The Agile Manifesto Explained

The Manifesto Explained

The Agile Manifesto explained helps you understand the values and principles making it easier to implement.

What is says:

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

The Manifesto Explained:
In 2001, 17 developers got together and  came together on these values.
This was based on their experience, and their experience helping others.
This was focused on Software Development.
This is what they felt was important, based on what worked for them.

What it says:
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 Manifesto Explained:
The focus for any development project should be the people doing the work, the actual work, working with the customer and responding to change.
It’s important to note that processes and tools, documentations and plans are part of Agile projects. However the key measure of success is a developed product. At the end of your project your customer wants their product, not a compiled document including processes followed and a work breakdown structure.

What it says:
The original signers of the Manifesto:

Kent Beck
Mike Beedle
Arie van Bennekum
Alistair Cockburn
Ward Cunningham
Martin Fowler
James Grenning
Jim Highsmith
Andrew Hunt
Ron Jeffries
Jon Kern
Brian Marick
Robert C. Martin
Steve Mellor
Ken Schwaber
Jeff Sutherland
Dave Thomas

The Manifesto Explained:
These software professionals came together to create these values, but didn’t stop there. Many of them wrote books, created their own Agile Frameworks and standards.

Examples of what some of them have done:

Kent Beck : Created Extreme Programming
Mike Beedle: Co-Authored first Scrum Book, founder of Enterprise Scrum.
Alistair Cockburn: Methodologist, created Crystal Agile Framwork
Ward Cunningham: Pioneer in design patterns and Extreme Programming. Created Framework for Integrated Tests.
James Grenning :Authored first book on Test Driven Development,  Invented Agile practice of Planning Poker.
Ron Jeffries: Founder of Extreme Practicies
Brian Marick: Pioneer of Context-Driven testing
Ken Schwaber: Founder of the Agile Alliance, and
Jeff Sutherland: CEO of Scrum INC


The  Manifesto Explained

The principles below go much deeper into the values behind the Agile Manifesto. They provide guidelines to make the agile manifesto successful.

When people talk about Agile, they often highlight the first paragraph above, and ignore the underlying principles that provide structure to make it work. Read through the principles again, pausing at the highlighted sections to understand the structure provided.

Principles behind the Agile Manifesto


We follow these principles:

Our highest priority is to satisfy the customer
through early and continuous delivery
of 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.

The Manifesto and Principles were copied with permission.

Image from Flickr user LizaDaly