The Agile Manifesto, also called the Manifesto for Agile Software Development, is a formal proclamation of four key values and 12 principles to guide an iterative and people-centric approach to software development.

It’s Manifesto was published by a team of software developers in 2001, highlighting the importance that needs to be given to the development team, accommodating changing requirements, customer involvement.

The Agile Manifesto is as follows:

“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.”

…Manifesto for Agile Software Development, Authors: Beck, Kent, et al. (2001)

Manifesto ItemDescription
Individuals and interactionsImportance needs to be given to:

self-organization and self-motivation of the team members

continuous interaction for work, clarifications, information among the team members

Working SoftwareDelivery of working software at short duration intervals helps gain customer trust and assurance in the team.
Customer collaborationConstant involvement of customer with the development team ensures communication of necessary modifications.
Responding to changeFocus on quick response to the proposed changes, which is made possible with short duration iterations.

The Agile Manifesto provides a philosophical foundation for effective software development. Contrary to some of the criticisms you may have heard from the traditional community, the fact is that the agile movement is based on some very solid concepts and the methodologies clearly reflect that. Unfortunately the agile community currently suffers from low-end hackers claiming to be agile (e.g. the “we don’t document therefore we’re agile” crowd) and many traditionalists jump on that and say that agile is a bad idea. Yes, the “code-and-fix” approach to development is a bad idea, but code-and-fix isn’t agile regardless of what these clowns claim.

The basic goal of the Agile methodology is to deliver better software, and it does this by offering up a structure that aims to be clear and measurable by placing an emphasis on iterative development, team collaboration, and embracing change.

For any development team that is after an alternative solution of a faster process, it’s worth having a gander at the Agile Manifesto values and principles.


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