This article provides an overview of the most commonly used Agile values and principles. Not surprisingly, Agile offered an effective replacement for the traditional waterfall project management model. Because of the cumbersome, rigidly slow, and document-oriented method of product development, a team of 17 systems developers (called the “Agile Alliance”) released the “Agile Manifesto” in 2001.
The Agile Manifesto has gained global recognition and can be defined as a documented set of 4 values and 12 principles that offer developers guidelines for system/application development.
Thus, the Agile Manifesto contains “4 Key Values” and “12 Relevant Principles” that guide an agile system development methodology. The Agile Manifesto serves as a guideline to ensure high product quality for customers.
The Values of a Flexible Manifesto
Agile Manifesto consists of 4 values. Let us understand them in detail.
Value 1 – (individuals and interactions matter more than processes and tools)People are the key enablers of significant business development and understanding of customer needs. Developing good products requires effective teamwork and collaboration, regardless of the tools provided to people.
You can’t develop great products without understanding customer requirements. Consequently, individual interactions help create customer-specific products. Simply using processes and tools not only makes a business sluggish and unresponsive to change, but also leads to an inability to meet customer expectations.
Value 2 – (Working software matters compared to detailed documentation)
In the early days, an enormous amount of time was spent on documentation that would include technical details and specifications. This exhaustive and rigid method of following document-specific instructions led to project delays and slowed product deliveries. Ultimately, the final product would not meet customer expectations or would become obsolete.
With the introduction of Agile, the focus has shifted to working software from document workflow. Working software ensures effective adaptation to change and a better understanding of customer requirements. Thus, Agile limits the use of documents to only “user stories” that define developers when completing tasks.
Value 3 – (customer partnerships matter more than contract negotiations)
In the traditional Waterfall model, customers communicate with developers about specific requirements before the project resumes. Conventional contractual methods of discussion create a wall between customers and developers. Customer participation is limited to the start of the project and when the product is ready for delivery. And customer participation does not occur during the manufacturing process.
Conversely, according to the Agile Values and Principles manifesto, customer participation is encouraged throughout the creation or build process. Agile increases customer participation regularly for timely demonstrations. This not only helps to understand customer requirements but also allows customers to create value. Thus, collaboration with customers throughout the product lifecycle forms the basis of an agile approach.
Value 4 – (Be adaptive to change instead of a specific plan)
Given the volatile business environment, technological advances occur and customer needs change. In traditional waterfall management, change is seen as a cost and should be avoided. In addition, traditional project management is rigid and has less flexibility. This prevents adaptation to change, and over time the plan becomes redundant.
However, Agile views change as a valuable agent and offer effective responsiveness and adaptability to change. The Agile approach, which consists of shorter iterations and sprints, allows new attributes to be added to the product in sequential iterations at periodic intervals.
Agile Manifesto Principles
12 Agile principles distributed by the Agile Alliance:
1) One of the main priorities of the agile approach is to strive for customer satisfaction through fast and constant delivery of value-added products.
2) A flexible approach must embrace change, even in the later stages of development. Change is considered a valuable agent, offering a competitive advantage to customers.
3) Working software should be delivered to customers for any feedback or suggestions at periodic intervals of weeks or months, preferably at shorter intervals.
4) Business Management and system developers should work together throughout the project cycle.
5) Agile is about assigning projects to motivated people and giving people a good working environment and support system, instilling confidence in them to get the job done.
6) Agile Values and Principles are about fostering personal discussions and promoting them as an effective means of communicating with and within the development team.
7) Working Software is one of the primary means of measuring system progress in Agile.
8) Agile aims to promote consistent and sustained progress in system development. Stakeholders are required to maintain a constant and sustained pace in product development.
9) Constant updating through constant technological upgrades and efficiencies promotes an agile approach.
10) The agile process is about embracing simplicity by reducing complex tasks and focusing on tasks that essentially add value.
11) Self-organized teams help create good structures, requirements, and developments. Agile teams are proactive, allowing them to overcome any obstacles and minimize errors to achieve excellence.
12) Agile teams are constantly updated and strive to become more productive by effectively adapting to change. Development teams are constantly being formed and are in a world with changing external conditions. This allows for constant improvisation to deliver value. Periodic feedback from customers allows the development team to achieve this.
Having discussed the 4 values and 12 principles of the Agile Manifesto, it is clear that the focus on customer satisfaction has brought success to agile enterprises around the world. The Agile approach has practically proven its effectiveness not only in the software industry but also in various industries.
Thus, by following Agile Manifesto values and principles, companies can reap many benefits by improving productivity and customer satisfaction. But, also, by remaining profitable in the long run, regardless of external factors.
So, it’s time to change your business value system and instill Agile Manifesto principles to instill an agile culture. Make your business Agile-public!