The Scope of Agile Principles

Objective

The Agile development model as pioneered by the eponymous Manifesto is based both on universal principles meant to be applied in any circumstances, and on more specific ones subject to some prerequisites. Sorting out the provisos may help to extend and improve the agile footprint.

The flexibility of Agile principles (E. de Souza)

The flexibility of Agile principles (E. de Souza)

Checklist

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

  • Scope: Specific to agile development model.
  • Requisite: Iterative and incremental development.

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

  • Scope: Universal.
  • Requisite: Requirements traceability and modular design.

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

  • Scope: Universal.
  • Requisite: Modular design and incremental development.

4. Business people and developers must work together daily throughout the project.

  • Scope: Specific to agile development model.
  • Requisite: Shared ownership, no external dependencies.

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

  • Scope: Universal.
  • Requisite: Dedicated organization and human resources policy.

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

  • Scope: Universal.
  • Requisite: Corporate culture.

7. Working software is the primary measure of progress.

  • Scope: Universal.
  • Requisite: Quality management and effective assessment of returns and costs.

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

  • Scope: Universal.
  • Requisite: Dedicated project management and human resources policy.

9. Continuous attention to technical excellence and good design enhances agility.

  • Scope: Universal.
  • Requisite: Corporate culture and human resources policy.

10. Simplicity–the art of maximizing the amount of work not done–is essential.

  • Scope: Universal.
  • Requisite: Quality management and corporate culture.

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

  • Scope: Universal.
  • Requisite: Shared ownership and no external dependencies.

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

  • Scope: Universal.
  • Requisite: Dedicated organization and corporate culture

Assessment

Perhaps surprisingly, only two (#1 and #4) out of twelve principles cannot be applied universally as they clearly conflict with phased processes and tasks differentiation. In other words ten out of twelve of the agile principles could bring benefits to all and every type of project.

Further Reading

External Links

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