A second look at the Agile Manifesto

A second look at the Agile Manifesto

A first look at the manifesto tends to focus on the values:

individuals and interactions over processes and tools

working software over comprehensive documentation

customer collaboration over contract negotiation

responding to change over following a plan

But taking a second look at the manifesto can reveal some interesting and useful insights, that might just help us be more agile.

Lets consider the right hand side of the manifesto:

  • process and tools
  • comprehensive documentation
  • contract negotiation
  • following a plan

When we consider these things within the context of solving problems, they seem very much like the type of things that get put in place to control how we or our teams should work.  So lets give these the label “Control”.

Now lets consider the left hand side:

  • individuals and interactions
  • working software
  • customer collaboration
  • responding to change

These aren’t quite the opposite to Control, but they describe values that require trust (individuals and interactions, and customer collaboration) and the importance of delivering things that really matter  (working software, responding to change).  So maybe we could give these the label of “Trust & Value”.

So perhaps we could think of the agile manifesto as an approach to working where we should focus more on building trust and on delivering real value to customers, rather than trying to control how teams should work.

The agile manifesto is available at agilemanifesto.org


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