Back to Basics: The Agile Manifesto and The Principles Therein

OK, so I’ve been doing this blog thing for about a week now.  I’d say it has gone pretty well. I’ve got a few posts under my belt and even gotten a bit of positive feedback. So I figure now is as good a time as any to go back to basics and perform what is probably a rite of passage for all Agile blogs: covering the Agile Manifesto and its 12 guiding principles, while remixing it a bit with my own input, anecdotes and opinions. Well, maybe it’s not a rite of passage, but let’s do it anyways.

Over the next, oh let’s say 1 or 2 weeks, I’ll make a series of posts about each of the value areas of the Agile Manifesto, and each of the guiding principles of Agile. But before we get into the nitty gritty, lets look ahead to where we’re going, and take a look at the values and principles of Agile, all courtesy of The Agile Manifesto.

Values

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.

A pretty clear list, if I do say so. One important thing to note, is that the existence of value in all of these items is not disputed. There is value in everything on the right, but the items on the left will be more valuable. We’ll get into why as examine each item more in depth in it’s own post.

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.

Well, that is quite a list. Each item is a powerful statement in and of itself, many with multiple nuances leading to different practical applications within the Agile world.

This will be a lot of ground to cover, so stay tuned and stay patient, and thanks for reading!

Coming up next: Individuals and Interactions

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