This study set out to determine various aspects of the agile approaches to software development. These included an investigation into the principles and practices driving these methodologies; determining the applicability of these approaches to the current software development needs; determining whether these methodologies can comply with software engineering standards (as set out for example by ISO); investigating the feasibility of these approaches for the telecommunication industry; establishing whether practitioners are reaping the benefits that are advertised by agile proponents; and attempting to discover short-comings of the agile paradigm. This dissertation examines the aforementioned issues and tries to provide answers to them. It is argued that: Agile software development is suited to projects where the system evolves over the life cycle of the project. These methodologies are intended to seamlessly handle changing requirements. Thus, using an agile approach might provide a competitive advantage in developing e-business solutions which are tightly coupled with the business strategy and needs. It is shown that agile methodologies can comply with software engineering standards such as ISO 12207:1995 and ISO 15288:2002. Furthermore diligent application of certain agile methodologies may result in a level 3 Capability Maturity Model (CMM) grading. Evidence from the feedback of a case study conducted on an XP project team, supports the view that XP, and agile in general, does indeed live up to its 'promises'. However, some potential problem areas were identified that should be kept in mind when implementing these methodologies. Finally, an in situ investigation suggests that there are a number of projects in the telecommunication industry that will benefit from the agile approach and its practices.