What is the Agile Manifesto

Many software development teams use traditional processes like documentation which wastes a lot of time, and many release products with issues. Most of them could not meet the customer's demand as they lacked value and did not implement what they agreed in the product scope. When the agile manifesto started, most companies changed their development mindset and started focusing on how they could implement the agile manifesto. Most of them hire professionals who could help in understanding and implementing it. It promoted the use of different processes to ensure the faster release of projects with value to the customer. Some of the biggest companies using agile practices to scale include Cisco, LEGO Digital Solutions, Barclays, Panera Bread, Ericsson, PlayStation Network, John Deere, and Fitbit.

What is the Agile Manifesto

The agile manifesto is a document that outlines four values and twelve principles that software developers should use to improve software development using agile methodologies and practices. It gets rid of traditional processes like documentation and oversight. It helps improve some of the processes to ensure a faster release of projects.

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History of Agile Manifesto

In February 2001, a team of developers met to have fun in Utah at a resort called Ski. They engaged in activities like drinking, eating, and relaxing. The group consisted of 17 developers. 

They were also there to discuss issues they were facing and solutions in the software development field. They discussed several issues and decided on an alternative software development method that didn’t rely on documentation. That's when they created the manifesto.

They named themselves “The Agile Alliance,” They prepared a booklet that comprised four values and twelve principles and called it the Agile manifesto. The group later grew into an organization with over 70,000 members right now. They usually have conferences and meetings to learn more about the agile methodologies.

The manifesto talked about how the developers can fasten the release of projects and best practices with more focus on the customers. It also guided teams on how they can respond to changes and implement them while considering the customer's feedback.

Before the agile manifesto, some developers used some agile practices in their projects. The manifesto did combine all of them and added a few ideas from several software development experiences into one piece.

At first, the report was mainly for software development teams. But recently, more teams are embracing agile practices, i.e., IT operations, project management, marketing, sales, e.t.c.

The Four Values of Agile Manifesto

1. Individuals and Interactions :

You have to value people more than tools and processes. The team ensures the project is successful, and they can also respond to all the business requirements and make the development faster. 

Interactions will improve collaboration and the rate of solving issues. If you have too much reliance on tools and processes, you will fail to meet the product deadline, and you will face problems like poor communication, lack of collaboration, and teamwork.

One of the manifesto founders, Mr. Jim Highsmith, has a detailed approach to prioritizing people over software. He requests software developers to understand how people are the most critical factor.

2. Working software :

Most developers used to spend a lot of documentation like technical specifications, test plans, documentation plans, e.t.c, before releasing the software to the market. Agile practices recommend that the team build the project first until delivery. Then they can shift the focus to documentation later. It also uses user stories that help developers understand what they need when developing software.

3. Collaboration with the customers :

Product managers used to negotiate with the customer to help them outline the details of the project, plans, steps, and what is required. It took a lot of time. Agile manifesto recommends using waterfall and continuous development methods in the process of development. 

It makes the collaboration process easier, helping meet the customer's requirements. You have to take customers' suggestions and incorporate them into the development process. It helps in improving the customer experience.

4. Ability to make changes :

In traditional software development, the team would stick to the project's plan despite facing any issues. The agile manifesto changed that, and there is the power to change the overall plans. When a customer requests any change, the team adapts and makes changes to meet the customer's requirements.

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The Twelve Agile Manifesto Principles

1.To ensure customer satisfaction using continuous delivery :

During the old traditional software development methods, customers viewed their project upon completion, making it hard to make changes. Agile development ensures they meet the customer's demands by engaging them during different phases of the application development. It helps remove mistakes and incorporates the customer corrections, which leads to a greater product that makes the customer happy.
The team can also launch an application using a landing page and a minimum viable product. The customers will give different feedback concerning the project. Take it and approve the changes to the project to make the customers happy. The whole process ensures the faster release of projects to the customers and ensures it fits their needs.

2. Welcome changing requirements, even late in development :

Some customers bring changes during the last phases of project development. The old development methods had plans before starting any project, and if changes could arise, it would mean an increase in development costs. Agile methodologies embrace the late changes and treat them as valuable to the project. Most of the team members don’t find any issues making late changes to a project. They are ok with that.

3. Frequent delivery of working software :

The old methods used documentation as one of the planning methods that took a lot of time. Agile methodologies reduce the time for software delivery by using scrum that breaks large projects into smaller portions(sprints). After working in sprints, they later combine in the final submission. It saves time and provides more time for validating ideas and strategies. It also helped in improving the performance of the team.

4. Ensure there is collaboration between everyone for the successful delivery of the project :

Agile manifestos require everyone to be engaged in different levels of development. We should have better communication between the developers and the project owner. 

It helps build trust between one another and update the project's progress. It also helps in having a project with value and good performance.

5. When building projects, ensure you work with motivated workers. Provide a good environment and provide all the support they and give them enough trust to ensure they finish the project in time ;

The principle allows project managers to be careful when selecting team members. They have to choose individuals with the right skill set, understand their roles and responsibilities, and understand the project scope. 

It helps ensure the is little management and the project release is successful. When you choose motivated individuals, there will be better communication that will lead to better team engagement.

6. Ensure that the communication between one another in the team is face to face and the method you use has to be effective and efficient :

Communication methods should involve face-to-face communication like emails and memos when working with different parties. The agile manifesto advocates the use of face-to-face communication. You can use standups meetings, sprint meetings, and pair programming. It helps provide real-time communication about the project scope.

7. You can be sure you have done the right thing once we have a working software :

Agile manifesto advocates for faster software release into the marketing before focusing on other aspects like documentation. You have to ensure you meet the project owner's requirements and meet all their needs. All you have to do is ensure that the customers love the released product.

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8. Most agile practices help in ensuring sustainable development. Everyone is responsible from owners to users and should work with the same practices :

When the team works on a project, it should have an iterative pattern they follow to ensure their development phase is doing well. It avoids the cases of stress, burnout, or feeling overburdened with the project. It improves the morale of the team members, and everyone takes work that he can manage without having any issues.

9. To promote agility, they have to pay more attention to design and the technical excellence :

It encourages the team to provide value to their projects to ensure it doesn’t have any issues after release. When there are changes that need to be done, it won't affect the project negatively.

10. Focus on the value instead of the quantity of job done :

The team should focus on the things that will improve the project. There is no need to spend more time on planning and team members adding more extra features. The team also needs to stay focused on the objectives and purpose.

11. The team should learn how to self organize themselves with consideration of designs and the requirements of the project :

Having well-organized teams helps make decisions as a team, not as individuals. It enables members to share different responsibilities on the project. It also helps in the project release having value.

12. The team should reflect on how to improve effectiveness after a certain duration and work on the changes accordingly :

It helps check the performance and the improvements you can make on the project. The project managers conduct meetings that oversee the overall performance and pinpoint areas that need improvements. You also create a culture for collecting feedback and working on it.

Importance of Agile Manifesto :

Most software development teams that follow the agile framework use the agile manifesto. It helps them in managing their projects and implementing the agile best practices. It enables teams to focus on particular parts of the project rather than working on adding extra features. 

Team members must stick to the project's objectives as proposed during the scrum meetings.

Some teams have issues with implementing the agile manifesto. There are cases where the manager imposes agile practices on the groups without following the proper procedures. The company should consider recruiting people with scrum skills to help them implement the agile culture.

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Many companies using agile practices have reported improved product delivery and change in their development processes. It has improved the workflow and how the companies used to hire according to the skillset. Apart from software development, several sectors have embraced agile practices, i.e., finance, sales, marketing, human resource, and customer service.

If you are a company using the old processes, you have to learn how you can create an agile culture and work with them. It comes with many benefits in the long run.

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As a Senior Writer for HKR Trainings, Sai Manikanth has a great understanding of today’s data-driven environment, which includes key aspects such as Business Intelligence and data management. He manages the task of creating great content in the areas of Digital Marketing, Content Management, Project Management & Methodologies, Product Lifecycle Management Tools. Connect with him on LinkedIn and Twitter.

Agile manifesto principle helps establish and implement agile methodologies by changing the mindset and ensuring the users have agile thinking.

Agile manifesto helps software development and project managers in companies use frameworks that use agile practices to help them release software in the set period.

The most important thing, according to the agile manifesto, is to ensure you have a working software, you listen to the customer's feedback and do all the changes, handling individuals and interactions, companies using different processes and tools like contracts, documentation, and plans in implementing the agile practices.

Another name for agile manifesto is Design thinking.

Having more attention to good designs and technical aspects and how to improve the product are the essential agile principles.

Agile manifesto comprises of 12 principles.

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