Agile Manifesto for Software Development: 12 Key Principles of Agile
Agile methodology is a set of tools and principles which shape up a certain approach to software development. It relies upon flexibility, iterative development, interaction between stakeholders, and adaptability to the changing environment and customer’s needs. Agile methodology was put forward in 2001 in Agile Manifesto when a group of the leading software developers gathered up to build up a common understanding of new approaches suitable for the modern times.
Then, in 2001, four main Agile methodology principles were voiced which laid the foundation to the whole Agile methodology. Agile patrons agreed upon the following: 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.
There are a few common Agile methods which are used by the software developers, but they all rely upon the abovementioned postulates. These postulates provide a solid basis for understanding Agile ideology. There is also a commonplace set of 12 Agile principles which explain the ideology in greater detail. Use them to create a successful Agile project and inspire your development team to use Agile methods.
These Agile Manifesto principles were postulated at the same time, and they remain unchanged since the early 2000’s. So, what are the 12 Agile Manifesto principles?
1. Our highest priority is to satisfy the customer through early and continuous delivery of valuable software. Continuous delivery of small-size software pieces is a key feature of Agile methodology. Through this practice, high adaptability of the whole development process is ensured.
2. Welcome changing requirements, even late in development. Agile processes harness change for the customer’s competitive advantage. Flexibility of the project is another key value of Agile methodology. Unlike traditional Waterfall methods, which are consequent and rigid in structure, Agile methods welcome change. Adaptable environment ensures that the project is always up-to-date and falls within the scope of the customer’s requirements.
3. Deliver working software frequently, from a couple of weeks to a couple of months, with a preference to the shorter timescale. In most Agile methods development cycles are limited by 4 weeks. Teams work in a high tempo, preferring to deliver not a spotless software increment but a workable build which can be shown to the customer and later modified according to the feedback. This helps to avoid spending time developing software with functionality which will be rejected by the customer.
4. Business people and developers must work together daily throughout the project. Close interaction with the customer is a must for a successful Agile project. You need to coordinate all of your processes with the client and get his feedback after each development cycle.
5. Build projects around motivated individuals. Give them the environment and support they need, and trust them to get the job done. An Agile project cannot be successful without a professional team. This may sound as an obvious fact, but unlike traditional methodology, Agile requires much more decision-making. Thus, your teams should be able to make crucial decisions every day and take responsibility for them. Non-professional team members will become a burden for your development project. 5 of the main Agile principles are covered. Stay tuned for an additional portion of 7 important Agile principles.
6. The most efficient and effective method of conveying information to and within a development team is face-to-face conversation. Face-to-face communication helps to save time and resources. Agile methodology does not rely upon profound documentation of the development process. This principle may have its drawbacks in certain situations but it increases the rhythm of the overall process, which is so important for Agile ideology. These 6 Agile principles will help you a lot to convey a successful project but stay with us for more.
7. Working software is the primary measure of progress. Agile methodology is result-driven. You don’t need to prove the efficiency of your project to the customer with in-depth documentation, simply show him a working application. That is what he is looking for, agreeing to use Agile.
8. Agile processes promote sustainable development. The sponsors, developers, and users should be able to maintain a constant pace indefinitely. A successful Agile project should have this principle in mind. When developing software, you need to keep in mind long-term development goals. 8 Agile principles are here, and 4 more are about to come.
9. Continuous attention to technical excellence and good design enhances agility. A high quality of software product at the early stages and throughout the whole development process is essential. Since the development cycles are short, you will have to deliver working increments at a high pace. This was the 9th Agile principle. We are at the finish line.
10. Simplicity — the art of maximizing the amount of work not done — is essential. The 10th Agile principle is simple as that. We have nothing to comment on here.
11. The best architectures, requirements, and designs emerge from self-organizing teams. Once again, a well-trained team aware of Agile principles is very important. Try to create development teams from those people who can make important decisions and take responsibility.
12. At regular intervals, the team reflects on how to become more effective, then tunes and adjusts its behavior accordingly. Your team members should always be reflexive and think constantly how to improve the product. Together with the customer they constantly need to think their work over and take steps to improve the software.