What Are the 12 Agile Principles?

12 Agile Principles

Agile Principles Definition

Agile principles are the foundation of agile. It is a project management and software development methodology that guides the development teams to create a dynamic work management framework. The method has its basis in the 12 principles of agile. These principles help companies prioritize tasks such as adapting to change, the satisfaction of customers, and so on. 

The agile methodology, the standard modern-day project management methodology, is based upon 12 core agile principles. 

The Agile Methodology

These principles were developed by the software developers of the agile alliance back in 2001. 

Software development project management mainly employs agile, but you can apply agile to any project.

Software teams refer to the 12 core principles or 12 agile principles. 

Agilists stated that agile focuses on the people more than the process, unlike many other project management methodologies. Agile principles reflect the same.

The agilists that developed agile principles stated that agile is not a methodology. 

Only a process framework that uses agile methods like eXtreme programming (XP), Lean software development, and other agilists incorporate these principles to ease the job and promote flexibility.

The primary purpose of designing principles is 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 clear 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, their usefulness, and how will they use the software product? 

Agilists focus on ‘early and continuous delivery of valuable software. Agile developers don’t go for postponing things, and they try to complete them 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 bug fixing process is by not creating any issues/bugs in the software. Agile teams follow the rule of ‘inspect and adapt’ to meet clients’ requirements.

Agile Principle 2

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

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

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 developers face working on different modules of the same project. 

Agilists follow the agile manifesto, principles, and 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 for 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.

These teams involve 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, Software engineering uses agile methods focusing 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 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. Instead, the expectation is from the customer collaboration 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. 

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

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.

You should use self-organizing teams 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. 

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

When teams do this, it helps maintain a positive environment and gain 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.

Therefore it 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 clarity 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 merge 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 rather than sudden extreme efforts.

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

These are the 12 principles of Agile Project Management

Which Agile Principle Teams Practice Most?

The development teams practice the 12 Agile principles as and when a particular situation arises. 

The leader will adapt to the problem and choose from the agile principles accordingly.

However, let’s look at an example of an agile principle that the teams practice the most when focusing on the highest priority.

If we are talking about product management teams and their prioritization tasks, then the most practiced agile principle would be the agile principle No. ten

We believe simplicity to be essential in all aspects, especially when working.

In the agile community, teams misunderstand this principle. Instead of focusing on maximizing the amount of work not done, most products come with many requirements. 

The development teams then identify the complex prioritization tools to focus on solving the problem. Eventually, the product becomes Frankenstein.  

The 80/20 prioritization rule states that the development teams get the 80% of their product results from putting in 20 % of the work. 

The agile principles show us that we have to prioritize the tasks that will have the most impact. 

Suppose we look at this from the product management perspective. Product managers must have organizational goals and objectives in mind while making the decisions on prioritization.

They are most likely to succeed if they use the product management software to store all their prioritized tasks and guide them throughout. 

This picture depicts Chisel's roadmap view which includes treeview,, Kanban, release and timeline.
To keep track of the entire production process and prioritize tasks, product managers must use Chisel and craft amazing products.

It is essential for product managers and agile teams to understand that they must build the products with purpose and not for competing. 

What Aren’t Agile Principles?

From the following four options, select the which one is not an agile principle:

  • XP
  • AUP
  • 4GT

The explanation would be the 4GT approach. And that is because the 4GT does not include continuous feedback and iterations. And as we know, the fundamental aspect of agile principles is feedback and iterations. 

How Could the Company Benefit by Applying Agile Principles?

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

Teams Can Accomplish Goals Within a Limited Time Frame:

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

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 make 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:

Short iterations make it possible for customers and team members to provide rapid feedback on the progress thus far, vital for success. 

Doing so 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 a 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. Right from customers and developers to IT and business leads to benefits such as:

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

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

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