What is agile development? 4 notes on a Silicon Valley innovation strategy taking on business

The Wall Street Journal featured an innovation strategy used by Campbell Soup Co. to launch new versions of its Goldfish snacks targeted at an older age group.

The strategy, called "agile development," is traditionally used in IT departments, but is beginning to cross over into other arenas of business to tackle innovation problems, according to WSJ. Here are five notes on agile development:  

  1. Agile development was created by software developers and is commonly used by Silicon Valley companies, according to WSJ. The first "Manifesto for Agile Software Development" was published in 2001.
  2. The process improvement model requires people to create cross-departmental teams and collaborate on short deadlines to solve problems in steps.
  3. Campbell applied the strategy to product development simply by finding the principles online, according to WSJ. It required some cultural change, as employees were used to longer projects, and the principles required some modifications to fit food industry-specific challenges like food safety, according to the report.
  4. Campbell was able to reduce its innovation timeline from two years to nine months and now plans to use the strategy across product lines, according to WSJ.

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