There are many Agile development methodologies in use today but SCRUM (http://www.scrumalliance.org/pages/what_is_scrum) is the one used for this project.
SIPRI Portal Project and Agile Management: SIPRI (the research staff, librarians and editors, communications and IT) is the customer for a web portal that integrates SIPRI's databases, publications and library holdings. There are three main groups for this project: the customer, the development team and the users. Based on the Agile Manifesto and Principles, the management methodology for this project relies on continual communication among these groups with regular interactions between the project manager and the development team during the development phase.
The customer will provide a list of prioritized features (aka backlog). In addition, the customer is responsible for ongoing review and re-prioritization of the backlog to ensure that the features being developed and the order in which they are developed remain consistent with the project's guiding vision and customer and user requirements.
The development team will work on a series of sprints, each of which is expected to last from two weeks to a month with a deliverable at the end of each sprint. Once the deliverable is received, the customer and a team of users will test the deliverable against the backlog and report via the project manager to the development team on the deliverable's suitability.
This kind of continual interaction is necessary for the methodology to work. In addition, employing this approach means a better end product, one that can adjust to customer requirements in a timely and cost effective manner rather than presenting large parts of the project that become unwieldy when features need to be re-prioritized later on.
Manifesto for Agile Software Development (From http://agilemanifesto.org/):
"We are uncovering better ways of developing software by doing it and helping others do it. Through this work we have come to value:
Individuals and interactions over processes and tools Working software over comprehensive documentation Customer collaboration over contract negotiation Responding to change over following a plan
That is, while there is value in the items on the right, we value the items on the left more.
Principles behind the Agile Manifesto
We follow these principles:
Our highest priority is to satisfy the customer through early and continuous delivery of valuable software.
Welcome changing requirements, even late in development. Agile processes harness change for the customer's competitive advantage.
Deliver working software frequently, from a couple of weeks to a couple of months, with a preference to the shorter timescale.
Business people and developers must work together daily throughout the project.
Build projects around motivated individuals. Give them the environment and support they need, and trust them to get the job done.
The most efficient and effective method of conveying information to and within a development team is face-to-face conversation.
Working software is the primary measure of progress.
Agile processes promote sustainable development. The sponsors, developers, and users should be able to maintain a constant pace indefinitely.
Continuous attention to technical excellence and good design enhances agility.
Simplicity--the art of maximizing the amount of work not done--is essential.
The best architectures, requirements, and designs emerge from self-organizing teams.
At regular intervals, the team reflects on how to become more effective, then tunes and adjusts its behavior accordingly."