One of the more popular methods in today’s software development life cycle is the Agile methodology. It is widely popular because its project management approach prioritizes customer satisfaction and flexibility in response to change.
It also values individuals and interactions over processes, tools, and working software over comprehensive documentation. And with these principles, the Agile manifesto was born.
What is the Agile manifesto?
The Agile manifesto is a set of values and principles for software development that prioritize customer satisfaction, collaboration, and adaptability over rigid planning and processes.
The Agile manifesto comprises four pillars or values: Individuals and Interactions, Working Software, Customer Collaboration, and Responding to Change. It also stands by 12 principles, which we will cover in detail in this article.
Four pillars of The Agile manifesto
Now that you know what the Agile manifesto is, let’s take a deep dive into four pillars that define it:
1. Individuals and Interactions
The Individuals and Interactions value of the Agile manifesto emphasizes the importance of individuals and their interactions over processes and tools.
In an Agile development environment, team members are encouraged to collaborate and work closely, valuing each other’s contributions and perspectives. It helps to foster a sense of teamwork and creates a positive and productive working environment.
By valuing individuals and their interactions, Agile methodology ensures that software is developed to meet the needs of all stakeholders, including customers, developers, and the business.
It helps to ensure that the final product is of high quality and meets the needs of everyone involved in the development process.
2. Working Software
Working software is a core principle of the Agile manifesto, prioritizing delivering functional and usable software to the customer. It is considered the primary measure of progress and success in Agile, providing tangible evidence that the development team offers value to the customer.
Working software is produced through an iterative and incremental process, where small pieces of functional software are delivered frequently and incorporated into the final product.
It allows the customer to receive and use the software as it is being developed and to provide feedback that stakeholders can incorporate into future iterations.
This process also enables the development team to continuously adapt and improve the software based on changing customer needs and requirements.
3. Customer Collaboration
Customer collaboration is a vital aspect of the Agile manifesto that emphasizes the importance of involving the customer in the software development process.
In the Agile workflow, the customer is seen as an integral part of the development team and is engaged actively throughout the project. This contrasts traditional approaches where the customer is involved only at the beginning and end of a project or where requirements are gathered up front, and the customer is expected to accept the final product.
By involving the customer in the development process, Agile enables teams to respond quickly to changes and adjust based on customer feedback.
That leads to higher customer satisfaction and a better final product, as the delivered software directly reflects the customer’s needs and desires.
4. Responding to Change
The last pillar of the Agile manifesto reiterates how important it is to adapt to changing circumstances and customer needs in software development. In Agile, change is seen as a constant factor and is embraced as an opportunity for improvement and innovation.
In traditional approaches, changes to the plan or requirements are often seen as disruptions and are discouraged. In contrast, Agile methodology views change as a natural part of the development process and encourage teams to be flexible and responsive to changing circumstances.
Responding to change is achieved through regular and ongoing communication between the customer and the development team. This communication enables the team to understand the customer’s evolving needs and adjust the development process.
The team can then deliver software that aligns better with the customer’s needs and provides more value by being responsive to change.
The 12 Principles of the Agile manifesto
The 12 Agile manifesto principles are a set of guiding practices for Agile software development. They are:
1. Satisfy customers early
The first principle of the Agile manifesto highlights the significance of delivering value to the customer early and continuously throughout the development process.
Agile methodologies focus on delivering working software that provides value to the customer as soon as possible. It is achieved by breaking the project down into smaller, manageable increments and having working software at the end of each increment.
This approach allows the customer to see the project’s progress, provide feedback, and make changes if necessary.
The continuous delivery of valuable software helps to build a strong relationship between the customer and the development team. The customer can see the project’s progress and provide feedback, which leads to a better end product that meets their needs.
In addition, by delivering working software frequently, the development team can identify and address problems early in the development process, reducing the risk of potential issues at the end of the project.
One way of doing it is by creating milestones for the project you and the teams are working on. Milestones help your entire team stay on track and help you achieve the “oh yeah” moment.
You can create milestones and track the completion and progress of the overall project with Nifty.
2. Welcome change requirements, even late in the project
The second principle emphasizes the importance of flexibility and adaptability in software development. The idea behind this principle is that requirements, especially in software development, often need to be fully understood at the start of a project and may change as the project progresses.
Instead of following a rigid, inflexible plan, Agile methodologies embrace change and allow the requirements to evolve. It allows for a more efficient and effective development process and a higher-quality end product that better meets the customer’s needs.
In practice, this principle means that teams are expected to be open to new ideas and changing requirements, even if they come late in the project.
Agile teams are expected to be able to quickly adapt to these changes and incorporate them into their work without disrupting the overall project timeline.
It requires close collaboration among team members and regular communication with stakeholders to ensure everyone is on the same page.
3. Deliver working software frequently
The third principle emphasizes the importance of regularly delivering tangible results and working software to the customer. The Agile methodology is based on the idea that it is better to frequently provide small, incremental improvements to the customer rather than waiting until the end of the project to deliver a completed product.
This principle means that Agile teams aim to deliver working software every two weeks to a few months. The goal is to keep the delivery timescale as short as possible, with a preference for the shorter timescale.
It allows the customer to see the project’s progress, provide feedback, and make changes if necessary, leading to a better end product that meets their needs.
Delivering working software frequently requires robust project planning and team management. Nifty allows you to do that in one place.
Delivering working software frequently also helps to build trust between the customer and the development team. The customer can see that the team is making progress and working towards delivering a high-quality product.
It also helps to reduce risk, as problems can be identified and addressed early in the development process rather than at the end of the project when it is more difficult and costly to make changes.
4. Support cross-team collaboration
The fourth principle highlights the significance of close collaboration between business stakeholders and developers in software development projects.
It is widely known that the success of a project depends on practical cooperation and communication between business stakeholders and developers.
The business stakeholders provide the vision and requirements for the project, while the developers bring the technical expertise to turn that vision into reality.
Working together helps to ensure that the project stays on track and that the result meets the needs of the business. Regular interaction and communication between business stakeholders and developers allow real-time feedback and adjustments to be made to the project as needed.
With Nifty, you can simply tag any individual inside a task, sub-task, or project discussion thread and ask them for their thoughts:
Working together helps prevent misunderstandings and miscommunication and allows changes quickly and efficiently.
5. Build projects around motivated individuals
The fifth principle explains why it is essential to create a work environment that supports and motivates individuals to achieve their best results. It suggests that motivated individuals are more likely to deliver high-quality work and achieve project goals.
To implement this principle, organizations should build project teams around motivated individuals and provide them with the right resources, tools, and support they need to succeed.
It includes giving team members the autonomy to make decisions, providing opportunities for professional growth and development, and fostering an environment of collaboration and open communication.
Organizations can create a more agile and adaptable work environment by trusting team members to get the job done and empowering them to take ownership of their work.
This approach values individuals and interactions over processes and tools and encourages team members to work together to achieve project plan goals.
6. Have face-to-face conversations
The sixth principle centers on face-to-face conversation considered the most efficient and effective method of conveying information in an Agile environment. This is because it allows for an immediate and direct exchange of ideas and information. It also clarifies questions, issues resolution, and teamwork promotion.
In face-to-face conversations, body language, tone of voice, and facial expressions can provide additional context to the spoken words, making it easier for team members to understand each other and build trust.
Moreover, face-to-face conversations foster a sense of community, which is critical to ensuring a positive and productive team dynamic.
Additionally, face-to-face conversations allow for quick and effective decision-making, as team members can discuss and resolve issues in real-time instead of relying on emails, phone calls, or other forms of asynchronous communication.
7. Working software: The primary measure of progress
The seventh principle revolves around the importance of delivering functional software that meets the needs of the end-users rather than focusing on documentation, planning, or other bureaucratic processes.
In other words, working software is considered the most important outcome of the development process and is used as the primary indicator of progress.
Working software is a tangible representation of the value a development team delivers to its stakeholders. It demonstrates that the team is delivering on its promises and is capable of delivering quality software that meets the needs of its users.
The Agile approach prioritizes the delivery of working software over other activities because it helps ensure that the software being developed solves the problems the software intends to solve.
It also enables teams to get feedback from end-users early and often, which can help avoid misunderstandings and ensure that the developed software meets the users’ needs.
Moreover, working software serves as a reference point for the team, allowing them to track progress and identify areas for improvement.
8. Promote sustainable development
The eighth principle promotes sustainable development, which means that development teams, stakeholders, and users should be able to maintain a consistent pace of work over time without burning out or sacrificing quality.
Sustainable development is essential because it helps to ensure that development teams can deliver high-quality software consistently and reliably.
It also helps to ensure that development teams and stakeholders can work together collaboratively and effectively, which is critical to a project’s success.
To promote sustainable development, Agile teams should aim to maintain a consistent pace of work and avoid overloading team members with excessive workloads.
Team members can achieve it through several practices, such as continuous integration and delivery, which help automate and streamline development processes and regularly review and refine work processes to identify and eliminate bottlenecks and inefficiencies.
In addition, Agile teams should prioritize rest and self-care for team members to prevent burnout and ensure that team members can maintain a high level of productivity and creativity.
9. Continuous attention to technical excellence and good design improves agility
The ninth principle emphasizes the importance of focusing on technical excellence and good design to enhance the agility of development teams.
Agile teams must be able to respond quickly to changing requirements and deliver working software that meets the needs of their users. To achieve this, they must have the solid technical expertise and a well-designed software architecture.
Good design and technical excellence help to ensure that the software being developed is flexible, scalable, and easy to maintain, which is critical for ensuring that development teams can quickly and effectively respond to changing requirements. By continuously paying attention to these factors, Agile teams can ensure that their software can adapt to new requirements and remain relevant over time.
In addition, good design and technical excellence help to ensure that development teams can work together efficiently, which is critical to delivering high-quality software consistently.
Continuous attention to technical excellence and good design is also important for ensuring that development teams can deliver software that meets the needs of their users.
With a solid technical expertise foundation and a well-designed software architecture, development teams can ensure that their software can deliver value to their users and scale and adapt to changing needs over time.
10. Simplicity is essential
The tenth principle emphasizes the importance of simplicity in software development. It highlights that one of the key goals of Agile development is to minimize the amount of work needed to deliver high-quality software that meets the needs of its users.
Agile development focuses on delivering only what is necessary to meet users’ needs and avoiding creating complex and unnecessary features.
This is because complex and unnecessary features can increase the time and resources required to develop and maintain the software and can also make the software more difficult to use and understand.
By maximizing the amount of work not done, Agile teams can ensure that their software is simple, easy to use, and focused on delivering value to their users.
This can ensure that development teams are able to deliver high-quality software in a timely and cost-effective manner and that they are able to respond quickly to changing requirements and deliver working software that meets the needs of their users.
11. Self-organizing teams are the key
The eleventh principle gives importance to self-organization in software development. It highlights the fact that the best architectures, requirements, and designs often emerge from teams that can work together collaboratively and autonomously.
In Agile development, teams are encouraged to take ownership of their work and to make decisions on how to achieve their goals best. This helps to ensure that teams are able to work together effectively and that they are able to deliver high-quality software that meets the needs of their users.
By giving teams the freedom to self-organize, Agile development enables them to bring their unique skills, experiences, and perspectives to bear on the development process. This can lead to more creative and innovative solutions, as well as to a greater sense of ownership and pride in the work that is being done.
Lastly, self-organizing teams are able to respond quickly to changing requirements and deliver working software that meets the needs of their users. This helps to ensure that development teams are able to deliver high-quality software in a timely and cost-effective manner and that they are able to respond quickly to changing needs.
12. Continuous improvement is a must
The last principle emphasizes the importance of continuous improvement in software development and highlights the need for teams to reflect on their practices and identify ways to improve regularly.
In Agile development, teams are encouraged to regularly review their processes and look for ways to become more efficient and effective. This can involve looking at how to improve the way work is organized and managed, as well as how to improve the quality of the software being produced.
By reflecting on how to become more effective at regular intervals, teams can improve their processes and practices continuously and deliver high-quality software that meets the needs of their users.
This can ensure that development teams are able to deliver software in a timely and cost-effective manner and that they are able to respond quickly to changing requirements and needs.
Continuous improvement can also help foster a culture of learning and growth within development teams, leading to greater job satisfaction and a stronger sense of ownership and pride in the work being done.
Why is having the Agile manifesto important?
Implementing the Agile manifesto in your businesses is important for several reasons:
- Increased Flexibility: Agile approaches are designed to be flexible and adaptive, which allows teams to respond quickly to changing requirements and priorities. This is particularly important in today’s fast-paced, rapidly changing business environment, where organizations must respond quickly to new challenges and opportunities.
- Improved Collaboration: Agile methodologies emphasize collaboration between team members, stakeholders, and customers, which leads to better communication, higher quality work, and more effective decision-making.
- Faster Time-to-Market: Agile approaches prioritize working software over comprehensive documentation, which allows teams to deliver value to customers faster. This is particularly important for organizations that must quickly bring new products and services to market to stay ahead of the competition.
- Higher Quality Software: Agile methodologies strongly emphasize continuous improvement, which helps ensure that the software being developed is of high quality. This is achieved through regular inspections, testing, and feedback from stakeholders and customers.
- Increased Job Satisfaction: Agile approaches promote autonomy, ownership, and self-organization, leading to higher job satisfaction and a stronger sense of purpose for team members.
How to use Nifty for creating an Agile manifesto
Nifty is your one-stop shop project management tool that you can utilize for implementing the Agile manifesto in your project. Its features can support the Agile manifesto from the start to the end of your project lifecycle.
One of the app’s key features that support the Agile manifesto is the Discussions, where team members can collaborate, share ideas, and turn them into actions.
It also has a task management feature where teams can organize, prioritize, and handle tasks with great detail. It also supports docs and file centralization so team members can maintain an organized collaboration hub through documents and file consolidation.
Additionally, we also have a time tracking and reporting feature:
Several business tools support the Agile manifesto. For project management supporting the Agile manifesto, you can choose from the list of top 10 project management tools commercially available in the market.
History of the Agile manifesto
The Agile manifesto was created in February 2001 by a group of software development experts who were looking for a new approach to software development that would be more flexible, adaptive, and responsive to changing needs.
The group comprised 17 individuals representing various Agile methodologies, including Scrum, Crystal, and Extreme Programming (XP). They gathered for a two-day summit in Snowbird, Utah, with the goal of defining a standard set of principles for Agile software development.
Since its release, the Agile manifesto has become widely adopted by software development teams around the world and has been used as the basis for many Agile methodologies, including Scrum, Kanban, and Lean.
Today, the Agile manifesto is widely recognized as one of the most important and influential documents in the software development industry, and it continues to be used as a guide for effective software development practices.
What is most important in Agile manifesto?
In Agile manifesto, the most important is that it increases the project’s flexibility, improves its collaboration, speeds up time-to-market, creates high-quality software, and increases team members’ job satisfaction.
What is Agile manifesto?
The Agile manifesto consists of four values and 12 guiding principles for projects practicing agile methodology.
What are the 4 statements of the Agile manifesto?
The 4 Agile manifesto values are the following:
- Individuals and Interactions
- Working Software
- Customer Collaboration
- Responding to Change