What Are the 12 Agile Principles?

Agile Principles

The agile methodology which is the modern-day common methodology of project management is based upon 12 core agile principles. 

These principles were developed by the software developers back in 2001. Agile is mostly employed for project management of software development, but agile can be applied to any type of project.

The agile principle was developed by the Agile Alliance in 2001. These principles are termed as 12 core principles or 12 agile principles. Agilists stated that unlike many other project management methodologies agile focuses on the people more than process. Agile principles reflect the same.

The agilists that developed agile principles stated that agile is not a methodology, it is only a process framework that uses some of the agile methods like eXtreme programming (XP), Lean software development, and other processes agilists incorporated these principles to ease the job and promote flexibility.

These principles are primarily designed so that the enterprises tie the right things like user satisfaction, responding to change, and so on.

What are the 12 Agile principles?

Agile Principle 1

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

User or customer satisfaction plays a crucial role in the success journey of the product. The agile principle for this is very clear that agilists always focus on customer satisfaction. 

Agilist always tries to know what exactly the user wants? Who are the people involved in the product development life cycle, what is their usefulness, and how they will use the software product? 

Agilists focus on ‘early and continuous delivery of valuable software. Agile developers don’t go for postponing things, they try to complete it in optimal time with optimum quality. 

Agile teams focus on delivering the product at the earliest rather than making it free from bugs. 

Agilists believe that the best way to postpone the process of bug fixing is by not creating any kind of issues/bugs in the software. Agile teams follow the rule of ‘inspect and adapt’ to meet the requirements of clients.

Agile Principle 2

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

The development team has to carve out strategies according to changing issues, to gain a competitive advantage. 

Agile methods like pair programming, continuous integration, unit testing, and test-driven development help agile teams to meet the changing requirements.

The development team adopts this strategy through scrums (a meeting among agile sub-teams) which helps them overcome the problems faced by developers working on different modules of the same project. 

Agilists follow the agile manifesto, agile principles, and agile practices such as pair programming and test-driven development (TDD).

Agile teams welcome changes as Agile treats every business requirement.

Agile Principle 3

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

Agile Process responds rapidly to changing customer requirements. 

Agile teams are cross-functional and co-located in agile project management, also known as Agile software development, involves the entire team in the product creation process through agile processes: collaboration, self-organization of teams, reflection, responsiveness to change over following a plan for example agile methods have been used in software engineering, with a focus on agile thinking.

Part of agile is to welcome change and treat every requirement as a “wish list,” giving room for growth and scalability. 

An Agile team needs to be able to respond rapidly to changing customer requirements, which often involves negotiating priorities as Agile teams prioritize as they go, as agile project management draws from the Agile manifesto

The agile methodology does not provide for comprehensive documentation of requirements. Customer collaboration is expected to fill that role.

Agile Principle 4

Business people and developers must work together daily throughout the project:

Cooperation plays a pivotal role in agile. 

To promote sustainable development, the sponsors, developers, and users should work together and maintain a constant pace indefinitely. 

Agile processes harness change for the stakeholder’s competitive advantage.

Agile Principle 5

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

Motivated individuals are more productive than unmotivated individuals working as a part of a passive crowd. Agile processes harness change for the organization’s competitive advantage.

The best architectures, requirements, and designs emerge from self-organizing teams:

Self-organizing teams should be used rather than command and control structures. 

Agile processes promote sustainable development. 

Agile processes are therefore more sustainable than waterfall processes because the active involvement of the stakeholders allows them to keep up with changes in their environment.

Agile Principle 6

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

Agile processes promote face-to-face conversation within the team. 

Agile processes are, therefore, more collaborative than waterfall processes because they facilitate communication, self-organization, and feedback.

This helps in maintaining a positive environment and gaining more productivity.

Agile Principle 7

Working software is the primary measure of progress: 

Agile processes support the creation and delivery of working software. 

Agile processes, therefore, optimize for speed, better allocation of development resources, and improving return on investment.

This facilitates better growth.

Agile Principle 8

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

Agile processes promote sustainable development because they allow for incremental and iterative delivery of high-quality subsets. 

A constant pace maintains constant growth.

Agile Principle 9

Continuous attention to technical excellence and good design enhances agility:

This principle helps eliminate the risk of mundane construction by reducing cycle time. 

Agile processes promote innovative and productive goals. 

Agile processes, therefore, optimize for speed, better allocation of development resources, and improving return on investment (ROI) as they give keen attention to the technical and design skills.

Agile Principle 10

Simplicity—the art of maximizing the amount of work not done—is essential: 

The agile process promotes simplicity by reducing the amount of work in progress at any point, the management complexity, and information overhead. 

Agile processes, therefore, minimize bureaucracy, regulations, unnecessary documentation, and anything else not directly related to value creation. 

Agile processes also maximize self-organization and encourage bottom-up solutions rather than top-down design. 

This principle promotes simplicity, which in turn enhances productivity.

Agile Principle 11

The best architectures, requirements, and designs emerge from self-organizing teams: 

Agile processes harness human creativity and self-organizing teams to deliver the right software at the right time. 

Agile processes promote sustainable development, allowing us to maintain a constant pace indefinitely rather than requiring heroic efforts of individuals over an extended period. 

Agile processes increase quality through greater emphasis on producing working software instead of comprehensive documentation.

Agile Principle 12

At regular intervals, the team reflects on how to become more effective, then tunes and adjusts its behavior accordingly: 

Agile methodologies encourage continuous improvement in both the team’s process and the resulting product. 

Agile processes promote sustainable development, giving room for maintaining a constant speed perpetually rather than sudden extreme efforts.

Agile processes aid in flexibility and adaptability according to the market and consumer needs.  

What Are the Benefits of Agile Principles?

Agile principles help in achieving high product quality and the process offers various benefits. Some of them are as follows:

Team goals can be accomplished within a limited time frame:

Agile teams are responsible for delivering working software at the end of each iteration. This means that team goals can be accomplished within a limited timeframe, thus increasing the productivity of teams.

Agile principles help in embracing flexibility and adaptability:

Agile values change, and its principles acknowledge that the customer should be able to expect the software to evolve to meet their changing needs.

Agile principles also facilitate tighter control within the teams over their projects:

The principles are guidelines that help in making value-driven decisions at every stage of the development process. The roles and responsibilities are predefined which removes complexities and ensures control.

Agile teams work in an iterative way to produce software and Agile principles facilities that:

Short iterations make it possible for customers and team members to provide rapid feedback on the progress thus far, which is vital for success. This also helps to avoid costly design changes at a later stage. If something is wrong, it’s better to learn about this soon rather than later.

Agile principles in product development help in achieving valuable Return on investment(ROI):

Agile methods help in maximizing benefits and minimizing the investment, thus creating a good return on investment (ROI). Agile practices make products more pliable and easier to update.

Finally, it is possible to say that the agile principles help to retain competitive advantage:

The benefits of co-operating at all levels — from customers and developers to IT and business — lead to benefits such as:

  • Higher productivity and ROI
  • Better quality products and services
  • Greater flexibility and responsiveness

All of these benefits combined, help enormously in gaining a competitive advantage in the market.

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