It was agile and flew

Ricardo Barrera


Scientific methods have been applied not only to the development of science but also to technological developments. Moreover, science and technology often progress hand in hand. In both cases adequate strategies are required to ratify the knowledge sought after. These strategies include the aspects related to the methodologies employed for organizing the whole project, intending to attain the proposed goal effectively and efficiently.
In spite of the scientists’ alleged lack of interest in material benefits and their characterization of their research efforts as a search for knowledge beyond reward and time limits, it is not uncommon to see a competitive attitude in them and the urgency to be (either individually or as a team) the first to achieve success.
This has been particularly seen in the computing technology field where an arduous discussion has taken place with regard to suitable methods for producing new quality systems in reasonable time periods.
During the last few years of the twentieth century a group of methodologies sprang up in the software area which were initially identified, not quite accurately, as “light”. In the year 2001 the promoters of such methodologies met and changed the word “light” for “agile”, thereby constituting the “Agile Alliance”, for the purpose of disseminating the principles and the methodology. A few years sufficed to prove that the new approach obtained significant results in various technological spheres.
Curiously enough, the best example of such methodologies is found in 1899, when Orville and Wilbur Wright started to develop the project that ended up, four years later, in the first mechanically propelled manned flight. We narrate this fascinating adventure of knowledge and human inventiveness comparing the different phases they went through to the agile scientific methodologies of today.


scientific methods; agile; systemic thinking; organizational patterns

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