Agile Manifesto - Principles, Values and Benefits

By Keerti

Last updated on Jul 9 2020

Agile Manifesto - Principles, Values and Benefits

Everything About the Agile Manifesto

 

Introduction to Agile 

 

Understanding the Agile manifesto for the uninitiated may be a little daunting. But those in the knowhow can understand it’s a methodology that almost every organization makes use of, especially in the form of Gantt charts and the waterfall project framework. The relevance of Agile had benefited software development when it was first introduced later. The method was adopted by other industries as well which increased job demand in the agile field. 

 

Why Use Agile Manifesto Principles

 

The use of manifest Agile brought in a revolutionary change in how projects where handled. Since the 90’s the software developers understood there had to be a close tandem in how the processes had to be followed right from

  • the forming the teams
  • bringing the stakeholders for the project
  • regular addition of business value to the product and beyond
  • setting up a self -organizing teams

Though there was a broad perspective to the thought process mentioned above, the Agile Manifesto actually put it in a codified manner so that it became a set of principles that could be utilized as a standard for any kind of industry to follow and regulate their work as they wanted.

 

What Agile Manifesto Can Do

 

The agile methodology has helped the industry to cope with changes and respond to it quickly and try to make a success of the project undertaken. The risks are plenty and the need to adapt and move forward to be efficient as possible and lower the rate of discrepancies by streamlining the entire process with the help of the Agile framework. The structure of Agile isn’t rigid and can be modulated according to the needs of the project type and the changing circumstances. It is commonly used and known as the manifesto for agile software development

 

Understanding Agile Manifesto Meaning

 

With the help of agile techniques, the project team can self-organize and be more productive with cross-functionality. The team needs enough expertise in finding solutions for which they have to acquire several skillsets when they encounter and deal with the problems and risks that come by. It will be the guiding point in terms of behaviors and priorities that have to be needed to function autonomously. In using the Agile values and principles, managers will be able to will help the team members to find their goals and making sure that everyone is aware of the guidelines.

 

Understanding the Agile Manifesto Values and Principles

 

The agile manifesto runs to four fundamental values and twelve agile principles that were put in place to guide the software development, which later on worked well for other projects in various industries.

 

  • According to the agile values, one of them mentions that the processes, as well as the tools, users aren’t responsive if there aren’t interactions or people who make use of them
  • Every project can make use of the agile framework, but the documentation part will surely stay
  • Agile depends largely on collaborating with the client and their requirements. The entire product lifecycle will evolve on the feedback generated through customer relationship
  • Agile sprints are responses to every little change in the plan and adjusting the change as it comes. The framework is built to ensure that every change works in favor of the project. You can look forward to agile mandates and zero documentation.

 

How Four Values of Agile Work in a Project

 

  • To elaborate on the principles stated above, which can check out that the framework enables the project to understand the needs of the organization as well as work on the client requirements. The responses have genuine solutions that can drive for the development of the project accordingly with the help of tools and processes. It worked well for agile software manifesto.

 

  • Documentation may seem a tedious job that requires every detail to be noted and filed for future records. Since it is a necessity for every project, it cannot be left out, but agile framework, on the other hand, will help you streamline the process, which will avoid a lot of hassles that come in the way of documentation.

 

  • The traditional way of project management involved the customer, perhaps at the beginning of the project, to jot down the requirements and possibly to deliver the finished project. But in the Agile method, the customer is involved throughout the project lifecycle, and the feedback at every point is inclusive of the progress of the project until it is done.

 

  • Every project may not work in a controlled manner because changes can happen, and there is a need to accommodate them. Agile allows this, and you can incorporate these changes and move on in the project to bring in a good result.

 

12 Agile Principles

 

The manifesto also contains twelve principles agile that need adhering to,

 

  • Customer satisfaction is the prime goal that needs to catered at every point of development right to the delivery of the product or service
  • The ability to incorporate changes even in the later stages of development is what principles from the Agile allow and how they can add a competitive edge to the product as well as catering to the customer demand as well.
  • Shortening the schedule of delivery and making sure that the product is worked on efficiently and engage in lessen time to deliver the product or service.
  • The need to collaborate both with the developers and the stakeholders is crucial for the project to come together as planned.
  • The projects can be developed with a spirited team and the right environment for them to thrive and use their maximum potential to deliver the product. It is also known as agile development manifesto.
  • The need for personal interaction is vital to get the team into confidence and make sure that the project is implemented as required
  • Agile works based on the fact that everything on the project is in working condition and progress thus can be measured
  • When you implement agile principles, the persons involved with the project right from the stakeholders to the developers and ultimately, the consumers all will know and control the pace of the project. the project will aim for a sustainable development
  • The use of enhanced technical skills to ensure that the best of the processes can make the project distinguished
  • Optimizing on resources, time and maximizing the results but keeping the whole process less complicated too
  • The best-skilled teams that are put together can bring in the best of the architecture and design elements which adhere to thee requirements
  • The team should have regular communication, which allows them to fine-tune the aspects and bring in more effective strategies. If any changes are required, they can be met, and adjustments can be roped in as per necessity.

 

Agile is not a rigid set of rules which bind any team or the project leader, but its flexible nature of principles that can be adopted as per the project makes it sound like a methodology. In reality, it encompasses all the processes that traditional project management does but in a more refined way, bringing in clarity to the forefront, thus restoring balance to the project. You then begin to understand the concept and agile principles.

 

Planning now can be worked around the risks that changing environments throw upon us and be able to usher in better possibilities to get the required results faster. There are several Agile proponents and users around the globe, and all have felt that four values of agile can help do the following for a project in a better way,

  • Planning
  • Monitoring
  • Reporting

The progress is more flexible, and changes can be incorporated as necessitated without having to lose on time or funds and yet get the project done on time. There were hours and hours spent on the requirements gathering process, and the implementation part of the time lag would cost the organization very dear. All this can be done with the help of the values of agile.

 

Explore - Agile Management Certification

 

How Key Principles of Agile are Best used in a Project

 

Working on a timescale

 

As technology advanced and the usage of software applications made the time gap lesser and lesser by the day. There was a need to bring in changes in the way the processes were done in agile, which became the vehicle for change. Though the software industries were the first to make use of the Agile framework, other industries reciprocated the need of such methodology in their project management as well.

 

Adding value to the product

 

Since the need to add value to the product or the service each time a project came about, there was increased responsibility each time. To build-up to the expectations as well as confront the risks and issues that crop up, a principle of the agile framework does come handy for the team and manager to rely on and work out some stability in the processes. Yet have the needed flexibility, leaving room for change and bringing in or taking out any of the components when getting the project done.

 

Making optimal use of the resources

 

The Agile models and manifesto can be utilized to plan your projects in detail, look into the shortcomings in how resources or even requirements may have been utilized. Many models and frameworks were tried and tested. Each had a weak link, but four values of Agile seemed to fit the bill in all aspects. Changes in the way market behaved, and technological advancement was pivotal to fid and something that catered to all aspects and gave them the best of the outcomes.

 

Flexible framework

 

The rigidity of what was applied previously in project management had become a foregone solution but as people saw that new approaches like the Agile way of handling the project could bring out changes that need not change the resources but the method of managing the potential inputs in a way that it can be made into the best deliverable possible. These principles of agile software development have been great for expediting projects.

 

Agile team need to comply with the values  and principles:

 

The team may have access to tools and other resources that fuel the project. But as you proceed in the project, there will be several stumbling blocks and other miscommunications that hamper the progress of the project. These issues have to be ironed out and streamlined with the help of the twelve principles of Agile methodology, which can guide the project manager as well as the team in the right direction. Comprehensive data, as well as overwhelming changes, get difficult to handle. In such cases, the processes have to be guided every step of the way. Allowing each team member to contribute to the full potential ensuring the processes they undertake are aligned to the project as a whole as well.

 

The stakeholders and as well as the client can suggest and help make the decisions while collaborating with the team at each point of the project. The involvement to such extent may sound overbearing to the traditionalists. Agile makes sure that it is how you will bring out the end product as desirable as envisioned at the beginning of the project.

 

Co-existing with traditional project management

 

The documentation cannot be neglected just because you have been implementing an agile approach for project management. The sole focus need not be put on documenting rather that the handling of the project and looking into the specifications that are required to complete the project. During the course of the project, certain specifications may lose relevance, and new changes would have to be incorporated so that the project becomes viable. In such cases, the team has to look into the working software to adapt the changes and try and meet the customer expectations than just concentrate on heaps of documentation.

 

Getting a working product ready at all times

 

A working product will be a better indicator that will be aligning with the requirements of the client than the document that would have been created months ago, listing out the expectations and needs. Along the way, those needs and expectations change, and they may be subtle or major changes because many external forces come into play when handling projects. Documentation still needs to be done as it records all you have done and even the changes you have incorporated along the way as well.

 

Testing essential at various points

 

There is a need to test the product during the agile framework sprints, this way, you will be eliminating the chance to spend excessive time and money on the next testing phase, which sometimes may cause disappointment. Testing in the sprints will allow us to rectify the issues that might have cropped up and been able to inculcate the changes required without much hassle.

 

Methodology allows collaboration

 

The agile methodology can be worked on for the project team’s advantage when you have negotiation and collaboration with all those attached to the project, either financially or the end product. Each part of the discussion can help to correct the course of the project if the stakeholders or the client require changes, and the deliberations can end up in something fruitful when communication is barrier-free. The vision for the project can be redefined as per the requirements stated and corrected.

 

All can be part of the project from day one

 

Traditionally, it was only during the initial documentation phase negotiations that will be held and consultations considered from all parties concerned. After which the project would be underway, and only after the completion would the client or stakeholders get a chance to look into the final product directly with no conversations or in-process products well. It made it difficult then to go back to the drawing board and make changes if the clients weren’t stratified, a whole lot of time and money would go to waste. The agile framework has resolved this problem to a great extent.

 

Agile has allowed the interaction of the customer throughout the product lifecycle, which enables the team to confer with real-time clarifications with the customers and be able to align the work according to customer priorities.

 

Allows changes in the project at any point of time

 

Using a standard process may have been easy accomplishments to all projects that are undertaken when utilizing the traditional way to do so. But changes happen because of external events, or the customer will want them to be made. When using standardized approaches, you will find it hard to penetrate the framework and make use of the changes suitably and end up with a good result. It is also the fear that it would be an expensive affair to carry out.

 

Agile methodology, on the other, will readily incorporate the changes without having to find and conceptualize ways to bypass the standardized methods because the 12 agile principles and values show that changes can be used for the benefit of the project and enhance the end result if the team utilizes and works on the potential with the skill and expertise.

 

It could always be easy to stick to the documentation and elaborate plans that once were made and continue to do so, but this can be devastating for the project and organization as they will never be ahead in competition because they couldn’t incorporate the changes. The agile manifesto will help the organization realize that getting in the changes will help take the project to different levels and meet expectations that couldn’t be done when using the standardized procedure.

 

Helps in making the project viable

 

It gives the opportunity to make the shift when receiving the feedback and change the priorities as necessitated. The features can be added, thus making the project more viable. The plan is open to changes that can actually set about bringing out the best work from the team members as they have to keep innovating and think on their feet as new suggestions come up.

 

Works on customer satisfaction

 

Agile framework helps to keep the customer satisfied as they know what they are getting right from the beginning and see the changes as it happens and can bring in suggestions of their own and be a part of the project lifecycle. There is no ambiguity whatsoever, and every time you are adding value as you make changes. The customer definitely becomes the project sponsor, and when the project is done you will find that end user is the customer as well but can also be defined as a user

 

Changes can be implemented at any stage

 

When applying Agile, the team can readily apply changes even when they are late into the development of the product. Agile framework allows the organization to harness the change in a better way and turn it into an advantage. Every sprint is check will help keep the quality intact, and the changes though may seem time-consuming, will not cause a delay in the project but will help build a better schedule to churn out the project with the help of Agile.

 

How the Principles of Agile Methodology affects the Project

 

  • Making a product as per the initial requirements and delivering wouldn’t serve the business needs as, over time, the product will be redundant and will be of no use to the customer. There will be sufficient collaboration to work out the things that will ensure the product will meet the needs and more when done.
  • The timescales can be changed when using agile documentation as it helps to divide the schedule into sprints, which in turn can be scaled out for the project work. It also helps to check on the project regularly and get the quality looked into as well as incorporate the needed changes as per the feedback.
  • Agile makes sure that you will be working together not only as a team but the people who invest as well the customers can put forth their ideas and requirements at every phase of the project and be contributors in their own way.
  • The team has to be motivated, and they could then channelize their potential to successful projects and deliver a superior product. They will need support from the organization and trust from the stakeholders and customers alike to keep them to give their best for the project. Allowing them to make decisions or able to provide feedback on how they could implement the ideas is necessary for the smooth functioning of the project team, which eventually impacts their productivity as well. It all boils down to the four values of agile to deliver and bring forth the best despite changes even in the later developmental stages of the project.
  • Personal interaction plays a huge role, and this will ensure that the team or the customers will be able to gauge the level of trust and understanding based on which the project stands. It is crucial to build this and work on it from time to time, also known as forging a bond.
  • Creating sustainable development is the motto that Agile follows and well laid out in the principles that are shared. The consistency and scale may vary as the changes are incorporated as there may be a need for extra funding or time to bring in the new idea in the sprint schedule, but in the overall project, the time scales are kept tight. Agile values help to bring competency to the project at hand.
  • The pace of the project should be consistent from the beginning, and slackening cannot be a viable option for the team or the organization. The changes and feedback keep coming issues may crop up. Several other hurdles may stick their ugly head out, but the team has to be prepared to work on the problems and deliver each time no matter what comes by.
  • The team has to strive for excellence and work for good product design and be able to take up the changes that come by and design a quality product. The use of agile principles helps combat consistent changes made to the project.
  • The product has to be uncomplicated and give scope for any changes even when you try to do it at a later stage. All this to be done within the confines of the definition of the product.
  • With the teams being self-organized have a better scope to take ideas to different levels and make better innovative and creative inputs in the designing process.
  • There has to be a need to reflect and self-improvement so that results can be bettered, and the pace can be hastened as well.

 

The manifesto for agile software development would have given the impetus for the popularity of the framework, but now you can reap the benefits in every project. The relevancy of the project remains long after the project cycle gets over. The iteration of changes and incorporating them into the project would make the project viable for all those involved in the project. The values and principles can be applied to any industry and looked up for making the project from the best of means and get the deliverables as desired.

 

Suggested Read - Agile Methodology Explained 

 

Takeaway

 

The Agile manifesto has taken prominence in every project because of the customer-centricity that comes with using agile. It may have begun with the software industry taking up this framework seriously, but now all industries have followed suit and embraced the agile methodology.

 

To get full details about Agile training courses and top agile certifications, reach us at Click Here or chat with course expert

 

Sprintzeal also offer other popular Agile Management training India like,

 

CSPO Certified Scrum Product Owner Certification

CSM Certified Scrum Master Training 

 

 

 

 

About the Author

Sprintzeal   Keerti

Technical Content Writer in Agile Management Domain

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