Almost three-quarters (71%) of organizations report using Agile approaches sometimes, often, or always--Project Management Institute
The fact is that agility has penetrated the business landscape. Whether it’s on an enterprise-wide scale or just at the team level, the benefits of agile have been acknowledged and organizations are steering themselves towards and agile transformation.
But how does one go about the agile transformation? Is there a toolkit or a set process that one applies to go agile? For a large part, Agile transformation is a mind-set change, and guiding teams and organizations in this change are the Agile principles.
What is Agile?
Agile is the ability to create and respond to change. It is a way of dealing with, and ultimately succeeding in, an uncertain and turbulent environment—AgileAlliance.
So, agile more than a framework or process is a concept. A philosophy of culture change that when implemented the right way can lead to better adaptability, focus and improved value. The agile methodology encompasses a set of frameworks and processes that focus on iterative and incremental development.
The Twelve Agile Manifesto Principles
What are the 12 principles of agile?
- Our highest priority is to satisfy the customer through early and continuous delivery of valuable software.
- Welcome changing requirements, even late in development. Agile processes harness change for the customer’s competitive advantage.
- Deliver working software frequently, from a couple of weeks to a couple of months, with a preference to the shorter timescale.
- Business people and developers must work together daily throughout the project.
- Build projects around motivated individuals. Give them the environment and support they need, and trust them to get the job done.
- The most efficient and effective method of conveying information to and within a development team is face-to-face conversation.
- Working software is the primary measure of progress.
- Agile processes promote sustainable development. The sponsors, developers, and users should be able to maintain a constant pace indefinitely.
- Continuous attention to technical excellence and good design enhances agility.
- Simplicity–the art of maximizing the amount of work not done–is essential.
- The best architectures, requirements, and designs emerge from self-organizing teams.
- At regular intervals, the team reflects on how to become more effective, then tunes and adjusts its behaviour accordingly.
These 12 Agile principles in software engineering help establish the Agile mind-set.
Get the 12 agile principles pdf here.
The Agile Manifesto
“We are uncovering better ways of developing software by doing it and helping others do it. Through this work we have come to value”—Agile Manifesto
Back in 2001, a group of engineers working in different organizations met on the mountains of Utah to discuss how software development could be improved. The result of this meeting? The birth of the Agile Manifesto. Thus began the Agile movement, that was based on the Agile Manifesto— its 4 values and 12 principles of software development. The values and principles of agile methods help to increase communication, collaboration, self-organization and transparency for better value creation.
Best Agile Project Management Software
Agile management is not the easiest. Let’s face it, even the best agile managers out there would have at some point in their careers felt frustrated. And to add to your woes…a lack of proper support tools can make agile management challenging to say the least. But thankfully, there are several agile project management tools and software that help in upholding the agile principles of team collaboration, cross-function and good communication along with it being easy to use, affordable and easily available.
According to SoftwareTestingHelp, here are the top agile project management tools for 2021
- Atlassian Jira
- Active Collab
- Agilo for Scrum
- Pivotal Tracker
- Toggl Plan
Key Points- Principles of Agile and Scrum
The whole point of the Agile Scrum principles is to help organizations improve customer satisfaction, team collaboration and deliver value. We have already listed the 12 Agile principles above. We now attempt to decipher them and understand what they mean in an agile team context.
- At the crux of agile is customer satisfaction. So an agile team has to ensure that deliverables always satisfy the value standard set forth by the customer.
- A 1000-piece puzzle cannot be solved in one shot. Instead it is better to make groups of a fewer number of pieces, solve them and then move on to the next. Ultimately, when each small set of puzzles is made, the whole puzzle will come together. Similarly, an agile project should be broken down into manageable chunks, at the end of which something of value can be delivered. Immediate value can be provided to the customer through frequently delivered software.
- Allowing a team to think and work on its own can lead to great results. Self-organizing teams will take accountability for their work and create greater value.
- The key to working in the Agile way is close communication. This helps keep everyone in the loop and also checks the feasibility of accepting last minute requirements. While the Agile manifesto states face to face communication as the best way to be agile, the pandemic has shown us that long-distance communication works as well.
- Agile does not advocate work addiction. It strives to maintain a work life balance and promotes close collaboration to maintain a consistent pace and frequent deliveries. The pace must be consistent in order to deliver high and sustained quality.
- A successful agile team never loses focus on what is essential to create value. Value can be maximized when focus is on essential things like customer, project and requirements rather than non-essential things like process, components etc.
- Adapt, adapt, adapt! That is the key to evolving and staying on top. Requirements will change till the last minute. But a truly agile resource, team and organization will be able to cope with this change and emerge successful without compromising the integrity of the product.
At a time when markets are unpredictable and the emphasis is on ‘change or be left behind’, the Agile methodology has helped organizations adapt to the new mantra and move ahead. The principles of Agile and Scrum help an organization to bring change to its very core and adopt continuous improvement to achieve business objectives.