Agile manifesto: 4 values ​​and 12 principles

agile manifesto
agile manifesto

Agile manifesto has become a reference in the world of agility although it’s challenged and there are proposals for evolution. The agile manifesto proposes 4 values ​​and 12 underlying principles.

However, we have to never forget that agility was not born with the agile manifesto but that the term was originally used at the organizational level; we were talking about “agile manufacturing” or “organizational agile”.

Agile manifesto, a real reference

In spite of the current disputes and the drifts which appear, we can only recognize the gigantic influence that had the agile manifesto.

Two derivatives of Agile manifesto more or less popular are also born of it although we could cite others: software craftsmanship manifesto, agile marketing manifesto…

The 4 values ​​of the agile manifesto

Here are 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..

The small explanatory sentence is also very important because some people tended to omit it in the interpretation of values. It clarifies things clearly.

We will do articles to well understand theses agile manifesto values in the future. Sometime, it’s not easy to have the good interpretation of these agile manifesto values.

The 12 Agile Principles Underlying the Agile Manifesto

In this part, we will see these 12 agile manifesto principles very important in agile projects. Its principles follow the 4 previous values ​​while specifying some things appearing essential for their creators.

Customer satisfaction

Our highest priority is to satisfy the customer
through early and continuous delivery
of valuable software.

In agile methods, customers are at the center of attention. We will do our utmost to have their presence during the different phases of construction of the product (or offer).

At worst, we will try to have real representatives because the presence of customers is unfortunately not always possible.

Accept change of need

Welcome changing requirements, even late in
development. Agile processes harness change for
the customer’s competitive advantage.

Agile methods generally have a real ability to manage a variable scope. The need can change and we do our best to be in ideal conditions to change a part of scope when needed.

Any feedback or change of context may require changes within the scope of the product (offer).

Frequent delivery

Deliver working software frequently, from a
couple of weeks to a couple of months, with a
preference to the shorter timescale.

Regularly delivering features or pieces of functionality allows you to get more regular feedback; these will help refocus the product if needed.

Agile manifesto : Customer-dev work

Business people and developers must work
together daily throughout the project.

To ensure that you have a product (or offer) closer to what is expected, it is very important that the customer (or representative) and those who develop the product work together.

Attention, “developer” means those who put the solution in place and not necessarily the “programmers”.

Motivation of teams

Build projects around motivated individuals.
Give them the environment and support they need,
and trust them to get the job done.

Agile methods emphasize the well-being of each team member. By offering them a more user-friendly work space and trusting them, we are more likely to have productive teams.

Agile methods are very focused on the human sometimes too forgotten in big companies that make projects at the chain.

The face-to-face dialogue

The most efficient and effective method of
conveying information to and within a development
team is face-to-face conversation.

It’s important to repeat that: interaction is essential for better communication. In other words, communication is the key to success. The best communication is the face to face communication; it’s the better and recommended way compared to the mail, sms or other types of communication.

Agile manifesto : Operational otherwise nothing

Working software is the primary measure of progress.

When we measure the progress of a product or offer, the agile manifesto reminds us to measure only what is finished. Anything that is started but not completed is considered 0% progress.

Sustainable rhythm

Agile processes promote sustainable development.
The sponsors, developers, and users should be able
to maintain a constant pace indefinitely.

No need to work days and nights to advance on the product. Teams that make longer days are not more productive than teams that work sustainably.

In case of possible disturbances that can waste time, we will do what is necessary to remove them. Working longer or later will not be a viable solution.

Technical excellence

Continuous attention to technical excellence
and good design enhances agility.

The agile manifesto insists on the need to have quality in the products made in order to minimize the risk of bugs and to ensure continuity of future developments.

The simplicity

Simplicity–the art of maximizing the amount
of work not done–is essential.

The agile manifesto constantly reminds us that we must develop only the strict necessary. We even talk about KISS development: “we only develop the current demand and nothing more to refactoring later”.

Self-organized teams

The best architectures, requirements, and designs
emerge from self-organizing teams.

We will let the team self-organize so that it finds itself how to be as effective as possible. Indeed, the teams will choose the way by themselves and we will not impose sometimes useless processes.

In big companies, we can see that teams align themselves with the solutions they choose together.

Continuous improvement

At regular intervals, the team reflects on how
to become more effective, then tunes and adjusts
its behavior accordingly.

Continuous improvement is essential in the world of agility. We consider that we can always improve our way of doing things and our organization.

Conclusion agile manifesto values – agile manifesto principles

In conclusion, I hope this article on Agile Manifesto will have enlightened you on the agile manifesto and its concepts. Sometimes at first reading, we have a bad interpretation. I was myself in this case, when I started in agility.

Indeed, it is important to understand the 4 values ​​and the 12 agile principles of the Agile manifesto.

I hope this article about Agile manifesto has given you some answers or helped to better understand some nuances.

Do you think that these 4 values ​​and the 12 agile principles from Agile manifesto are still relevant?

Useful link around Agile manifesto topic : agile framing


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About Judicaël Paquet 368 Articles
Judicaël Paquet (agile coach and senior devops) My Engagements in France and Switzerland: - Crafting Agile Transformation Strategies - Tailored Agile Training Programs - Raising Awareness and Coaching for Managers - Assessing Agile Maturity and Situational Analysis - Agile Coaching for Teams, Organizations, Product Owners, Scrum Masters, and Agile Coaches Areas of Expertise: Scrum, Kanban, Management 3.0, Scalability, Lean Startup, Agile Methodology.

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