collaboration, communication, and automation throughout the application lifecycle. In DevOps, all stakeholders--including IT operations staff, testers, developers, customers, and security personnel--are embedded from the inception of the project to its end. This blog post describes SEI research and customer engagements aimed at applying DevOps practices that are typically used at the end of the lifecycle to automate governance at the beginning of the development timeline....

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Agile Metrics: A New Approach to Oversight

Agile Metrics: A New Approach to Oversight

• SEI Blog
Will Hayes

There's been a widespread movement in recent years from traditional waterfall development to Agile approaches in government software acquisition programs. This transition has created the need for personnel who oversee government software acquisitions to become fluent in metrics used to monitor systems developed with Agile methods. This post, which is a follow-up to my earlier post on Agile metrics, presents updates on our Agile-metrics work based on recent interactions with government programs....

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SEI Researchers Provide Congressional Testimony on Social Security

SEI Researchers Provide Congressional Testimony on Social Security

• SEI Blog
Suzanne Miller

This post is co-authored by Will Hayes and Eileen Wrubel. On July 14, 2016, the House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Social Security convened a hearing on the Social Security Administration's (SSA) information technology modernization plan. The hearing focused on the current state of the Social Security Administration's (SSA) Information Technology (IT) modernization plan and best practices for IT modernization, including oversight of agile software development. Agile development approaches, relatively new in government settings, create...

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Helping Large Government Programs Adopt and Adapt to Agile Methods

Helping Large Government Programs Adopt and Adapt to Agile Methods

• SEI Blog
Harry Levinson

The mix of program-scale Agile and technical baseline ownership drives cheaper, better, and faster deployment of software-intensive systems. Although these practices aren't new, the SEI has seen how their combination can have dramatic effects. The Air Force Distributed Common Ground System (AF DCGS)--the Air Force's primary weapon system for intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance, planning, direction, collection, processing, exploitation, analysis, and dissemination--employs a global communications architecture that connects multiple intelligence platforms and sensors. The AF DCGS challenge...

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Is Your Organization Ready for Agile? - Part 7

Is Your Organization Ready for Agile? - Part 7

• SEI Blog
Suzanne Miller

This blog post is the seventh and final installment in a series on Agile adoption in regulated settings, such as the Department of Defense, Internal Revenue Service, and Food and Drug Administration. Organizations and federal agencies seeking to adopt Agile often struggle because they do not understand the adoption risks involved when contemplating the use of Agile approaches. This ongoing series on Readiness and Fit Analysis (RFA) focuses on helping federal agencies, such as the...

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Agile Project Management for Information Security Continuous Monitoring Response

Agile Project Management for Information Security Continuous Monitoring Response

• SEI Blog
Doug Gray

According to the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), Information Security Continuous Monitoring (ISCM) is a process for continuously analyzing, reporting, and responding to risks to operational resilience (in an automated manner, whenever possible). Compared to the traditional method of collecting and assessing risks at longer intervals--for instance, monthly or annually--ISCM promises to provide near-real-time situational awareness of an organization's risk profile. ISCM creates challenges as well as benefits, however, because the velocity of...

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Agile, Architecture Fault Analysis, the BIS Wassenaar Rule, and Computer Network Design: The Latest Research from the SEI

Agile, Architecture Fault Analysis, the BIS Wassenaar Rule, and Computer Network Design: The Latest Research from the SEI

• SEI Blog
Douglas C. Schmidt

By Douglas C. Schmidt Principal Researcher As part of an ongoing effort to keep you informed about our latest work, I would like to let you know about some recently published SEI technical reports, technical notes, and white papers. These reports highlight the latest work of SEI technologists in Agile software development and Agile-at-scale, software architecture fault analysis, computer network design, confidence in system properties, and system-of-systems development as well as commentary from two CERT...

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10 Recommended Practices for Achieving Agile at Scale

10 Recommended Practices for Achieving Agile at Scale

• SEI Blog
SPRUCE Project

This is the second installment of two blog posts highlighting recommended practices for achieving Agile at Scale that was originally published on the Cyber Security & Information Systems Information Analysis Center (CSIAC) website. The first post in the series by Ipek Ozkaya and Robert Nord explored challenges to achieving Agile at Scale and presented the first five recommended practices: 1. Team coordination2. Architectural runway3. Align development and decomposition.4. Quality-attribute scenarios5. Test-driven developmentThis post presents the...

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10 Recommended Practices for Achieving Agile at Scale

10 Recommended Practices for Achieving Agile at Scale

• SEI Blog
SPRUCE Project

This post is the first in a two-part series highlighting 10 recommended practices for achieving agile at scale. Software and acquisition professionals often have questions about recommended practices related to modern software development methods, techniques, and tools, such as how to apply agile methods in government acquisition frameworks, systematic verification and validation of safety-critical systems, and operational risk management. In the Department of Defense (DoD), these techniques are just a few of the options available...

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Testing, Agile Metrics, Fuzzy Hashing, Android, and Big Data: The SEI Blog Mid-Year Review (Top 10 Posts)

Testing, Agile Metrics, Fuzzy Hashing, Android, and Big Data: The SEI Blog Mid-Year Review (Top 10 Posts)

• SEI Blog
Douglas C. Schmidt

The SEI Blog continues to attract an ever-increasing number of readers interested in learning more about our work in agile metrics, high-performance computing, malware analysis, testing, and other topics. As we reach the mid-year point, this blog posting highlights our 10 most popular posts, and links to additional related resources you might find of interest (Many of our posts cover related research areas, so we grouped them together for ease of reference.) Before we take...

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Applying the 12 Agile Principles in the Department of Defense

Applying the 12 Agile Principles in the Department of Defense

• SEI Blog
Suzanne Miller

In 2010, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) issued a 25-point plan to reform IT that called on federal agencies to employ "shorter delivery time frames, an approach consistent with Agile" when developing or acquiring IT. OMB data suggested Agile practices could help federal agencies and other organizations design and acquire software more effectively, but agencies needed to understand the risks involved in adopting these practices....

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Is Your Organization Ready for Agile? - Part 6

Is Your Organization Ready for Agile? - Part 6

• SEI Blog
Suzanne Miller

This blog post is the sixth in a series on Agile adoption in regulated settings, such as the Department of Defense, Internal Revenue Service, and Food and Drug Administration. "Across the government, we've decreased the time it takes across our high-impact investments to deliver functionality by 20 days over the past year alone. That is a big indicator that agencies across the board are adopting agile or agile-like practices," Lisa Schlosser, acting federal chief information...

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The 2014 Year in Review: Top 10 Blog Posts

The 2014 Year in Review: Top 10 Blog Posts

• SEI Blog
Douglas C. Schmidt

In 2014, the SEI blog has experienced unprecedented growth, with visitors in record numbers learning more about our work in big data, secure coding for Android, malware analysis, Heartbleed, and V Models for Testing. In 2014 (through December 21), the SEI blog logged 129,000 visits, nearly double the entire 2013 yearly total of 66,757 visits....

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Agile Software Teams: How they Engage with Systems Engineering on Department of Defense Acquisition Programs

Agile Software Teams: How they Engage with Systems Engineering on Department of Defense Acquisition Programs

• SEI Blog
Eileen Wrubel

Tension and disconnects between software and systems engineering functions are not new. Grady Campbell wrote in 2004 that "systems engineering and software engineering need to overcome a conceptual incompatibility (physical versus informational views of a system)" and that systems engineering decisions can create or contribute to software risk if they "prematurely over-constrain software engineering choices" or "inadequately communicate information, including unknowns and uncertainties, needed for effective software engineering." This tension holds true for Department of...

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Agile Metrics: Seven Categories

Agile Metrics: Seven Categories

• SEI Blog
Will Hayes

More and more, suppliers of software-reliant Department of Defense (DoD) systems are moving away from traditional waterfall development practices in favor of agile methods. As described in previous posts on this blog, agile methods are effective for shortening delivery cycles and managing costs. If the benefits of agile are to be realized effectively for the DoD, however, personnel responsible for overseeing software acquisitions must be fluent in metrics used to monitor these programs. This blog...

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Evolutionary Improvements of Quality Attributes: Performance in Practice

Evolutionary Improvements of Quality Attributes: Performance in Practice

• SEI Blog
Neil Ernst

Continuous delivery practices, popularized in Jez Humble's 2010 book Continuous Delivery, enable rapid and reliable software system deployment by emphasizing the need for automated testing and building, as well as closer cooperation between developers and delivery teams. As part of the Carnegie Mellon University Software Engineering Institute's (SEI) focus on Agile software development, we have been researching ways to incorporate quality attributes into the short iterations common to Agile development....

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The Latest Published Research from the SEI

The Latest Published Research from the SEI

• SEI Blog
Douglas C. Schmidt

As part of an ongoing effort to keep you informed about our latest work, I would like to let you know about some recently published SEI technical reports and notes. These reports highlight the latest work of SEI technologists in assuring software reliability, future architectures, Agile software teams, insider threat, and HTML5. This post includes a listing of each report, author(s), and links where the published reports can be accessed on the SEI website....

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Is Your Organization Ready for Agile? - Part 5

Is Your Organization Ready for Agile? - Part 5

• SEI Blog
Suzanne Miller

This blog post is the fifth installment in a series on Agile adoption in regulated settings, such as the Department of Defense, Internal Revenue Service, and Food and Drug Administration. Federal agencies depend on IT to support their missions and spent at least $76 billion on IT in fiscal year 2011, according to a report from the Government Accountability Office (GAO). The catalyst for the study was congressional concern over prior IT expenditures that produced...

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2013: The Research Year in Review

2013: The Research Year in Review

• SEI Blog
Douglas C. Schmidt

As part of our mission to advance the practice of software engineering and cybersecurity through research and technology transition, our work focuses on ensuring that software-reliant systems are developed and operated with predictable and improved quality, schedule, and cost. To achieve this mission, the SEI conducts research and development activities involving the Department of Defense (DoD), federal agencies, industry, and academia. As we look back on 2013, this blog posting highlights our many R&D accomplishments...

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Is Your Organization Ready for Agile? - Part 4

Is Your Organization Ready for Agile? - Part 4

• SEI Blog
Suzanne Miller

This blog post is the fourth in a series on Agile adoption in regulated settings, such as the Department of Defense, Internal Revenue Service, and Food and Drug Administration. Government agencies, including the departments of Defense, Veteran Affairs, and Treasury, are being asked by their government program office to adopt Agile methods. These are organizations that have traditionally utilized a "waterfall" life cycle model (as epitomized by the engineering "V" charts). Programming teams in these...

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Agile and Architecture Practices for Rapid Delivery

Agile and Architecture Practices for Rapid Delivery

• SEI Blog
Stephany Bellomo

Agile projects with incremental development lifecycles are showing greater promise in enabling organizations to rapidly field software compared to waterfall projects. There is a lack of clarity, however, regarding the factors that constitute and contribute to success of Agile projects. A team of researchers from Carnegie Mellon University's Software Engineering Institute, including Ipek Ozkaya, Robert Nord, and myself, interviewed project teams with incremental development lifecycles from five government and commercial organizations. This blog posting summarizes...

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Is Your Organization Ready for Agile? - Part 3

Is Your Organization Ready for Agile? - Part 3

• SEI Blog
Suzanne Miller

This blog post is the third in a series on Agile adoption in regulated settings, such as the Department of Defense, Internal Revenue Service, and Food and Drug Administration. In our work with the Department of Defense (DoD) and other government agencies such as the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs and the U.S. Department of the Treasury, we often encounter organizations that have been asked by their government program office to adopt agile methods. These...

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The SEI Blog: A Two-Year Retrospective

The SEI Blog: A Two-Year Retrospective

• SEI Blog
Douglas C. Schmidt

In launching the SEI blog two years ago, one of our top priorities was to advance the scope and impact of SEI research and development projects, while increasing the visibility of the work by SEI technologists who staff these projects. After 114 posts, and 72,608 visits from readers of our blog, this post reflects on some highlights from the last two years and gives our readers a preview of posts to come....

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Is Your Organization Ready for Agile? - Part 2

Is Your Organization Ready for Agile? - Part 2

• SEI Blog
Suzanne Miller

This blog post is the second in a series on Agile adoption in regulated settings, such as the Department of Defense, Internal Revenue Service, and Food and Drug Administration. The adoption of new practices, such as agile or any new practice for that matter, is a task that is best undertaken with both eyes open. There are often disconnects between the adopting organization's current practice and culture and the new practices being adopted. This posting...

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Looking Ahead: The SEI Technical Strategic Plan

Looking Ahead: The SEI Technical Strategic Plan

• SEI Blog
Bill Scherlis

The Department of Defense (DoD) has become deeply and fundamentally reliant on software. As a federally funded research and development center (FFRDC), the SEI is chartered to work with the DoD to meet the challenges of designing, producing, assuring, and evolving software-reliant systems in an affordable and dependable manner. This blog post--the first in a multi-part series--outlines key elements of the forthcoming SEI Strategic Research Plan that addresses these challenges through research and acquisition support...

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The Latest Research from the SEI

The Latest Research from the SEI

• SEI Blog
Douglas C. Schmidt

As part of an ongoing effort to keep you informed about our latest work, I'd like to let you know about some recently published SEI technical reports and notes. These reports highlight the latest work of SEI technologists in information assurance and agile, the Team Software Process (TSP), CERT secure coding standards, resource allocation, fuzzing, cloud computing interoperability, and cloud computing at the tactical edge. This post includes a listing of each report, author(s), and...

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Is Your Organization Ready for Agile? - Part 1

Is Your Organization Ready for Agile? - Part 1

• SEI Blog
Suzanne Miller

This blog post is the first in a series on Agile adoption in regulated settings, such as the Department of Defense, Internal Revenue Service, and Food and Drug Administration. All software engineering and management practices are based on cultural and social assumptions. When adopting new practices, leaders often find mismatches between those assumptions and the realities within their organizations. The SEI has an analysis method called Readiness and Fit Analysis (RFA) that allows the profiling...

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Addressing the Challenges of Agile with TSP: A Case Study

Addressing the Challenges of Agile with TSP: A Case Study

• SEI Blog
Bill Nichols

This post is the third and final installment in a three-part series that explains how Nedbank, one of the largest banks in South Africa, is rolling out the SEI's Team Software Process (TSP) throughout its IT organization. In the first post of this series, I examined how Nedbank addressed issues of quality and productivity among its software engineering teams using TSP at the individual and team level. In the second post, I discussed how the...

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Applying Agility to Common Operating Platform Environment Initiatives

Applying Agility to Common Operating Platform Environment Initiatives

• SEI Blog
Douglas C. Schmidt

While agile methods have become popular in commercial software development organizations, the engineering disciplines needed to apply agility to mission-critical, software-reliant systems are not as well defined or practiced. To help bridge this gap, the SEI recently hosted the Agile Research Forum. The event brought together researchers and practitioners from around the world to discuss when and how to best apply agile methods in mission-critical environments found in government and many industries. This blog posting,...

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Balancing Agility and Discipline at Scale

Balancing Agility and Discipline at Scale

• SEI Blog
Douglas C. Schmidt

While agile methods have become popular in commercial software development organizations, the engineering disciplines needed to apply agility to mission-critical, software-reliant systems are not as well defined or practiced. To help bridge this gap, the SEI recently hosted the Agile Research Forum. The event brought together researchers and practitioners from around the world to discuss when and how to best apply agile methods in mission-critical environments found in government and many industries....

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Agile Methods: Tools, Techniques, and Practices for the DoD Community

Agile Methods: Tools, Techniques, and Practices for the DoD Community

• SEI Blog
Douglas C. Schmidt

While agile methods have become popular in commercial software development organizations, the engineering disciplines needed to apply agility to mission-critical, software-reliant systems are not as well defined or practiced. To help bridge this gap, the SEI recently hosted the Agile Research Forum, which brought together researchers and practitioners from around the world to discuss when and how to best apply agile methods in mission-critical environments found in government and many industries. This blog posting, the...

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Applying Agile at-Scale for Mission-Critical Software-Reliant Systems

Applying Agile at-Scale for Mission-Critical Software-Reliant Systems

• SEI Blog
Douglas C. Schmidt

While agile methods have become popular in commercial software development organizations, the engineering disciplines needed to apply agility to mission-critical software-reliant systems are not as well defined or practiced. To help bridge this gap, the SEI recently hosted the Agile Research Forum, which brought together researchers and practitioners from around the world to discuss when and how to best apply agile methods in the mission-critical environments found in government and many industries. This blog posting,...

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Rapid Lifecycle Development in an Agile Context

Rapid Lifecycle Development in an Agile Context

• SEI Blog
Robert Nord

New acquisition guidelines from the Department of Defense (DoD) aimed at reducing system lifecycle time and effort are encouraging the adoption of Agile methods. There is a general lack, however, of practical guidance on how to employ Agile methods effectively for DoD acquisition programs. This blog posting describes our research on providing software and systems architects with a decision making framework for reducing integration risk with Agile methods, thereby reducing the time and resources needed...

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Toward Agile Strategic Planning

Toward Agile Strategic Planning

• SEI Blog
Linda Parker Gates

The appeal of Agile or lightweight development methods has grown steadily in the software development community. Having spent a number of years investigating strategic planning approaches, I've recently been thinking about whether Agile principles can be--and should be--applied to strategic planning. This blog post examines the applicability of Agile principles to strategic planning....

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An Overview of the SEI Technologies Forum

An Overview of the SEI Technologies Forum

• SEI Blog
Douglas C. Schmidt

We use the SEI Blog to inform you about the latest work at the SEI, so this week I'm summarizing some video presentations recently posted to the SEI website from the SEI Technologies Forum. This virtual event held in late 2011 brought together participants from more than 50 countries to engage with SEI researchers on a sample of our latest work, including cloud computing, insider threat, Agile development, software architecture, security, measurement, process improvement, and...

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Using Agile Effectively in DoD Environments

Using Agile Effectively in DoD Environments

• SEI Blog
Mary Ann Lapham

Over the past several years, the SEI has explored the use of Agile methods in DoD environments, focusing on both if and when they are suitable and how to use them most effectively when they are suitable. Our research has approached the topic of Agile methods both from an acquisition and a technical perspective. Stephany Bellomo described some of our experiences in previous blog posts What is Agile? and Building a Foundation for Agile. This...

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A Summary of Key SEI R&D Accomplishments in 2011

A Summary of Key SEI R&D Accomplishments in 2011

• SEI Blog
Douglas C. Schmidt

A key mission of the SEI is to advance the practice of software engineering and cyber security through research and technology transition to ensure the development and operation of software-reliant Department of Defense (DoD) systems with predictable and improved quality, schedule, and cost. To achieve this mission, the SEI conducts research and development (R&D) activities involving the DoD, federal agencies, industry, and academia. One of my initial blog postings summarized the new and upcoming R&D...

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Lean Principles and Software Architecture: The Waste of Information Transformation

Lean Principles and Software Architecture: The Waste of Information Transformation

• SEI Blog
Nanette Brown

Occasionally this blog will highlight different posts from the SEI blogosphere. Today's post is from the SATURN Network blog by Nanette Brown, a senior member of the technical staff in the SEI's Research, Technology, and System Solutions program. This post, the third in a series on lean principles and architecture, continues the discussion on the eight types of waste identified in Lean manufacturing and how these types of waste manifst themselves in software development. The...

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Building a Foundation for Agile (To Enable Rapid Change)

Building a Foundation for Agile (To Enable Rapid Change)

• SEI Blog
Stephany Bellomo

This is a second in a series of posts focusing on Agile software development. In the first post, "What is Agile?" we provided a short overview of the key elements of the Agile approach, and we introduced the Agile Manifesto. One of the guiding principles from the manifesto emphasizes valuing people over developing processes. While the manifesto clearly alludes to the fact that too much focus on process (and not results) can be a bad...

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 What is Agile?

What is Agile?

• SEI Blog
Stephany Bellomo

If you ask the question, "What is Agile?" you are likely to get lots of different answers. That's because there is no universally accepted formal definition for Agile. To make matters worse, there are ongoing debates over what Agile software development SHOULD mean. That being the case, when answering the question, "What is Agile?" the safest bet is to stick to what people can agree on, and people generally agree on three key elements of...

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