Agile Manifesto – Values

As discussed in the previous posts on potentially shippable code, its not just the iterative and incremental development that sets Agile apart from other development frameworks. In part it is its focus on getting to potentially shippable code at the end of each sprint but also the values it emphasizes. These values are best captured in what is called Agile Manifesto. The signatories of the manifesto include Kent Beck [creator of jUnit and originator of concept of Design Patterns], Martin Fowler [originator of the concept of Refactoring], Dave Thomas [wrote the landmark book on Agile Development with Rails], Ken Schwaber [co-founder of SCRUM] and Brian Marick [world renowned testing expert]. Agile Manifesto states that:

We are uncovering better ways of developing software by doing it and helping others do it. Through this work we have come to value:

  • 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 principles behind Agile Manifesto were as follows:

  • Our highest priority is to satisfy the customer through early and continuous deliveryof valuable software.
  • Welcome changing requirements, even late in development. Agile processes harness change for the customer’s competitive advantage.
  • Deliver working software frequently, from a couple of weeks to a couple of months, with a preference to the shorter timescale.
  • Business people and developers must work together daily throughout the project.Build projects around motivated individuals. Give them the environment and support they need, and trust them to get the job done.
  • The most efficient and effective method of conveying information to and within a development team is face-to-face conversation.
  • Working software is the primary measure of progress.
  • Agile processes promote sustainable development. The sponsors, developers, and users should be able to maintain a constant pace indefinitely.
  • Continuous attention to technical excellence and good design enhances agility.
  • Simplicity–the art of maximizing the amount of work not done–is essential.
  • The best architectures, requirements, and designs emerge from self-organizing teams.
  • At regular intervals, the team reflects on how to become more effective, then tunes and adjusts its behavior accordingly.
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