In 2001 a group of application developers came up with a new way to approach software
development, which they named “Agile.” More of a concept or a philosophy than a methodology,
Agile focuses on producing software in increments through rapid iterations. Over the intervening
years, Agile has evolved from strictly a development approach to one that is also used effectively
for maintenance work.
Health care IT departments have been under an incredible amount of stress these days. They
face a number of challenges and escalating expectations regarding cost pressures, budget cuts,
and the need to deliver on crucial, time-bound projects. As a result of these pressures, IT
departments have started to look for new approaches to existing ways of doing work—and Agile is
an increasingly popular choice.
This report provides a primer on Agile, explaining its roots and how it relates to other forms of IT
development. Through a case study, this report also highlights a number of potential challenges
organizations may face when adopting Agile, as well as some strategic steps they can take to
overcome those barriers.
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