The Importance of Being Agile
Flickr.com, which was recently acquired by Yahoo, has undergone many changes since its inception. Before it was the "best online photo management and sharing application in the world", it was a simple flash-based chat site. According to Flickr developer Eric Costello (interviewed here),its evolution has been the result of developing and releasing newfeatures constently, and using member feedback to shape futurereleases; a process widely referred to as Iterative, or Agile Development:
"because we're quick to develop and deploy new things, and because we have a talkative bunch of users and a lot of places for them to talk to us, we can quickly assimilate suggestions from thecommunity. We can build a feature and deploy it sometimes within a week of hearing a feature request."
We've been using the agile method for about 5 months now and we're already seeing the benefits. We're developing faster, and with betterresults because changes and new features to our software arecustomer-driven. Put simply, there's less guesswork. And we like that.