Introduction to Agile Values
To know about the values of agile software, we need to first know what is agile software and the need to develop such software. An agile methodology implies a software which is incremental, it increases by regular additions. This approach offers a new version or approach in short intervals.
This agile process is different from the other traditional approach to software development where the needs and requirements of the users are compiled and then in the end software is built all at once.
Agile Manifesto is a declaration that distinctly states about the key values and principles that software developers should follow to guide their work. It is the base of the agile movement. These are the four values and twelve principles as guidelines.
4 Agile Values OF Agile Manifesto
Below are the 4 values of Agile Manifesto:
1. Team and Communication Chosen Over Procedure and Tools
The first value places more emphasis on teamwork and communication. As we all know that to build software a team of people is required and not tools. An individual may have a sophisticated set of tools but to develop software he needs to work with a team effectively with productive interactions.
Tools and processes are definitely the keys to developing software but they need to be in the hands of a qualified team to get the result and not the other way round.
2. Working Software Over Comprehensive Documentation
A lot of time was spent on the documentation of the product development, like the technical specification, technical requirements, test plans, design documents and approval required for each. The kind of documentation created for these was very detailed and many of which were not even referred to during the project process. The team wanted the finished product to be as per the specification so the documents were focused on a lot. But, the end product would still be different as the relevance was lost.
Agile streamlines these documents in such a form that gives the developer only what is needed to do the work without getting distracted by the minute details. Agile does not say that documentation is not necessary. All it says is that working software is preferred by customers rather than a document which perhaps will not be looked into also. Whenever a need for change arises, the agile team readily accepts it and makes continuous changes.
3. Communication With Client Preferred to Signed Agreements
Successful development teams work closely with their customers and communicate with them regularly. As it is only through listening to your customers that you get feedback and you will understand what they exactly want from your product.
It will be extremely beneficial if the legal relationship with a customer can be kept separate from a personal relationship. This will encourage communication and knowing their thoughts, opinions, and preferences will result in a more satisfying product.
Communication also helps the client refine their vision and redefine their requirements if required during the course of the project.
In traditional software development, once the requirements have been decided upon, the product can only be seen when it is ready. But agile defies this by allowing customer involvement in the entire procedure.
4. Readily Accepting Change Rather Than Following a Strict Plan
It is believed that change is expensive and time-consuming and should be avoided at all costs. This is so because we give unnecessary focus to documentation and elaborate plans to deliver. We tend to stick to timelines and product specification more than required.
It is essential to realize that change is inevitable. It will be extremely beneficial to accept change and plan for it. There should always be room for change otherwise the plan will soon become obsolete.
According to agile, change is not an expense but necessary feedback which results in an improved project. A feedback initiated change adds value to the project.
Agile methodologies allow the agile team to change the process while in progress and make it fit for the team rather than the other way round. So the first principle of communication with the entire team has to be referred here. The developers of the team should be kept aware of the changes.
The ultimate goal of your project should always be kept in mind and if there is any sort of hindrance, the team should be made aware of it and reminded of these 4 values.
Twelve Principles OF Agile Development
These principles are a test to define whether you are agile:
- Satisfying Customers Through Timely and Constant Delivery of Valued Work: Customers are happier if they receive working software at regular intervals rather than waiting for long intervals between releases.
- Accept Change During the Entire Process: Whenever a requirement or feature needs to be changed, it should be done so readily.
- Release Effective Software Frequently: Since the team operates in software sprints, it ensures regular delivery of working software.
- Collaboration Between Business Stakeholders and Developers: Better decisions are made when the business and technical team work together.
- Motivate, Support and Trust: Motivating the team is the key here. Whenever a project starts, total support to the team, and encouraging ambiance, and faith on the team will keep them going.
- One to One Discussions: The most important method of passing on any information to the entire team is by having one on one discussions.
- Software is Working: Progress can be measured only by software that is successfully working at that time.
- Agile Procedures Boost Continuous Development: The promoters, planners, and customers should all be able to progress.
- Importance to Technique: Right skills and good design ensure constant improvement of product, maintaining pace and sustaining change.
- Keep it Simple: Developing just enough to get the job done which is right now,
- Self-organizing Teams: Self-organizing Teams are where the best architecture, requirement, and designs emerge.
- Regular Reflections on How to Become More Effective: The team should keep working towards becoming more productive and adapt accordingly.
This has been a guide to Agile Values. Here we discussed the Concept, top 4 values and Twelve Principles of Agile Development. You can also go through our other Suggested Articles to learn more –