Updated May 29, 2023
Introduction to Agile Values
To know about the values of agile software, we need first to understand what is agile software and the need to develop such software. An agile methodology implies incremental software; it increases with 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 users’ needs and requirements are compiled, and then, in the end, the software is built all at once. Agile Manifesto is a declaration that distinctly states 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 the 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, a team is required to build software, not tools. An individual may have a sophisticated set of tools, but he needs to work with a team effectively with productive interactions to develop software. Tools and processes are 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 around.
2. Working Software Over Comprehensive Documentation
A lot of time was spent on the product development documentation, like the technical specification, technical requirements, test plans, design documents, and approval required for each. The documentation created for these was very detailed, 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 differ as the relevance was lost.
Agile streamlines these documents in 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 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. Only through listening to your customers will you get feedback and understand what they want from your product. Maintaining a clear distinction between the legal relationship with a customer and a personal relationship can bring significant benefits. 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 project. In traditional software development, the product can only be seen when it is ready once the requirements have been decided upon. But agile defies this by allowing customer involvement in the entire procedure.
4. Readily Accepting Change Rather than Following a Strict Plan
There is a belief that change is costly and time-consuming and, thus, 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 specifications more than required. It is essential to realize that change is inevitable. It will be highly 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 that improves projects. 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 around. Referring to the first principle of communication, involving the entire team in the process is essential. The team should keep the developers aware of the changes. The ultimate goal of your project should always be kept in mind, and if there is any hindrance, the team should be made aware of it and reminded of these four values.
12 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 receiving working software at regular intervals rather than waiting for long gaps between releases.
- Accept change During the Entire Process: Whenever there is a need to change a requirement or feature, it should be done promptly.
- Release Effective Software Frequently: Since the team operates in software sprints, it ensures regular delivery of working software.
- Collaboration Between Business Stakeholders and Developers: The collaboration between the business and technical teams leads to better decision-making.
- Motivate, Support, and Trust: Motivating the team is the key here. Whenever a project starts, total support for the team and encouraging ambiance and faith in the team will keep them going.
- One-to-One Discussions: The most important method of passing information on to the entire team is one-on-one discussions.
- Software is Working: The measurement of progress can be based solely on the successful functioning of the software at that specific 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 product improvement, maintaining peace, and sustaining change.
- Keep it Simple: The focus is on developing only what is necessary to complete the task at hand.
- Self-organizing Teams: Self-organizing Teams are where the best architecture, requirements, and designs emerge.
- Regular Reflections on How to Become More Effective: The team should keep working towards becoming more productive and adapting 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 –