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What Is Most Important According to the Agile Manifesto?
The Agile Manifesto is based on four pillars and 12 key principles, which are the most critical aspects of planning and executing a project.
The four pillars are:
- Individuals and interactions over processes and tools. Any strategies or tools should be flexible enough to adapt to the needs, skills, and priorities of team members and stakeholders. Individual needs should have priority over following processes.
- Working software over comprehensive documentation. Create enough documentation to support working deliverables but not so much that it delays the project timeline.
- Customer collaboration over contract negotiation. Customers should be considered partners. Collaboration and communication should be ongoing throughout the life of the project.
- Responding to change over following a plan. The project team should be willing and able to adapt to changing customer expectations and requests throughout the project, rather than sticking to a fixed scope.
The 12 principles are:
- Our highest priority is to satisfy the customer through early and continuous delivery of valuable software. Customers should receive deliverables or iterations at regular intervals.
- Welcome changing requirements, even late in development. Agile processes harness change for the customer's competitive advantage. The ability to adapt to last-minute changes and requests with minimal delay is critical.
- Deliver working software frequently, from a couple of weeks to a couple of months, with a preference for shorter timescales. Agile embraces short project timelines with a fast turnaround of workable products.
- Business people and developers must work together daily throughout the project. Regular communication and interaction among all stakeholders are vital to the project’s success.
- Build projects around motivated individuals. Give them the environment and support they need and trust them to get the job done. Your focus should be on motivating the project team and supporting them to do their jobs.
- The most efficient and effective method of conveying information to and within a development team is face-to-face conversation. Co-locate teams and stakeholders whenever possible. Opt for video conferencing over phone or email.
- Working software is the primary measure of progress. The emphasis is on completed, working deliverables, not hours spent, the time elapsed, or supplementary deliverables such as documentation.
- Agile processes promote sustainable development. The sponsors, developers, and users should be able to maintain a constant pace indefinitely. Agile projects should have a consistent rate for each iterative cycle or sprint, eliminating overtime or crashing schedules while promoting frequent output of workable products.
- Continuous attention to technical excellence and good design enhances agility. An Agile focus should be on improving the product and advancing consistently.
- Simplicity — the art of maximizing the amount of work not done — is essential. The goal is to get just enough done to complete the requested project. Any additional documentation, steps, processes, or work that does not add value should be avoided or eliminated.
- The best architectures, requirements, and designs emerge from self-organizing teams. A fundamental belief of Agile is that motivated, autonomous, and skilled teams will deliver the best results and products.
- At regular intervals, the team reflects on becoming more effective, then tunes and adjusts its behavior accordingly. The team’s focus should be on advancing their skills and processes to grow and improve.