The 12 principles of Agile

In the previous article, we have introduced the concept of Agile – Why it was introduced and how it can benefit organizations or teams. In general, Agile can be explained as a mindset or a set of values and principles to help organizations or teams create better products/services or to manage a project. The 4 fundamental values from the Agile manifesto are very concise and were designed to ensure teams prioritize the right things; which are: individuals and interactions, customer collaboration, working software (or product) and responding to change.

There are also 12 agile principles that were added after the creation of the manifesto in order to guide teams transition into the agile mindset and assess whether the practices that they are following are in line with the agile culture. The 12 principles also offer more concrete examples of how the agile way of working should take place.

Below are the summarized version of the 12 Agile principles:

1. Customer Satisfaction through early and continuous delivery of valuable software (product)

The team should satisfy customer’s needs through early and quick delivery. Through quick delivery, the team can also learn from the feedback early on, and improve the deliverable as the project evolves.

2. Embrace change

With the Agile approach, the team should always embrace change in managing a project.

3. Deliver value frequently

The team should ensure the delivery of value is frequent and focus on a shorter timescale so that the end-user can actually see or experience the solution early to provide feedback.

4. Work together and break silos of your project

Developers and business stakeholders need to work together throughout the project. The team needs to understand the views of all stakeholders, if not the deliverable will very often fail to meet the expectation.

5. Build project around motivated individuals

With Agile, the leader should not micromanage and it is the responsibility of the leader to create a motivating environment that supports the members to voice their opinion and give suggestions.

6. Face-to-face interactions

The most effective method to convey the right information is through having face-to-face conversations or discussions. It reduces the time between asking a question via email/chat and prevents any miscommunications.

7. Working software (product) is the primary measure of progress

It doesn’t matter how many hours you have put into a task, If the work you have done does not translate into a working product, then there’s no value generated for the end-user.

8. Promote a constant and sustainable pace of working

With Agile, the team should promote sustainable development where a repeatable and iterative pattern can be established and at a constant rate.

9. Continuous attention to technical excellence

When the team maintains operational excellence, they will have less trouble reacting to changes and maintaining agility.

10. Simplicity is essential

If you can do something in a simple way, why waste time complicating it? when implementing Agile, avoid doing something just for the sake of doing it.

11. A self-organizing team can generate the most value

With Agile, we should have teams that can make quality products without too much interference from above. The team should also have the capability and authority to handle/manage the project or tasks on hand.

12. Regularly reflect on how to become more effective

Focus on continuous improvement –Not only for the product/service but also for the team to learn from past mistakes to improve performance and effectiveness.

The 12 principles of Agile basically sums up how a team should work or operate using the Agile approach. The practices from all the Agile frameworks and methodologies such as Scrum, Agile Project Management, SAFe and others, are aligned with the principles mentioned above. In the next article, we will share with you some of the Agile frameworks such as Agile Project Management and Scrum in a more detailed manner.

If you wish to learn more or have any questions about Agile, feel free to contact us at info@cybiant.com or chat with us on our website.