Manifesto for Agile Software Development

Has it ever occurred to you, why agile way of software development is gaining popularity? Why suddenly the traditional way of development is not good enough? I too thought about the same. I found the answers in the manifesto for agile software development. It is not just the flexibility, nimbleness or adaptability that creates the difference. It has more to do with the core values and principles which drive the agile mindset.

There are four values at the core that form the manifesto for agile software development.

Individuals and interactions over processes and tools

People develop and deliver the working software. The more they interact, the better understanding they will have about the product to be developed. Increased interaction will also lead to new ideas for making the product even better. The manifesto suggests that though processes and tools do make life easier but it is the individual contributors who actually deliver the output.

Working software over comprehensive documentation 

The documentation about a product’s functional specifications may come handy but it is the functional software that creates all the value. Over a period of time we have acknowledged the fact that there is more value in working software. It is much valuable than creating a specification document for it. The stakeholders can better envision the product life-cycle given a working system. They may even suggest some changes if the working software is not inline with their product vision.

Customer collaboration over contract negotiation

As is the case with documentation so is with product contracts. The manifesto advocates that the customers (stakeholders, clients) must collaborate regularly with development team. This ensures that both the parties are on the same page and understand the requirements properly. The more the collaboration between the two the lesser is the chance of any assumptions among the development team about the ideas or vision of the stakeholders. This ensures that both are spending efforts on developing right functionality.

Responding to change over following a plan

Embrace change requests even late in development to make sure that customers can take full advantage of current market trends and the development team does not put its efforts developing a functionality which no one wants. As Eisenhower said,

In preparing for battle I have found plans are useless; but planning is indispensable.

We do planning for short term objectives; however we do not stick to them. If there is a change needed due to any reason- market change, feature not adding value etc. we are open to address it and help the business become successful.

To summarize the core values of Agile Manifesto are

Individuals and interactions over processes and tools

Working software over comprehensive documentation

Customer collaboration over contract negotiation

Responding to change over following a plan

The manifesto however also maintains that it does not out-rightly negates the value of the items on the right but with agile mindset the items on the left are valued more.

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