Re-reading the Agile Manifesto, Part One

Today, I took a look at the Agile Manifesto, the document signed by agile gurus such as Ken Schwaber, Jeff Sutherland, Mike Beedle, Alistair Cockburn, Kent Beck, and others at Utah’s Snowbird Ski Resort in 2001. Most folks who have worked in an agile environment know the manifesto well (if not, you should check it out: http://agilemanifesto.org/ ). I’ve noticed that, the longer I use agile, the more deeply I understand the principles that inform the manifesto. For instance, a different part of the document (from the “Twelve Principles of Agile Software” section) made an impression on me today:

       Â“Welcome changing requirements, even late in development.”

That sentiment, to me, really gets at how agile is committed to building products that customers want. There’s always a premium on completing work, but this line reminds that, in agile, a project’s not really complete if it fails to meet the expectations of the customer. Even the wording in the manifesto hits me as radical. How often, when you’ve nearly wrapped a demanding project, would you “welcome” a sweeping scope change that meant your work was far from done? I’d wager the answer is “never.” But in the iterative, incremental paradigm of agile, the focus isn’t just on churning out product — it’s on producing the “right” product.

Posted under Agile Methodology

This post was written by admin on November 21, 2008

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