A group of software developers meet in February 2001 to discuss light weight development methods. The outcome of this meeting was the Manifesto for Agile Software Development.
Most of us are aware of the four values:
- Individuals and interactions over processes and tools
- Working software over comprehensive documentation
- Customer collaboration over contract negotiation
- Responding to change over following a plan
Unfortunate, the agile manifesto is often seen as a religious artefact like the ten commandments. You either fully comply or you are fully against them.
But not many have paid attention to the introductory sentence “We are uncovering better ways of developing software …”. The best way has not been discovered yet. So it is by no means a final commandment.
Andy Hunt, one of the developers responsible for the Manifesto, expressed almost disappointment in his talk at the NDC Conference 2013 that not more agile methods have been resulted from this initial values. There is XP, Scrum and some other frameworks. They were actually hoping that more people would come up with methods which work in their particular context. Because if something works for one team in one particular project it could completely be a disappointment in another context.
Use the Agile Values as a Checklist!
So my advise here is to use the values of the agile manifesto as a checklist in your own environment/project/context.
Dan North did that quite nicely on twitter while helping a client becoming more agile (probably not because of my advise – hi hi). Two examples:
The rest reads as fallows:
Tweet 1: Agile Manifesto first line: People and Interactions over Processes and Tools. Agile team first day: Which process and tools shall we use?
Tweet 2: Agile manifesto 2nd line: Working Software over Comprehensive Documentation. Agile team 2nd decision: which automated spec framework?
Tweet 3: Agile Manifesto 3rd line: Collaboration over Contract. Agile team 3rd decision: how much shall we commit to in this sprint?
Tweet 4: Agile Manifesto 4th line: Adapting to Change over Following a Plan. Agile team 4th decision: Let’s build a 200 story backlog and follow it.