Agile development processes

Agile, scrum, and Accelerate

This toolkit is based on using agile development techniques during Alpha and Beta, and more specifically focuses on scrum, as it is most commonly applied and widely understood.

Other agile techniques such as Kanban, extreme programming, and feature- or test-driven development, may be used in Accelerate, as well as more traditional development methods, such as waterfall.

This toolkit is not meant to be a training manual for agile or scrum, but rather to give brief descriptions of their techniques so the wider audience can understand the processes within Accelerate.

Features of agile methods

This Accelerate toolkit describes agile development methods (usually scrum) including:

  • short iterations (sprints) that deliver release-ready product increments every 3 or 4 weeks using a co-located team
  • building up a minimum viable product (MVP) through iterative product releases following the product roadmap
  • adding product features described in user stories
  • prioritising the work backlog by the product owner following the shortest path to greatest value (for customers and investors), leading to best use of the available budget on the features of greatest value
  • exit ramps available after each product release, allowing the project to stop with a working system at the end of a release
  • clear definition of done, to ensure quality is reviewed with the product owner or stakeholders at the end of each sprint.

Agile manifesto and principles

The agile manifesto and principles are available at

Evidence for agile’s success

Surveys have confirmed repeatedly over the last seven years that agile projects have higher success rates when compared with traditional approaches, for example:

  • Agile projects are successful three times more often than non-agile projects (2011 CHAOS report from the Standish Group).


Figure: Comparative success rates for waterfall and agile projects

Source: The CHAOS Manifesto, the Standish Group 2012

Comparison of methodologies

Figure: Comparison of methodologies

Source: DDJ2008 Project success survey (copyright ©Scott Ambler)


Page last updated: 13/04/2016