Agile explained


For the record, agile is not new or complex. In fact, it’s not even a methodology. If Agile is anything, I would describe it as a ‘mindset’, of ‘doing more for less’. At its heart, it enables you to deliver what the customer actually needs earlier, whilst reducing wasted time, effort and resources on the journey.


Agile isn't as new as we like to believe. Agile as we know it now evolved from a conference of technology experts who in 2001 met in Utah to discuss how technology projects seemed to be either late, over budget, to low quality, functionally incomplete or even worse, disappointing to customers. On February 11-13, 2001, at The Lodge at Snowbird ski resort in the Wasatch mountains of Utah, seventeen people met to talk, ski, relax, and try to find common ground—and of course, to eat.


They were the leading pioneers of Extreme Programming, Scrum, and Adaptive Software Development, and they were seeking a set of compatible values based on trust, respect and collaboration. They wanted to make software development easier.


And they found it in the form of a manifesto. What emerged was the Agile 'Software Development' Manifesto.


This group of 17 software experts developed 4 values and 12 principles.


That’s it: 4 values and 12 principles, and what’s more, they weren’t even that new. Their inspiration was the lean manufacturing principles developed in the Toyota Manufacturing Company during the 1940s and 50s.


Here is the original website www.agilemanifesto.org


The Four Values are:

  1. Individuals and interactions over processes and tools

  2. Working software over comprehensive documentation

  3. Customer collaboration over contract negotiation

  4. Responding to change over following a plan


The Twelve Principles:

  1. Our highest priority is to satisfy the customer through early and continuous delivery of valuable software.

  2. Welcome changing requirements, even late in development. Agile processes harness change for the customer's competitive advantage.

  3. Deliver working software frequently, from a couple of weeks to a couple of months, with a preference to the shorter timescale.

  4. Business people and developers must work together daily throughout the project.

  5. Build projects around motivated individuals. Give them the environment and support they need, and trust them to get the job done.

  6. The most efficient and effective method of conveying information to and within a development team is face-to-face conversation.

  7. Working software is the primary measure of progress.

  8. Agile processes promote sustainable development. The sponsors, developers, and users should be able to maintain a constant pace indefinitely.

  9. Continuous attention to technical excellence and good design enhances agility.

  10. Simplicity--the art of maximising the amount of work not done--is essential.

  11. The best architectures, requirements, and designs emerge from self-organising teams.

  12. At regular intervals, the team reflects on how to become more effective, then tunes and adjusts its behaviour accordingly.


When I feel like I am overly complicating an project or feeling overwhelmed by the task in hand I like to go back to this website and remind myself of the agile mindset.


Peter Drucker said it so well,"Great wisdom not applied to action and behaviour is meaningless data."
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