12 Principles Behind Agile

9 November, 2016

#WhyShaiWhy [Videos] Agile Get Started with Agile

The 12 Principles of Agile software development embody the essential values of the Agile Manifesto. And if you thought it couldn’t get more essential than that, I’ve grouped them into four themes that shine a spotlight on the value that Agile brings to teams, software projects, customers and organisations wherever it’s successfully used!

Watch this episode of #WhyShaiWhy or keep reading to discover the four Agile themes. If you want copies of the posters mentioned in the video, just let us know!

What makes Agile valuable

I believe these themes distill the fundamental value Agile brings to teams, software projects and organisations. They’re all equally important, even if the 12 Principles of Agile aren’t shared equally between them!

Customer and Software

We can’t do without these two in an Agile team. We are not about technology; we are not about hardware, or anything technical.

It’s about software and relationships with your customers.

1. Our highest priority is to satisfy the customer through early and continuous delivery of valuable software.
3. Deliver working software frequently, from a couple of weeks to a couple of months, with a preference for the shorter timescale.
7. Working software is the primary measure of progress.
9. Continuous attention to technical excellence and good design enhances agility.
10. Simplicity — the art of maximizing the amount of work not done — is essential.

Collaboration and Team

Especially in corporate environments, you have multiple stakeholders relying on your development team. Get collaborating with them and give them full access to your team when and if they need it. Build engagement throughout your stakeholder base to make your software development efforts as easy and streamlined as possible.

But communication should not only be external to your team. You need to invest in your own team’s collaboration. That might mean having team-o’clock or two-pizza teams. It also means ensuring team members can undertake each other’s roles at a basic competency level.

4. Business people and developers must work together daily throughout the project.
5. Build projects around motivated individuals. Give them the environment and support they need, then trust them to get the job done.
6. The most efficient and effective method of conveying information to and within the development team is face-to-face conversation.
11. The best architectures, requirements, and designs emerge from self-organizing teams.

Closed Loop Learning

The iterative way in which Agile works is all about learning. Think about it this way: if Sprint 1 is an experiment, then Sprint 2 encompasses the learnings from Sprint 1. Sprint 3 would encompass the learning from sprint 1 and 2.

Closed loop learning will make you very good, very fast!

(And that makes you, your team and your boss look good, too.)

8. Agile processes promote sustainable development. The sponsors, developers, and users should be able to maintain a constant pace indefinitely.
12. At regular intervals, the team reflects on how to become more effective, then tunes and adjusts its behavior accordingly.

Love Change!

Change is the way of the world. Things don’t stagnate purely because it is not in the nature of humanity.

Agile teams will embrace change and in most cases even promote change throughout the team and organisation. Without change we get no where – so let’s get somewhere today.

2. Welcome changing requirements, even late in development. Agile processes harness change for the customer’s competitive advantage.
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