The Agile Manifesto – What can we learn from it?

People are naturally so polarized that change is first and foremost subject to a critical assessment. We’ve worked this way before, so why should we adjust our behavior and open up to something new?

The best always come unexpected. True to this, 17 people gathered in a lodge at the Snowbird ski resort in the Wasatch Mountains in Utah to relax, talk, ski and try to find a common ground. In the end, the Agile Manifesto came out. What drove them all was the common understanding that something is needed to make the current software development processes more effective.

The Agile Manifesto consists of 4 values ​​and 12 principles.

Who wrote the Agile Manifesto?

Kent Beck
Mike Beedle
Arie van Bennekum
Alistair Cockburn
Ward Cunningham
Martin Fowler
James Grenning
Jim Highsmith
Andrew Hunt
Ron Jeffries
Jon Kern Brian Marick
Robert C. Martin
Steve Mellor
Ken Schwaber
Jeff Sutherland
Dave Thomas

Agile values ​​in the Agile Manifesto

The following 4 values should help to develop better products and sharpen the joint work. The Agile Manifesto states that the values on the right are useful. The values on the left more valuable however.

Individuals and interactions over processes and tools

Agile Manifesto individuals and interactions

The focus is to seek interaction with individuals. A successful project is not defined by the processes or the tools used, but the communication. When you work on a project and a problem blocks your way, you should interact with your team and try to solve the problem together. Don’t wait until a status meeting to address issue but proactively approach people that may help to assist with it.

Working software over comprehensive documentation

Agile Manifesto Operating Software

Documentation is important, but what does comprehensive documentation help us if the software does not work and we do not generate measurable benefits for the end user?

Customer collaboration over contract negotiation

Customer collaboration over contract negotiation

We do not negotiate a contract for a number of specific features. We work cooperatively with the customer and deliver customer-oriented items. The scope or requirements may change. The vision remains at its core, but we have the opportunity to respond to feedback. The contract with the customer does not prevent our work.

Responding to change over following a plan

Responding to change over following a plan

Similar to the third value, it is about reacting to change. We have an idea of what our product should look like. However, these are assumptions that we need to validate. Thus, as a result of user testing, qualitative and quantitative surveys of users may well result in a change of direction. Being able to change direction and responding to customer feedback should be more important than following a plan. Why should we continue to build on a product if, after the first customer feedback, we know that the customer really wants different functionalities?

Agile Principles in the Agile Manifesto

The following 12 principles are contained in the Agile Manifesto.

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.

How does the Agile Manifesto help us?

It helps us to scrutinize our behavior. Are we making the right decisions? Should we take another path? Do we really use the the power of communixation to solve our problems? Is our decision driven by the desire to deliver a customer-oriented product? Can we break the barrier of following a plan?? All of these questions usually cause us a headache and we wonder if we should continue like before. After all, we were always able to release a product on the market, which has sold well. However, we do not talk about missing out on the actual potential often enough Ask yourself – what if? It’s time to act differently.

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