Doing something over and over again. Often used interchangeably with sprint.
The word is frequently used in relation to various agile development methodologies and the adoption of sprints of work, which work on a product over and over again with the aim of improving it at each point. In this sense, iterative could be seen as the opposite of planning the finished product up front, and then working without break until it is completed.
Iterations work well if they are sized appropriately. i.e. short iterations which make minor incremental improvements to a product. Unfortunately, there is often a desire to try and squeeze as much change as possible into each iteration which can lead to either a failure to deliver or the delivery of a poor quality product (which is arguably worse).
This overburdening can often lead to people iterating all over the place manically, throwing numerous poorly controlled versions of design and software around. This has the effect of making people look very busy while achieving little in the way of real progress.
Disagree or want to add something? What does iterating mean to you?