You can divide agile practices roughly into 1) customer and management practices, which address agile requirements analysis, planning and project management, and 2) programmer practices, which address how to work with the code in an agile way. Most of the agile methods focus primarily on customer and management practices.
Planning and Managing the Project
Though specific practices may vary between the different agile methods, there are many common practices and principles. The most basic management practice common to all agile methods is to iterate early and regularly. Agile projects have releases of some length, and iterations of some length. These releases and iterations must be planned. An agile team begins a project by identifying and prioritizing a superset of features. It then plans a release (roughly) and the first iteration. From then on, iteration by iteration, the team uses continuous planning to refine the scope of that release plan as new information is discovered and requirements change. The iteration plans should also get more accurate and precise as the team refines and normalizes its velocity (the measured work it accomplishes per unit of time). The management practices give managers and the entire team a better and better sense for exactly which features will be delivered by the deadline. A separate menu to the left covers Programmer Practices.
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