What is the Agile Manifesto?
The Agile Manifesto was published in 2001 under the name “Manifesto for Agile Software Development” and describes the rules of conduct and values of agile teams. The 17 authors include Jeff Sutherland and Ken Schwaber, the founders of the Scrum framework, and Ken Beck, the creator of the agile method Extreme Programming. Precisely because of its origins in software development, the Agile Manifesto also provides a reference for the collaboration of agile teams in other contexts.
Four guiding principles form the foundation of the Agile Manifesto
- Individuals and interactions are more important than processes and tools.
- Functioning software is more important than comprehensive documentation.
- Collaboration with the customer is more important than contract negotiation.
- Reacting to change is more important than following a plan.
What are the Agile Principles?
These four core statements are considered the pillars of the agile methodology. The 12 principles of the Agile Manifesto are based on them. Together with the four guiding principles, these much more detailed values form a concrete framework for agile teams.
The following 12 principles of the Agile Manifesto are defined
- Our highest priority is to satisfy the customer through early and continuous delivery of valuable software.
- Welcome requirement changes even late in the development process. Agile processes use change to the customer’s competitive advantage.
- Deliver working software regularly within a few weeks or months, preferring the shorter timeframe.
- Subject matter experts and developers must work closely together throughout the process.
- 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 way to communicate information to and within a development team is face-to-face.
- Working software is the most important measure of progress.
- Agile processes promote sustainable development. Clients, developers and users should be able to maintain a steady pace indefinitely.
- Constant attention to technical excellence and good design promotes agility.
- Simplicity – the art of maximizing the amount of work not done – is essential.
- The best architectures, requirements and designs are created by self-organized teams.
- At regular intervals, the team reflects on how it can become more effective and adapts its behavior accordingly.
The Agile Manifesto with its 4 core values and 12 associated principles is far more than a mere checklist that is simply worked through. The successful application of the Agile Manifesto requires a fundamental change in mindset, as agility is not a rigid rule, but a mindset. It is about anchoring these values and principles in the team and cultivating an agile mindset. The Agile Manifesto serves as a framework for orientation. Those who follow the Agile Manifesto and work within this framework are laying the foundations for the path to agility.