In 2001, the Agile manifesto was created and proved to be a game-changer in software development. Basically, it is a set of four values and 12 principles that guide software development teams in using Agile development to maximize productivity and collaborative work during a project. They can also be adapted for almost any project across various industries.
Here, we are going to talk about the 12 principles of the Agile manifesto.
1. Early and continuous software delivery
This is the highest priority principle, as its main aim is to satisfy customers. The reasoning behind this principle is that it is extremely important to customer satisfaction that the time between releases is frequent. The more customers get working software regularly, the happier they are.
2. Change should be welcomed
In an ever-evolving business environment, change is the only constant. It is not wise to stick to a rigid development cycle, without allowing room for change. If customer requirements change, the team should be able to accommodate without delaying the deadline.
3. Frequent delivery of working software
Provide software that works on a regular basis. This can be between a couple of weeks or months. However, preference should be given to the period that is the shortest. This allows for constant feedback and earlier identification of bugs.
4. Stakeholders and developers must work together
Throughout the lifespan of the project, the developers and stakeholders should work together on a daily basis. Both are working towards the same goal, which is why it makes sense for them to be in alignment.
5. Motivated individuals
Projects should be built around motivated individuals. Individuals should work in a supportive environment where they aren’t micromanaged. They should be trusted to self-organize and do the work without someone constantly looking over their shoulders. Micromanagement benefits no one and is counter-productive in Agile.
6. Face-to-face conversation
For information to be conveyed effectively in a team, it must be done through face-to-face interactions. For this to happen, team members need to be co-located. However, in today’s world, development teams are usually disbursed. If that is the case, efforts should be made to increase the frequency of communication using the appropriate conferencing tools and software.
7. Measure progress with working software
The biggest measure of progress is providing the customer with working software. Always keep your eye on the ball – working software – instead of getting bogged down in the specifics of the plan. You will end spending too much time doing secondary tasks, such as documentation, instead of the primary task.
8. Consistent development pace
Once the project hits the ground running, the team and stakeholders should maintain a consistent pace. This speed should be maintained for every release without delays and crunch time.
9. Technical excellence
To enhance agility, there must be a continuous focus on technical excellence and good design. This makes it easier for the team to embrace change, maintain a consistent development pace and update or improve the product as needed.
You don’t need the software to have all the bells and whistles to be classified as working software. Some features are considered to be non-essential. The team should focus on those essential features in order to produce working software.
11. Self-organizing teams
When teams are self-organized, they are able to bring out the best architects, requirements and designs. A team can deliver its best work when it is fully in charge of how it wants to work and owns every decision it makes.
12. Regular reflection and adjustment
The team will regularly reflect on its current effectiveness and identify room for self-improvement. Afterward, it will adjust its behavior to ensure self-improvement is achieved.
With these 12 principles of the Agile manifesto in mind, software development teams can become more efficient and effective at creating working software. Any organization stands to benefit from having high-performance teams that collaborate with ease. This is the best strength of these principles and can be applied to almost any project.