Agile Methodology

The 12 Agile Principles: Optimizing Your Project Process

Max 9 min read

The 12 Agile Principles: Optimizing Your Project Process
Start Reading

Click the button to start reading

The 12 Agile Principles: Optimizing Your Project Process

It would be to the benefit of you and your team to get acquainted with using Agile and the underlying concepts behind it. Ultimately, it will help you optimize your project process by ensuring that everyone is on the same page and working towards the same goal.

The goal of this article is to clear up any misunderstandings you may have about what it means to manage a project using Agile principles. We’ll go over the 4 values and 12 main principles of the Agile Manifesto and how you can use them to your advantage as a project manager.

Agile Definition

Agile Defined…

Agile is a set of values and principles that emphasize collaboration, customer focus, and continuous improvement. It’s iterative and incremental, meaning that work is done in short cycles or sprints to get feedback from customers early and often. This allows for course corrections along the way, which leads to a better end product.

Even though Agile was originally designed for software development, it can be applied to any kind of project. Many project management methodologies have been created based on Agile principles. So this article will be helpful whether you’re a project manager in IT, engineering, construction, or any other field.

History of Agile

Considering Agile as a method is a bit of a misnomer. It is not so much a methodology as it is a set of values and principles that emphasize collaboration, customer focus, and continuous improvement.

Originally, the Agile Manifesto was created as a response to the traditional, waterfall approach to software development. The waterfall method is linear and prescriptive, meaning that each phase must be completed before moving on to the next.

In contrast, Agile is iterative and incremental, meaning that work is done in short cycles or sprints to get feedback from customers early and often. This allows for course corrections along the way, which leads to a better end product.

The first publication about Agile was the Agile Manifesto, which was written in 2001 by a group of software developers who were frustrated with the waterfall approach.

Values of the Agile Manifesto

The 4 Values of the Agile Manifesto…

The manifesto is made up of four values and twelve principles. The four values are:

1. Individuals and interactions over processes and tools

This is perhaps the most important value of the Agile Manifesto. It emphasizes the importance of people over processes. This is because people are the ones who create, change, and improve processes, not the other way around.

2. Working software over comprehensive documentation

This value recognizes that working software is more important than comprehensive paper documentation. Documentation is still important, but it should be created only when it is needed and should be kept to a minimum.

3. Customer collaboration over contract negotiation

The third value puts the customer above the contract. This doesn’t mean that contracts are unimportant, but rather that they should not get in the way of collaboration with the customer.

4. Responding to change by following a plan

The final value is it’s more important to be able to respond to change than to stick to a plan. This is because no matter how well you plan, things will always come up that you didn’t anticipate. It’s better to be flexible so that you can adapt as needed.

Agile Principles

The 12 Agile Principles

In addition to the four values, the Agile Manifesto also outlines twelve principles that should be followed to adhere to the values. These principles are:

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

The first principle, which was written with software development in mind, may also be applied to project management. The idea is that the customer should always be kept in mind and that their satisfaction should be the top priority.

To meet this objective, your goal should be to provide value to the client and work hard to continuously improve the project.

This also means that you should work to get feedback from customers early and often so that you can make sure that the software is going in a direction that they will be happy with.

One approach could be to shorten the distance between requirements gathering and customer feedback by planning fewer changes at a time. This gives you more opportunity to steer the project in a direction that the customer will be happy with.

Another great way to get feedback from customers is to have regular check-ins or demos during the project. This will allow you to get feedback early and often so that you can make changes as needed.

Just make sure you have a clear understanding of who your customer is, and what their needs are.

2. “Welcome changing requirements, even in late development.”

This principle is closely related to the first one, and it means that you should be open to changes that the customer may want, even if they come late in the project. This is because, as mentioned before, the customer may not know exactly what they want until they see it.

It’s important to note that this does not mean that you should make changes without first considering the impact that they will have on the project.

Changes should only be made if they will improve the value of the product for the customer.

The secret is to be receptive to modifications that the customer may desire, even if they come late in the project. Measuring the influence of each change before making it can help you do this.

3. “Deliver valuable products frequently, from a couple of weeks to a couple of months, with a preference for the shorter timescale.”

This is about delivering value to the customer with speed. The quicker you can get the working product into their hands, the better. It will be helpful to develop a preference and skill for shorter delivery timescales.

By working with the customer to determine what features are most important and focus on delivering those first. You can then add additional features later as needed. This will help you to get value to the customer quickly and still be able to respond to changes that come up.

Business people and developers must work together

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

This is all about cooperation between business managers and developers. They must collaborate for everyone to be on the same page and work toward the same goal.

One way to do this is to have regular meetings where everyone can check in with updates. This will ensure that everyone is aware of what is happening and can provide input as needed.

Another way to facilitate collaboration is to use a project management tool that everyone has access to. This will allow everyone to see the project roadmap, tasks, and progress.

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

This is all about empowering your team members and giving them the autonomy they need to do their jobs effectively. It’s important to trust that they will do the best they can with the resources they have.

One way to do this is to give team members clear objectives and expectations. This will help them to know what they need to do and how they can best contribute to the project.

Another way to empower your team is to give them the resources they need to be successful. This includes things like access to the right tools, training, and support.

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

This is all about communication within the team. The most effective way to communicate is in person so that everyone can understand each other clearly.

One way to facilitate this is to have regular team meetings where everyone can provide updates on their progress. This will ensure that everyone is aware of what is happening and can ask questions as needed.

Another way to facilitate communication is to use a project management tool, like Teamly, that everyone has access to. This will allow everyone to see the project’s tasks and progress.

Continuous delivery

7. “At regular intervals, the team delivers working software.”

This is all about continuous delivery. Even though “software” is the subject of principle seven, it still applies to other project deliverables. The team should aim to deliver working products or features at regular intervals so that the client can provide feedback and make changes as needed.

One way to facilitate continuous delivery is to use a Kanban board. This will help the team to visualize their work and see what needs to be delivered next.

8. “The team continuously refines its estimate of how long it will take to complete the remaining work.”

This is all about estimation. As the team works on the project they will get a better understanding of how long it will take to complete the remaining work.

To facilitate this, the team should track their progress and update their estimate accordingly. This will help to ensure that the team is on track and can adjust their plans as needed.

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

This is all about continuous improvement. The team should always be looking for ways to improve the quality of their work.

One way to facilitate this is to have regular team retrospective meetings. This will allow the team to identify areas for improvement and make changes as needed.

Another way to facilitate continuous improvement is to use a project management tool that allows for feedback. This will allow the team to get feedback from the client and make changes as needed.

Simplifying the work

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

This is all about simplifying the project. The team should aim to minimize the amount of work that needs to be done to complete the project.

One way to simplify the project is to break it down into smaller tasks. This will make it easier for the team to complete the project and will also help to identify areas that can be simplified. For example, if a task can be automated, it should be. If a task can be eliminated, it should be.

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

This is all about team self-organization. The team should aim to organize themselves in the most effective way possible. Perhaps they will organize by task, by feature, or by a team member.

There are way too many variables here to give any sort of advice on how to facilitate team self-organization. It will vary from team to team and project to project.

The key is to understand your team’s dynamic and to give them the freedom to organize themselves in the most effective way possible.

12. “At regular intervals, the team retrospects and adjusts its behavior accordingly.”

This is all about continuous improvement. The team should always be looking for ways to improve their process.

This is a key agile project management principle. Teams should consider how to become more efficient, adjust, and modify their behavior on a regular basis. If there is a better way to advance the project, the team should be willing to try it out.

When it comes to continuous improvement, one size does not fit all. What works for one team might not work for another. The key is to experiment and find what works best for your team.

CONCLUSION

So there you have it, in a nutshell. Hopefully, the 12 principles of Agile outlined in this article will help you to streamline your process and deliver a better product.

These are just suggestions. They’re not meant to be followed to the letter; rather than that, use them as a basis for adaptation and tailor them to your team’s requirements. What is important is that you keep the communication channels open, that you

Table of Contents

Manage Your Remote
Team With Teamly. Get your 100% FREE account today.

Get Teamly FREE

PC and Mac compatible

image

Teamly is everywhere you need it to be. Desktop download or web browser or IOS/Android app. Take your pick.

Get Teamly for FREE by
clicking below.

No credit card required. Completely free
Get Teamly For FREE

PC and Mac compatible

  • imageChat with your team in real-time
  • imageCreate tasks and workflows with ease
  • imageScreen cam video recording, audio messages and more
  • imageTrack and monitor employee time worked
Teamly puts everything in one place, so you can start and finish projects quickly and efficiently.

Keep Reading

Small Project Management

Project Management

The Right Way to Set up a Management Plan for Small Projects. How to Manage Small Projects in 5 Steps.

The Right Way to Set up a Management Plan for Small Projects. How to Manage Small Projects in 5 Steps.Engineers are smart people, designers are creative people, marketers are persuasive people. But no matter what the skill set is, when it comes to working in the context of a team, your company needs organization. Especially …

Read More

Max 13 min read

Productivity Books

Management

Losing Your Competitive Edge? Here Are the Best Books to Read on Increasing Your Focus, Organization & Productivity

Losing Your Competitive Edge? Here Are the Best Books to Read on Increasing Your Focus, Organization & ProductivityIt’s easy to be cynical when you pick up a book on productivity. As you flip through it, you may come across puzzling concepts like “finding the weakest link,” “going agile” and “incorporating the principles of lean.” Or …

Read More

Max 17 min read

Get Teamly for FREE Enter your email and create your account today!

You must enter a valid email address