What is Agile Manifesto planning and how does that planning work?

Collaboration is the foundation of the Agile approach to product development. The well-planned Agile collaboration, which demands face-to-face contact between the product development team and product owners, can pivot and correct quickly no matter how customer needs or even markets shift. The plan is always flexible, always focused on the individuals and new possibilities for productive development collaboration. The highest priority is always the continuous iterative production of quality working software.

To secure the end user’s satisfaction and the customer’s competitive advantage, the Agile Manifesto sets forth twelve principles of Agile processes. Four main Agile values help focus that most productive mindset: Individuals and interactions over processes and tools; working software over comprehensive documentation; customer collaboration over contract negotiation; and response to change over following a plan.

Fundamental to Agile values and the Agile mindset is a commitment to distinct pivotal values in the software development process: responsiveness, flexibility, capability, and speed. Agile project management methodologies organize around fast production of usable software, with the needs of both the stakeholders and vital end users always in tandem.

The Agile Manifesto & Agile Principles

The origins of the agile manifesto came from 2001 where 17 software developers met at Snowbird resort, Utah, and drafted those 4 values and these 12 adaptive principles that would be codified in The Manifesto for Agile Software Development:

1. Provide early and continuous delivery of valuable software

2. Welcome changing requirements, even late in development

3. Deliver working software frequently (in weeks, not months)

4. Facilitate daily contact between stakeholders and developers

5. Organize projects around motivated and disciplined professionals, then trust them to do their jobs

6. Prioritize face-to-face conversation as the most efficient way to convey information to and within a development team

7. Working software is the primary measure of progress

8. Maintain a  development team in which developers and users can sustain a constant pace indefinitely

9. Focus continuous attention on technical excellence and good design

10. Remember that simplicity – the art of maximizing the amount of work not done – is essential

11. Best architectures, requirements, and designs emerge from interactions among self-organizing teams

12. The development team reflects regularly on how to become more effective, and adjusts accordingly.

The Manifesto for Agile Software Development is a legal contract based upon management metrics that help reduce message confusion and quickly identify and address product weaknesses such as disconnects in communication or a work/product backlog. These metrics continually measure a team’s progress and efficiency. This flexible, people-centric approach to software development has proved and continues to prove both responsive and productive.

Agile project management

The lifecycle of a project organized within an Agile framework  begins with the initial project plan and continues to project completion. Note that in the initial stage of an Agile software project an inflexible plan is precisely what Agile rejects, and requires that stakeholders actively engage face-to-face with the development team from start to finish. The architecture of the project plan will define a start point and then move rapidly to produce working iterations of software ready to use and collaboratively revise, as needed.

Agile product development projects organize the work into increments in order to minimize the amount of time, up-front planning, and design required. These increments become the iterations of the product ready for the team to evaluate, change, and incorporate quickly and efficiently.

Agile project management methodology is characterized by short development cycles called sprints, performed in close collaboration among team members in the Scrum, the place where self-organizing Agile teams, in face-to-face conversation among programmers, developers, key management personnel, and stakeholders implement fast adoption of change, and continuous measurable improvement. These iterations are a project’s primary measure of progress. And a function of the customer collaboration is to evaluate that product iteration. For example, product owners or other stakeholders may find a problematic issue with a software iteration and add it to an issue tracker, assign priority, assign it to another member of the development team, and set a performance goal. The rest of the development team will evaluate the technical issue and reassess their approach as needed. The flexibility of the Agile team and its project management tools leave the development space needed to react and respond quickly to any changes needed to design or programming.

But does the Agile Manifesto scale?

That is, can scaled Agile be implemented to work for businesses with highly complex and expansive software requirements? Can it engage with hundreds of people and escape a catastrophe of scale where financial failure may be one of the risks? According to Agile users, with adjustments the Agile Manifesto does indeed scale. Agile, indeed.

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