Project ManagementAgile Principles: What They Are and Why They Matter

Agile Principles: What They Are and Why They Matter

The Agile software development movement started in the early 2000s. Since then, Agile has been extremely popular the world over, helping businesses achieve their goals.

The Agile Principles of Software Development are a set of guidelines that define the best practices for producing successful and sustainable software. They promote iterative, incremental development and constant feedback. Software developers, project managers, and team leads all over the world use these principles to improve their processes and be more productive.

The Agile Principles comprise a collection of recommendations that assist software developers to be more effective and more efficient. They were first published in 2001, and they are still relevant today because they provide a project management framework for developers to follow when working on software projects to be more efficient and effective.

What is the the Agile Manifesto?

Agile is a software development methodology that emphasizes iterative development, team collaboration, and customer involvement. Agile was created in response to the shortcomings of the traditional Waterfall approach to software development, which is characterized by rigid planning, strict control, and little flexibility. You can read more about the Waterfall approach and other software methodologies in our guide: Project Management Methodologies.

The Agile Manifesto, which was published in 2001, outlines four key principles that underpin the Agile approach. They are:

  • Individuals and interactions over processes and tools
  • Working software over comprehensive documentation
  • Customer collaboration over contract negotiation
  • Responding to change in lieu of adhering to a plan

These principles emphasize the importance of communication, collaboration, customer satisfaction, and flexibility in the software development process.

Each of these values represents a different way of thinking about how work should be done in order to be successful. For example, the first value – individuals and interactions over processes and tools – means that it is more important for team members to work together and communicate effectively than it is for them to follow strict rules and procedures.

This can lead to better results because team members can quickly adapt to changes and solve problems together, rather than being bogged down by bureaucracy.

Similarly, the second value – working software over comprehensive documentation – means that it is more important for the team to actually produce working code that can be used by customers, rather than spending time creating extensive documentation that nobody will read. This can lead to better results because team members are encouraged to ship working code rather than spending time writing unit tests and documentation.

Having said that, Agile does emphasize the importance of producing high quality working software – which means producing code that is high performant, scalable, secure and easy to maintain. The Agile methodology also encourages detailed planning at the beginning of a project so that team members know exactly what they need to deliver and when. Project Management Tool

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What are the Agile Principles?

Agile principles are a set of guidelines that help teams work together more effectively. They are based on the values of collaboration, customer focus, and continuous improvement. While they were originally developed for software development projects, they can be applied to any type of project.

The principles of Agile Software Development include:

  • You should deliver early and continuously to satisfy your customers
  • You should welcome change in requirements even if it occurs late in the project
  • Consistently deliver value
  • You need to break down the silos in your project
  • Motivated individuals are essential to building successful projects
  • Face-to-face communication is the best and the most efficient way to communicate
  • The key indicator of progress is working software
  • You should keep a sustainable working pace
  • Agility is enhanced by continuous excellence
  • Remember, simplicity is the key
  • Teams that self-organize generate the most value
  • You can improve the overall process through feedback loops

What Are Popular Agile Frameworks?

Here are some of the popular Agile Frameworks with a brief introduction on each.


There are a variety of agile methods that have been developed over the years, each with its own unique set of practices and terminology. The most popular agile methodology is Scrum.

Scrum is characterized by short sprints, or iterations, of work followed by feedback and continual improvement. Scrum promotes collaboration among team members and stakeholders, and it values customer feedback to guide development.

You can learn more about this Agile framework by reading the following guides:

Extreme Programming (XP)

In the context of software development, XP (eXtreme Programming) is a methodology that focuses on simple design, test-driven development, and refactoring in order to produce high-quality software.


The term “lean” was coined in the 1990s by James P. Womack and Daniel T. Jones to describe their research on the Toyota Production System. The idea behind lean is that all work should add value to the final product, and anything that doesn’t add value is considered waste.

In the context of software development, lean principles can be applied to help teams work more efficiently and effectively. By eliminating waste, teams can focus on adding value in each step of the development process.

Some common lean principles that can be applied to software development include:

  • Eliminate waste: Remove anything from the development process that does not add value to the final product. This includes unnecessary features, duplicated effort, and rework.
  • Foster a culture of learning: Make sure everyone on the team has the information they need to do their job effectively. This includes sharing knowledge and best practices across the team.
  • Decide as late as possible: Delay decisions until you have all the information you need. This prevents your team from spending time on features that may not be needed or used.

Why are the Agile Principles Important?

Agile principles help to provide a framework for software development that is adaptable, flexible, and responsive to change. They were first articulated in the Agile Manifesto, which was published in 2001.

The Agile Principles are important because they provide a guide for how software development should be approached. They emphasize collaboration, customer focus, and continuous improvement. These values are still relevant today and help to make sure that software development projects are successful.

First proposed in the early 2000s, the Agile Principles help software development teams to be more efficient. Since then, they have been adopted by organizations across a variety of industries as a way to improve team collaboration and communication, as well as deliver better quality products and services.

Final Thoughts on Agile Principles

Agile methodology is a framework that helps teams provide quick and continuous value to customers. As a result, agile software development has gained tremendous popularity over the past decade. However, it’s also important to note that Agile is not just about software development but can be applied in other aspects of business as well.

While the Agile Principles were originally developed for software development teams, they can be applied to other industries as well. Following these principles can help you be more productive and get better results.

By adhering to the Agile Principles, developers can avoid many of the pitfalls that can occur during software development, and they can deliver high-quality products to their clients.

Read more project management tutorials and PM tool reviews and comparisons.

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