What is the Agile Manifesto? Agile Principles and Values

In the nearly two decades since its creation, these words have been embraced by countless individuals, teams, and companies. Teams and organizations started to adopt Agile, led primarily by people doing the development work in the teams. Gradually, managers of those teams also started introducing Agile approaches in their organizations. This is where frameworks such as Scrum, Extreme Programming, Feature-Driven Development , and Dynamic Systems Development Method , among others, started to appear. But it’s not just a numbers game—first and foremost, it’s about people.

definition of agile manifesto

The way you and your team live those values today – whether you do scrum by the book, or blend elements of kanban and XP – is entirely up to you. Agile isn’t defined by a set of ceremonies or specific development techniques. Rather, agile is a group of methodologies that demonstrate a commitment to tight feedback cycles and continuous improvement. With end of support for our Server products fast approaching, create a winning plan for your Cloud migration with the Atlassian Migration Program. In part due to its flexibility, one of the biggest problems with agile is that some teams describe themselves as such without properly applying or understanding the underlying principles. In early 2001, a group of 17 developers held two meetings — the first in Oregon, the second in Snowbird, Utah — to discuss issues and solutions in software development, which is how the manifesto was firstborn.

The Agile Manifesto, Explained

Why micromanage teams when they are skilled enough to work on their own? By allowing them to work within their own structures, you create more room for ideas to flourish, ultimately delivering better results. Agile teams must be consistent throughout their project life cycle, maintaining their speed throughout. This means they can sustain a constantly evolving environment without succumbing to delays. To keep your customers satisfied, you must deliver high-quality software. That is your ultimate priority and your metric for success — everything else is a secondary consideration.

definition of agile manifesto

“There’s cargo cult agile where you’re doing and saying the right things, but you don’t understand the fundamental principles. It does not create a new methodology for the reasons explained above. The Agile Manifesto and the 12 Principles were written by a group of software developers to address issues that software developers faced. When you think of Agile as a mindset, that mindset can be applied to other activities.

Deliver working software frequently, from a couple of weeks to a couple of months, with a preference to the shorter timescale.

LogRocket identifies friction points in the user experience so you can make informed decisions about product and design changes that must happen to hit your goals. Not only does the Agile Manifesto remain helpful, but many other industries outside of software development have adopted it. Simply tweaking a few references to “software” has gone a long way toward helping marketing teams, human resources, and many others to deliver valuable outcomes more efficiently. Agile is a mindset and philosophy around building products that espouses collaboration, customer-centricity, and expecting and responding to change. Give them the environment and support they need, and trust them to get the job done.

definition of agile manifesto

Another criticism is that in many ways, agile management and traditional management practices end up being in opposition to one another. A common criticism of this practice is that the time spent attempting to learn and implement the practice is too costly, despite potential benefits. A transition from traditional management to agile management requires total submission to agile and a firm commitment from all members of the organization to seeing the process through. Issues like unequal results across the organization, too much change for employees’ ability to handle, or a lack of guarantees at the end of the transformation are just a few examples. Agile software development paradigms can be used in other areas of life such as raising children.

Applications outside software development

The developers also explained that while planning is important, it’s necessary to accept that plans change and flexibility is needed for these modifications. Overall, the manifesto focuses on valuing individuals and interactions over processes and tools. Agile teams should focus not only on feature development but also on ensuring that they deliver high-quality products. This might include addressing any existing technical debt and preventing its accumulation. Agile teams using the Scrum framework might work with the Product Owner to include items that increase product quality in the Product Backlog.

Each survey has reported increasing numbers saying that agile software development helps them deliver software faster; improves their ability to manage changing customer priorities; and increases their productivity. Surveys have also consistently shown better results with agile product development methods compared to classical project management. In balance, there are reports that some feel that agile development methods are still too young to enable extensive academic research of their success. Potentially, most agile methods could be suitable for method tailoring, such as DSDM tailored in a CMM context. And XP tailored with the Rule Description Practices technique. Practitioners seldom use system development methods, or agile methods specifically, by the book, often choosing to omit or tailor some of the practices of a method in order to create an in-house method.


When you have the right people for the task, the project is more likely to be successful. Spend time choosing the perfect team, equip them with the resources they need, and trust them to deliver exceptional results. Traditional methodologies advocated for as little change as possible, recognizing that significant alterations could cost time and money. The aim was https://www.globalcloudteam.com/ to create a comprehensive plan that followed a structured, linear path and avoided obstacles where possible. After the Agile Manifesto was released, the alliance grew to form a global non-profit organization, which now has a community of more than 72,000 members. The Agile Alliance hosts regular conferences and organizes initiatives to support local groups.

  • Agile teams break large projects down into short timelines to guarantee regular delivery.
  • These basic arguments and previous industry experiences, learned from years of successes and failures, have helped shape agile development’s favor of adaptive, iterative and evolutionary development.
  • Adhering to this principle means that the team doesn’t disappear for six months while they figure out the best long-term architecture.
  • While the participants didn’t often agree, they did find consensus around four core values.
  • Included on this page, you’ll find the history of the Agile Manifesto, the four values of the Agile Manifesto, and the twelve Agile Manifesto principles.

Teams should always prioritize being agile and delivering fast over following a plan. There’s a tendency to pigeonhole agile into rigid processes. Some see Agile as a simple process that you can immediately do and start calling the business Agile. Published in February 2001, the manifesto has since formed the basis of a vast array of frameworks, methodologies, and different ways of working. If teams have all the necessary roles and skills to create the wanted product, they are able to decide and organize by themselves. Enhances agility – requires the right attitude and acceptance of the agile values.

XP – Extreme Programming

However, these techniques can be applied to the development of non-software products, such as computers, medical devices, food, clothing, and music. Agile software development methods have been used in non-development IT infrastructure deployments and migrations. Some of the wider principles of agile software development have also found application in general management (e.g., strategy, governance, risk, finance) under the terms business agility or agile business management. Within agile project management, product backlog refers to a prioritized list of functionality which a product should contain.

definition of agile manifesto

Product manager, passionate about understanding customers and helping people with problems that matter to them. Experienced in SQL, experimentation, data analysis, research, no-nonsense SEO. The following agile principles are what define an approach as agile.

Planning Poker

The product owner is responsible for representing the business in the development activity and is often the most demanding role. Teams must deal with new information, which may produce definition of agile manifesto additional tasks for a story. If the new information prevents the story from being completed during the iteration, then it should be carried over to a subsequent iteration.

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