Agile Manifesto in Software Dev: What It Is, Principles & Values

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Agile Manifesto- What It Is & Why You Should Follow It agile manifesto

Every major workplace ideology has a standard documentation describing the best practices. Agile methodology is no different from the agile manifesto.

Today, we will concisely discuss every possible detail about the Agile manifesto for your understanding. Let’s start with the definition.

What Is The Agile Manifesto?

The Agile Manifesto outlines agile software development’s core values and principles in detailed documentation. The official name is “The Manifesto for Agile Software Development.”

The true goal of the agile manifesto is to provide an efficient guideline for development team members to successfully adopt and implement agile development methodology to improve their operational processes and project plans.

The framework of the agile manifesto was built on pre-existing software development practices that were more complex with tons of documentation. Founders created a more efficient model to speed up the entire process.

The History

The journey for the agile manifesto began at a ski resort in Snowbird, Utah, back in 2001, where 17 representatives from programming and development backgrounds gathered together for a more efficient solution for application development.

They were constantly frustrated with the traditional method and wanted to discuss agile.

These 17 are believed to have launched the ship for agile development, becoming the Agile Alliance.

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

After the launch of the Agile Manifesto, the Agile Alliance became a nonprofit organization with more than 72,000 members. 14th State of Agile Report mentions that more than 95% of respondents confirmed that their organizations practiced agile development methods.

Though the target of the Agile Manifesto was the software development industry, nowadays, it’s being used for planning any kind of project for different industries.

“They were starting to see that there was something common that they were doing. But at the time, they were very much competitors, at least competitors in thought. When you put that into context, the fact that they could agree on some set of anything is kind of profound.”

-Ian Buchanan, Principal Solutions Engineer for DevOps at Atlassian

The Purpose

The agile manifesto promotes a software development process that creates high-quality products to meet consumer expectations and needs.

The 12 principles of the manifesto are meant to create and support a work environment that focuses on

  • Customer satisfaction
  • Aligning to business objectives
  • Response to pivots
  • Adapting to user needs and market changes

The Values

1. Individuals And Interactions Over Processes And Tools

The first value focuses on the people. No matter how top-of-the-line your tech stack or processes are, it won’t be fully efficient until all the people associated with the project do their best.

Your software team is the best resource you can have, and the best way to fully utilize the resource is to establish proper communication.

Rather than just claiming your teammates are valuable, you, as a project manager, have to put effort into your actions to prove the humans in the team are the vital ones.

2. Working Software Over Comprehensive Documentation

Developers created detailed documentation containing technical specifications, requirements, and other details before the coding began.

This caused a major delay in the project since everything was halted till the documentation was ready, and of course, said documentation took a long time to compile.

Agile manifesto streamlines these documentations with the concept of user stories that equip the developers with all the necessary details to get started on development for a release as soon as possible.

The idea here is to accelerate the product launching process to capture the target market with a lower time to market, make necessary tweaks, and improve in future iterations.

3. Customer Collaboration Over Contract Negotiation

The third value emphasizes the importance of customer collaboration. It is considered the superior value compared to contract negotiation, which requires product outlining before the project begins.

The main issue here is the lack of involvement of the customers throughout the development cycle, so the team misses out on valuable user feedback.

With the direct involvement of customers in the development process, development team members can take frequent suggestions from the customers and use them to improve the existing features or implement more sophisticated core features into the application.

Developers can create the ultimate user experience with direct customer involvement with valuable insights.

4. Responding To Change Over Following A Plan

Traditional software development promotes as little change as possible since the alterations can cost time and money. But agile turns this concept on its head.

A software product can benefit from changes that bring new opportunities and possibilities through improvement.

Agile teams always work and iterate in short cycles, meaning it’s easier for them to react to customer feedback and implement changes much faster.

With constant change and improvement, the final result is always a polished product that can ensure the finest user experience.

The Principles

1. Our Highest Priority Is to Satisfy the Customer Through Early and Continuous Delivery of Valuable Software

The number one rule is to always keep your customers happy. The aim of the development process should always be delivered at regular intervals.

2. Welcome Changing Requirements, Even Late in Development. Agile Processes Harness Change for the Customer’s Competitive Advantage

Software developers should always be prepared for last-minute changes.

The entire team should be flexible enough to turn the changes into improvements as fast as possible.

3. Deliver Working Software Frequently, From a Couple of Weeks to a Couple of Months, With a Preference to the Shorter Timescale

Each agile team should break down a large project into smaller amounts of work to ensure regular delivery.

These short bursts of work are known as sprints in the scrum methodology, which last between one to four weeks.

4. Business People and Developers Must Work Together Daily Throughout the Project

All project stakeholders should maintain collaboration throughout the project. Collaboration is the key to improvements with minimized risk of confusion.

It also helps everyone to align their goals and work towards improvement.

5. Build Projects Around Motivated Individuals. Give Them the Environment and Support They Need, and Trust Them to Get the Job Done

The right people for the task can increase the probability of success for your project.

Spend time choosing the right team members and giving them the right resources to work with. You can have faith in them to deliver the best results.

6. The Most Efficient and Effective Method of Conveying Information to and Within a Development Team Is Face-To-Face Conversation

Arrange as many face-to-face conversations between team members as possible. Direct communication can easily break barriers and promote better collaboration.

Visual interaction, as well as a conversation, boosts the effectiveness of any conversation.

7. Working Software Is the Primary Measure of Progress

Your first and most important success metric is delivering working software that solves the core pain points of a customer. Everything else is optional.

8. Agile Processes Promote Sustainable Development. The Sponsors, Developers, and Users Should Be Able to Maintain a Constant Pace Indefinitely

Each agile team member should be consistent throughout all stages of the project.

That way, the development team can maintain a constantly evolving environment without delays.

9. Continuous Attention to Technical Excellence and Good Design Enhances Agility

Agile is not about just delivering one good product and relaxing.

It’s about constant improvement through different iterations by offering improvements of old or new features.

10. Simplicity–the Art of Maximizing the Amount of Work Not Done–Is Essential

The agile approach is to streamline procedures, not overcomplicate them.

The goal should always be to do enough to complete the task and cut out all excess steps.

11. The Best Architectures, Requirements, and Designs Emerge From Self-Organizing Teams

Micromanagement always ruins the progress of any organization.

Always have faith in your team to allow them to organize and work things out themselves.

12. At Regular Intervals, the Team Reflects on How to Become More Effective, Then Tunes and Adjusts Its Behavior Accordingly

Regular team reviews make it easier to spot different issues in the development cycle and potential improvement areas.

A self-reflecting team can also solve these issues with ease and efficiency.

The Importance

The agile manifesto is a vital documentation that equips all developers with a flexible framework that guides the project management process while upholding the best agile practices.

The documentation also clarifies the crucial elements of agile project management that enable each team member to align their objectives and prioritize the right activities.

However, all agile teams should be aware of the phenomenon that is the “agile industrial complex.” It refers to forcefully imposing agile practices rather than giving people the proper autonomy to work independently on what suits them.

There is no one-size-fits-all project management method, and forcing any methodology will result in catastrophic failure. The agile manifesto prevents that from happening.

To Wrap It Up

The Agile Manifesto paved the way for modern agile development and the evolution of the model over the years.

To capitalize on Agile, you should align your practices with the Agile manifesto as much as possible.

If you plan to partner with an agency that closely follows the Agile Manifesto, Impala Intech is here for you.

FAQ

What Is the “Continuous Attention to Technical Excellence” Principle in the Agile Manifesto?

It emphasizes the importance of maintaining high-quality standards and addressing technical debt throughout development.

What Is the Role of Self-Organizing Teams in the Agile Manifesto?

Self-organizing teams have the autonomy to make decisions and adapt to changing circumstances, fostering creativity and ownership.

How Does the Agile Manifesto Promote Regular Reflections and Adjustments?

The principle of “at regular intervals, the team reflects on how to become more effective” encourages teams to continuously improve their processes.

Why Is “Simplicity—the Art of Maximizing the Amount of Work Not Done” Highlighted in the Agile Manifesto?

Prioritizing simplicity helps avoid unnecessary complexity, leading to more efficient and focused development.

Why Does the Agile Manifesto Promote “Face-To-Face Conversation” in Communication?

Face-to-face interactions facilitate clearer communication, understanding, and building strong working relationships.

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