Introduction to the Agile Manifesto
What is the Agile Manifesto?
Iterative development methods can be traced back to the middle of the 20th century, but the Manifesto for Agile Software Development was born in 2001. A group of software visionaries put their heads together to figure out why so many software projects they were a part of were failing, and what they could do about it. Rather than trying to decide on best practice, they felt the industry needed a fundamental shift in values away from documentation-driven, and heavy, process-filled software development. ‘The Agile Alliance’, as they were called, created a document, built around four values and 12 principles. And so, the Agile Manifesto was born.
The four values
The four values can be described as 'critical success factors' to delivering greater products/solutions/processes:
- Individuals and interactions over processes and tools.
- Working software over comprehensive documentation.
- Customer collaboration over contract negotiation.
- Responding to change over following a plan.
The 12 principles
These offer the more concrete examples of how agile development should take place:
- Satisfy the customer through early and continuous delivery of valuable software.
- Welcome changing requirements.
- Deliver working software requirements.
- Work together daily throughout the project.
- Build projects around motivated individuals who are supported and trusted to get the job done.
- Use face-to-face conversation whenever possible.
- Working software is the primary measure of progress.
- Maintain a constant pace indefinitely.
- Give constant attention to technical excellence and good design.
- Simplicity - the art of maximising the amount of work not done - is essential.
- The best architectures, requirements and designs emerge from self-organising teams.
- Reflect on how to become more effective, then tune and adjust accordingly at regular intervals.
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This section looks at the key values and principles that define Agile as well as the characteristics of Agile frameworks, and how they can improve work practices.
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