What are the 4 Core Principles of Agile Methodology?

The Agile Manifesto is a document that includes key values and principles. It was written by several developers who believe that any software developer should be able to use them as a guide throughout their project. Originally it was titled “Manifesto for Agile Software Development,” and “Agile Alliance.” It’s a must-read for companies undertaking any software development process today. Aside from knowing its origin and ultimate purpose, what are the 4 core principles of Agile methodology? This article outlines the key points of the manifesto.

A Quick Overview of Agile Manifesto

The Agile Manifesto’s main purpose is to find alternative ways to execute the standard software development process. For some organizations, the standard process can become too complicated and unresponsive. The whole point of their work is based on providing greater value to individuals, and improving interactions over processes and tools.

The goal of its authors is not to promote anti-methodology. Instead, they wanted to "restore credibility to the word ‘methodology.’" So, they aimed to balance the existing ways of software development, along with some new alternatives. For instance, they accept modeling and documentation only when it’s useful to the project.

The creators of this method also believe that planning is important. But as long as the plan is expected to evolve and change, flexibility should be implemented for future modifications.

Four Values of Agile

  1. These are the four core values stated by the Agile Manifesto:
  2. Individuals and interactions over processes and tools
  3. Working software over comprehensive documentation
  4. Customer collaboration over contract negotiation
  5. Responding to change over following a plan

Value #1: Individuals and Interactions

Not so long ago, the vast majority of software teams focused solely on applying the best processes and tools to build their software. But, things continue to improve in the tech industry. Although the technical side of the process matters, the Agile Manifesto suggests that the people who stand behind this process are more important.

This value argues that successful software development wouldn’t be possible without a team of software developers. And, with that in mind, collaboration within the team should be of high importance. Members who communicate effectively with one another and act upon a common goal can more effectively solve any problems that arise. Good communication, in this case, means the best software.

Value #2: Working Software

In the past, it was not uncommon for software developers to spend years creating detailed documentation. And all of that was happening before they even wrote a single line of their coding. Although documentation doesn’t do any harm, teams should ultimately focus on the process and provide customers with high-quality, functioning software. The Agile Manifesto stresses the importance of being customer-centric in this core principle. Once you’ve delivered the finished product to the client, expect some changes and revisions, and use them for improvement.

Related Content: Practical Reasons to Work with a Team that Uses the Agile Methodology

Value #3: Customer Collaboration

In the past, the most important aspect of project development was the contract. You would draw up an exact contract with your customer, providing precise details of the final product. But, as you can probably imagine, there was a lot of contrast between what the developers created, what the contract said, and what the customer actually required.

Instead of utilizing this outdated method, the focus should be on the constant development of your product. This is why it’s so important to work hand in hand with your customer to provide their ideal end product.

Value #4: Responding to Change

Although not all changes will prove to be beneficial, as with software development, maintaining the status quo doesn’t promote improvements. It doesn’t get you out of your comfort zone, either. Clients will continue to request changes and revisions until you create their desired product.This is the main reason why the Agile Manifesto suggested that software teams should always have the ability to change the direction of their work whenever it’s necessary.

The 12 Principles of Agile Manifesto

Aside from the core principles, the Agile Manifesto also include these 12 principles:

  1. One of the highest priorities to you as a developer is ensuring customer satisfaction through early and continuous delivery.
  2. Changes are always good, even in the late stage of development.
  3. Deliver your working software frequently.
  4. Clients and developers must work together, if necessary, every day throughout the project.
  5. Build your projects with motivated individuals. Provide them with the supportive environment they need in order to manage their time and productivity.
  6. The best possible method for conveying information within a development team is through face-to-face conversation.
  7. The true measure of progress is how good your software works.
  8. Agile processes are focused on sustainable development.
  9. Paying continuous attention to technical excellence and design improves agility.
  10. Reducing the volume of work every day is essential.
  11. The best designs, requirements, and architects come from self-organized teams.
  12. The team’s effectiveness depends exclusively on them.
Related Content: A Detailed Look at the 12 Principles of Agile Project Management

The Takeaway

The Agile approach’s true purpose is the commitment to develop software incrementally, following a step-by-step process. Although many companies have already switched to Agile, following the trend won’t likely benefit you unless you fully understand how it works.

Before switching from one development methodology to Agile, make sure you know the basics. Assess its implications, and how you’ll incorporate it into your team’s overall strategy. One great way to start is by reading the Agile Manifesto, which includes four core values and twelve additional principles.

Once you get through them, it’s time to plan and strategize. Is Agile the most efficient methodology for your project? When in doubt, contact software development companies like Bydrec. Bydrec can offer expert advice, including the right tools and solutions to jump-start your project. For more information, give us a call today!

Topics: agile methodology overview, agile methodology